Oklahoma inmates are learning a new trade — commercial truck driving. This unique program is giving men and women an opportunity to start a new journey. Oklahoma CareerTech is proud to partner with Central Tech and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections to help these students start their new life, with a new skill!
Category Archives: Technology Centers
Leisha Mahseet – Caddo Kiowa Technology Center
Nontraditional is becoming a tradition for female diesel services technician.
THEN: A soft-spoken woman whose goal was to provide a better life for her and her family. Leisha Mahseet wanted a career that could do help her do that, and she wasn’t afraid of hard work. Leisha didn’t set out to break any stereotypes; she just wanted to make a decent living. She enrolled in Caddo Kiowa Technology Center’s diesel services tech program, and once she started the hands-on training, she said, she loved it. At CKTC, Leisha
- Earned ASE student certifications in engines, brakes, steering and suspension and electrical.
- Maintained excellent grades, positioning herself at the top of her class.
- Served as a strong role model for her classmates as well as for women considering nontraditional careers.
Her instructor said Leisha is a natural leader.
“She’s a perfect example of someone who breaks traditions and promotes equity in a male-dominated industry,” Allan Leatherbury said.
Breaking traditions is nothing new for Leisha. She was the first female employee to work at the top of the wind turbines for the Blue Canyon Wind Farm near Apache.
NOW: Leisha completed the diesel services tech program and went on to earn her commercial driver’s license through CKTC’s truck driver training program.
“I feel this is just the beginning for Leisha,” said Leatherbury. “She’s done quite well in the program, and I expect she will be even more successful in the field.”
Evelyn Morales – Metro Technology Centers and SkillsUSA
THEN: The daughter of immigrants, Evelyn Morales said she wanted to demonstrate the true meaning of serving and protecting her community.
“I want to make a difference in the way justice is served,” she said.
The Northwest Classen High School junior enrolled in the law enforcement education program at Metro Technology Centers and joined SkillsUSA’s Crime Scene Investigation program. There, Morales learned how to find and lift fingerprints and solve crimes.
Morales said the Metro Tech program
- Helped her develop better communication skills.
- Allowed her to earn her unarmed security license and CPR certification.
- Taught her leadership skills.
Those leadership skills have come in handy in her job at Chick-Fil-A, where she said she was recently promoted to team leader.
The multi-talented high school student was also chosen to sing the national anthem at the opening ceremony of SkillsUSA’s national conference in Louisville, Kentucky.
NOW: Morales plans to finish high school this year, but her goals to serve and protect are just getting started. After graduation she plans to go to college and work as a detention officer. From there, she would like to work for the Oklahoma City Police Department, be a patrol officer and work in the K-9 unit.
“Power should not mean corruption,” she said. “As a Latina woman, I want to use strength and humility as a law enforcer.”
“I have matured during the CareerTech experience and learned to look at life in a more passionate way.”
Evelyn Morales, law enforcement student
Amanda London and Trinity Roe, 2020 practical nursing graduates from Pontotoc Technology Center in Ada, placed first in their category in HOSA International Leadership Conference competition with a service project to promote community awareness of meningitis.
Their project began with a presentation and expanded to include maroon ribbons, a video and a Facebook page. They placed second in state competition before advance to the international competition.
You can read more on.
Oklahoma CareerTech and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry announced new educational programs this week to help curb a workforce shortage in the meat processing industry.
The curriculum was designed to encourage more commodity processing within the state and help address the ever-growing labor shortage within meat processing plants across the state. It also helps to supply a skilled workforce to rural areas and processing plants across the state.
“This is an exciting day for the Oklahoma meat processing sector,” said Blayne Arthur, Oklahoma secretary of agriculture. “I am very proud to be here especially because this solves problems across the board. A lot of times, we just address one piece of something but this provides a solution to both our producers and consumers.”
Central Technology Center plans to offer multilevel, customizable, online courses to provide students with the certification that aligns with the American Meat Science Association while still supporting industry need. It will provide workforce development and training within a timely manner.
Marcie Mack, state director of CareerTech, explained at the announcement event how CareerTech began the process of offering these courses by meeting with an industry panel to determine the specific criteria and credentials they are needing in their workforce.
“Right now, we have the new opportunity for individuals to enroll on our website in three meat certification programs,” she said. “The initial phase will be online to help students get their foot in the door. Eventually, we will move to in-person classes for courses such as carcass harvesting.”
You can find more information about the courses on the CareerTech website.
Gordon Cooper Technology Center has built the Marty Lewis Public Safety Training Facility at the south end of its campus. It is named after a former superintendent.
The $5 million facility will house training for area high school students and working law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs and paramedics.
You can read more on the.
Skyler Riggle – Gordon Cooper Technology Center
Small town graduate has big plans for his future.
THEN: He came from a long line of veterans and dreamed of attending the U.S. Naval Academy. Asher High School sophomore Skyler Riggle enrolled in Gordon Cooper Technology Center’s pre-engineering academy, where he had the opportunity to explore and investigate engineering careers. As well as tackling hands-on college prep activities in mathematics and science, Skyler also
- Competed with the school’s robotics team.
- Was chosen as one of only 300 students in the country to receive the prestigious Gates Scholarship.
- Received a conditional offer to the U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory School.
- Received the valedictorian scholarship from the University of Oklahoma.
NOW: Once he’s been officially accepted to the USNA, Skyler will have to choose between OU and USNA Preparatory School, where he would complete a 10-month course to prepare for the Naval Academy.
Skyler’s principal and counselor Shawna Magby said Skyler was not your typical high school student.
“He’s very diligent, responsible and self-motivated,” she said.
Working remotely and having adjusted work environments to fight COVID-19 doesn’t mean Oklahoma CareerTech’s delivery arms have stopped offering services.
Like the state’s preK-12th grade public schools, CareerTech’s statewide network of technology centers has entered the world of distance learning for its secondary and postsecondary students. The tech centers are continuing to provide education — including classes and assignments — through web-based technology and, if needed, paper packets.
An auto collision and refinishing instructor at Metro Technology Centers in Oklahoma City is allowing students to see what he is working on with live feeds from his shop at his home. A diesel technology instructor at Gordon Cooper Technology Center in Shawnee is creating videos of repairs he is doing in his own shop in addition to having Zoom meetings, assignments and quizzes.
“The good from this is finding yet another way to teach,” said Ed Jolly of Gordon Cooper Tech.
A service careers instructor at Canadian Valley Technology Center’s El Reno campus has created YouTube instructional videos and is giving his students assignments based on each video’s information. Some are hands-on, like mowing lawns or using certain landscape tools, said instructor Jayson Floyd, and others are written.
Some of his students, however, do not have internet access, he said.
“For those students, I will be calling them three times a week and directing them to a hands-on activity they can perform within their house that is related to what I teach,” he said.
ODCTE is posting tech centers’ distance learning plans at okcareer.tech/Techplans. Students can contact their technology centers to receive information about the tech center’s distance learning plans and requirements.
In addition, the technology centers continue to offer training to Oklahoma business and industry clients when possible. Businesses with workforce training needs can contact their local technology centers to explore distance learning options.
To help support career and technology educators across the state, the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education has instructional resources, okcareer.tech/CTinstruct, and guidance on financial, educational and other issues as well at okcareer.tech/CTFAQs.
“Oklahoma CareerTech is here to support our stakeholders, and we will make it through this situation together while continuing to provide education that meets the needs of our students and our state,” said Marcie Mack, ODCTE state director.
The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 58 campuses, 394 K-12 school districts, 16 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities and 32 adult basic education service providers.
The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.
Dean Baker – Francis Tuttle Technology Center
It’s man over machine in this high-tech classroom.
Dean Baker didn’t want to teach the way he’d been taught. The manufacturing-machining technology instructor at Francis Tuttle Technology Center said his instructor gave his students a blueprint and said, “Please write.” The students wrote code, and the instructor made corrections where they were needed.
That was 40 years ago, and today the self-proclaimed G-code guy is teaching his students to write similar G-codes that manipulate machines to perform tasks. But today’s students are working with a high-tech machine powered by the Siemens SINUMERIK 828D control, which is giving his students game-changing skills that employers seek.
The 828D has a conversational feature that teaches students what is happening behind the machines when they push a button. Conversational computer numerical control machines have come about as a result of a shortage of workers qualified to write code.
Baker serves on the SkillsUSA board of directors, and the forward-thinking instructor was recently highlighted in Technical Education Post, a journal for technical, technology and STEM education.
At Francis Tuttle, Dean stresses three things with his students:
- Safety – the most important lesson he teaches.
- Being mindful of others and their surroundings.
Dean said he borrowed his philosophy of teaching from Albert Einstein, who said, “Education is not the learning of facts. It’s rather the training of the mind to think.”
Oklahoma’s Career and Technology Education System is focused on developing a world-class workforce. This comprehensive system delivers educational experiences through 394 PK-12 school districts, 29 technology center districts, 16 Skills Centers sites and 32 adult basic education providers and to more than 6,900 businesses.