Category Archives: Technology Centers

CareerTech Champions

Samir Elneser – Metro Technology Centers and HOSA

This man’s wife didn’t need an X-ray to see her husband’s passion for health care.

THEN: A bachelor’s degree in business information systems guided him toward a career in marketing and retail, but when Samir Elneser was in his 40s, he was suddenly laid off and looking for a new job.

Elneser was born in the United States to immigrants from Colombia and Lebanon. The son of a doctor, he chose not to follow in his father’s footsteps. When the younger Elneser lost his job, however, his wife convinced him to reconsider the medical field. He took her advice, training as a nurse’s aide and going to work in a hospital. There he discovered he was more interested in the work being done by the radiologic technologists.

He found a full-time RT program at Metro Technology Centers. He joined HOSA, the CareerTech student organization affiliated with health careers education, winning gold medals at both state and international competitions. Elneser

  • Found his lifelong profession at Metro Tech.
  • Learned to take patient X-rays.
  • Received the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists radiography certification.

“Taking X-rays requires creating a high level of patient comfort through proper positioning and communication,” he said. “I also interact and engage with many different patients in a typical day, and I enjoy that diversity.”

NOW: A radiologic technologist at Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Center-Norman, OU Medicine and Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City. Elneser finished the program with 15 classmates he considers close friends.

 He said Metro Tech was invested in his success. Even when the program was challenging, Elneser said, he knew he had the support of his teachers.

“My teachers held me and my classmates accountable while instilling the confidence we needed to be the best.”

Samir Elneser, radiologic technologist

CareerTech Horizon Podcast: “Back In the Swing of Things”

Has the time come for you to transition back to your normal life? Does the uncertainty of going back to school or work amidst a pandemic give you stress and anxiety?

In this episode, CareerTech Horizon takes you inside one technology center to see how they navigated their reopening with a new program for students and plenty of guidelines to keep everyone safe.

  • At Tri County Tech in Bartlesville, we take a look at the newly revamped “Skills To Rebuild” program, designed to train students quickly for new careers in the areas hardest hit by the pandemic.
  • We sit down with Tri County Tech’s CEO and Superintendent Lindel Fields and ask about how the tech center approached the shutdown and the reopening, and what this means for the future of education.
  • Finally, we call up CareerTech’s own Dr. Steven Aragon, a cognitive psychologist who has some advice on how to navigate these uncertain times with your family.

You can follow CareerTech Horizon on Twitter @CT_Horizon, or Facebook.

You can also visit their website, cthorizon.org, for show notes, discussion and bonus content, “Beyond Your Horizon.”

Beyond Your Horizon: Learn more about today’s stories

Skills To Rebuild – Tri County Tech

Pandemic and Mental Health

Classic Horizon Stories

Oklahoma CareerTech Foundation, tech centers secure aviation education grants

The Oklahoma CareerTech Foundation and two technology centers were among 38 organizations that received Aerospace and Aviation Education Program grants or contracts totaling over $330,000 from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission.

The record amount of funding will be used to encourage more of Oklahoma’s students to enter STEM careers, particularly those in aerospace and aviation.

The CareerTech Foundation’s Oklahoma Education and Industry Partnership program received an education grant, along with Mid-Del Technology Center and Metro Technology Centers.

OEIP is a professional development program for teachers designed by the Oklahoma Career Tech Foundation to connect educators to industry to create a better-educated, trained workforce. At each of four OEIP sites located in technology centers across the state, teachers will have the opportunity to take industry tours and learn from business and industry leaders. Approximately 300 teachers are expected to participate in the program. OEIP was approved for a $10,000 grant.

Mid-Del Tech was approved for a $4,000 grant for its aircraft structures and heavy maintenance course, which is designed to teach students the skills needed for the aerospace workforce. The program will provide students with the resources needed to acquire work-ready skills in electricity, sheet metal and composites. Thirty students are expected to participate.

Metro Tech received grants for two programs: a mobile STEM lab and the ACE Camp program it operates with FAA Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center.

The mobile STEM lab was approved for a $10,000 grant. It will provide students in the Oklahoma City metro area the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities that will introduce them to flight, space and 3D engineering. Approximately 1,000 students are expected to participate.

ACE Camp, a week-long summer camp, will expose students to STEM curriculum and will allow them to participate in hands-on activities that will introduce the history of aviation, aviation safety and airport operations. Fifty students are expected to participate in the camp, which was approved for a $13,250 grant.

Grants are awarded for targeted learning programs that have a direct application to aerospace and aviation for primary through post-secondary education. The grant funds are part of the agency’s initiative to give more Oklahoma young people access to STEM careers in the aerospace and aviation industry.

The aerospace and aviation grant program has been awarding aviation education grants for more than 30 years. Charged with the mission by state statute, the commission fosters and encourages students to consider aerospace or aviation as a career. The commission’s grant program has years of positive results. The initiative supports the Oklahoma Works project that aims to address the skills gap and to connect students to programs that will help build the workforce of Oklahoma’s second largest industry.

Director of Aeronautics Victor Bird said aerospace supports 240,000 jobs with an average salary of $73,300 annually.

“After a two-year study concluded in 2017, we learned that the aviation and aerospace sector in Oklahoma supports $43.7 billion in annual statewide economic activity. A competent workforce, which includes the critical need for aerospace engineers, will be needed to sustain this industry,” Bird said.

The nationally recognized program enjoys a positive reputation as one of the most robust aviation education programs among state aviation agencies. Since FY2001, it has awarded more than $2.8 million in aerospace and aviation education grants.

CareerTech Champion

Joe Muchiri Wathika – Francis Tuttle Technology Center and BPA

Then: His classmates saw a shy young immigrant from Kenya with a heavy African accent that was difficult to understand. Joe Muchiri Wathika said he wanted to learn how to edit videos, so the Deer Creek High School student enrolled in Sherri Gleaves’ class at Francis Tuttle Technology Center. Wathika learned the ins and outs of broadcast and video production, but he said those skills aren’t the ones that changed his life.

Wathika described himself as a self-conscious, introverted teenager before he enrolled. He tried to withdraw into a shell, but his instructor continually challenged him to do more. He rose to Gleaves’ challenges and served as a chapter, state and even national president in Business Professionals of America, the CareerTech leadership organization for students in business, marketing and information technology education.

“Mrs. Gleaves helped me cultivate character and a sense of responsibility that continues to transform my life,” Wathika said.

In addition to self-confidence and positive character development, he said he gained public speaking skills and study habits that enabled him to

  • Receive the Chesapeake Scholarship to study economics at Oklahoma City University.
  • Receive the Gilman and Boren scholarships to study Chinese in Taiwan.
  • Hold multiple leadership positions in student government and lead the ethics debate team.

“Choosing to be involved in CareerTech was the most important and impactful decision I made in high school,” he said. Now: Wathika is a financial services representative at Oklahoma’s Credit Union. He said he uses the skills he learned from Gleaves’ class every day. He is able to clearly communicate to members, and as a result of Gleaves’ mentorship, Wathika has built a character based on integrity, humility and honesty.

“I definitely owe it all to the marvelous woman, Mrs. Gleaves! She was a universe, more than a teacher!”
Joe Muchiri Wathika, Oklahoma’s Credit Union

Putting Prison in the Rear View Mirror

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!

CareerTech Champions

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 herMahseet 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.”

 

CareerTech Champions

Evelyn Morales – Metro Technology Centers and SkillsUSA

THEN: The daughter of immigrants, Evelyn Morales said she wanted to demonstrate the Moralestrue 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

 

 

Pontotoc Tech Grads Become International HOSA Champions

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 The Ada News website.

OK CareerTech Partners to Meet Workforce Shortage In The Meat Processing Industry

Oklahoma CareerTech and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry announced new educational programs this week to help curb a workforce shortage in Meat Displaythe 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 Tech Builds Public Safety Training Center

Gordon Cooper Technology Center has built the Marty Lewis Public Safety Training GordonCooperFacility 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 Shawnee News-Star’s website.

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