Category Archives: Economic Development

Student Engineers Solving Real World Problems

October is national Manufacturing Month and Oklahoma CareerTech student engineers are solving real-world problems.

Students at Northeast Technology Center saw an everyday problem at Hopkins Manufacturing and developed a solution that saved money and created a safer workplace.

Resource Center for CareerTech Advancement Highlights Industry/Workplace Data and Trends

CTLogo_RCCTABesides offering educational resources and help with instructional design, the Resource Center tracks industry/workplace data and trends. Click HERE for this month’s featured links.

 

The Resource Center for CareerTech Advancement is a division of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. The staff of the Center research educational materials and best practices to disseminate throughout the state CareerTech system. The Resource Center also provides support in identifying curriculum, assessments, professional development and other instructional delivery resources on request.

Aerospace Impact – Want One?

Oklahoma’s Aerospace industry employs more than 200,000 Oklahomans, and the industry is growing. Oklahoma CareerTech offers training in a variety of aerospace careers.

Click HERE to locate Oklahoma’s technology center districts and to discover careers in aerospace and more!

 

Bob Funk gives his perspective on meeting workforce demands

CareerTech Teacher of Year

Bob Funk

Bob Funk, co-founder and former CEO of Express Employment Professionals, sings Oklahoma CareerTech’s praises in a recent column in The Oklahoman.

Funk drew upon his background of helping people find jobs to discuss the benefits of work, the problem of the skills gap and solutions for filling that gap. CareerTech, he wrote, is “one of the finest vocational education systems in the nation.”

More

 

Business and Industry Services Programs Guide

bis map cover

Business and Industry Services are Oklahoma’s tools for economic and workforce development.

This division, of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, works with technology center districts to provide resources to guide you through the maze of government contracting to help your company grow. Assistance for small business is available to train and retool workers or train a new workforce to guarantee production from day one.

The CareerTech system also provides training and resources for volunteer firefighters and short-term professional development for adults.

Click HERE to download a copy of the new BIS Programs Guide and discover which programs are available across Oklahoma’s 29 technology center districts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAREERTECH: Changing the conversation

Dr. Marcie MackWhat is one of the most critical economic needs Oklahoma faces? The answer is clear: A sustainable, qualified workforce.

Oklahoma’s relatively low unemployment rate means every Oklahoman is needed to drive the state’s economy.

So how do we work to build a sustainable, qualified workforce?

First, we must change the conversation. We must educate students about the jobs available in our state. We must talk about career options and the education needed to obtain careers.

The conversation about college or career must change. There are multiple paths; education is vital to obtaining any career, but the level of education needed for individual careers varies. So the conversation needs to be focused on, “What skills, training and education do you need to be successful?” not, “What skills, training or education do you need to be successful?”

Today’s qualified workforce does not have an option of either skills or academics. The workforce requires individuals to have both skills and academics along with critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills. The conversation cannot be college or career. Our workforce requires both.

The state-by-state analysis in “Good Jobs That Pay without a BA,” a report from The Good Jobs Project, shows that between 1991 and 2015, Oklahoma lost 3,000 good blue collar jobs that did not require bachelor’s degrees, but gained 97,000 good skilled services jobs for workers without bachelor’s degrees. Median earnings of non-degreed workers with good jobs in 2015 was $55,000.

Skills training provides for careers in a variety of areas that lead to wealth-generating, sustainable wages, but students may not be encouraged to look at skilled jobs and technical training. That conversation must change, as more than 50 percent of Oklahoma jobs require a certificate, credential or associate degree.

It’s not just Oklahoma facing the problem. A recent NPR story heard on “All Things Considered” looked at the state of trade employment in Washington and across the country. Reporters found that one-third of new jobs through 2022 will be in construction, health care and personal care, and new plumbers and electricians will be in demand. In the next five years, infrastructure fields will have 68 percent more job openings.

And parents, the story says, often mistakenly believe that career and technology education won’t lead to good, professional jobs. But career and technology education prepares students to meet the demands of skilled jobs, as well as prepares them to continue into postsecondary education.

CareerTech affords students the opportunity to earn certificates, industry-recognized credentials and credit toward associate degrees. Oklahoma CareerTech empowers middle school, high school and adult students to add workforce value to their education. Career and technology education is accessible throughout Oklahoma.

To meet the needs of Oklahoma’s economy, the conversation must change. The conversation around college or career will not get Oklahoma’s economy where it needs to be. We must have a sustainable, qualified workforce, and Oklahoma CareerTech is key.

Marcie Mack is State Director at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.

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