The CareerTech Skills Centers School System is a division of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. Skills Centers specialize in the delivery of career and technology education to inmates under the supervision of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections and juveniles under the supervision of the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs. The Skills Centers division is also responsible for the state’s secondary dropout recovery initiatives.
The(CTSC) began operations in February of 1971 as the Inmate Training division of the Oklahoma Department of Vocational and Technical Education, now the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.
During our 40+ years of serving incarcerated offenders in Oklahoma, Skills Centers have evolved from a division with a few occupational training programs to a large school system with a multitude of programs and services for both adult and juvenile offenders. The school system began at the Jim E. Hamilton CareerTech Skills Center inside the Jim E. Hamilton (formerly Ouachita) Correctional Center in Hodgen, Okla. Today, the CTSC offers services in state correctional facilities, juvenile detention facilities and community correctional facilities.
A successful transition from corrections to the workplace can mean a life of success for ex-offenders. To prepare offenders for successful transition, career technical education, employability and life skills are integrated into this educational delivery system. Skills centers students may seek certifications recognized by both state and national industries. Career Readiness Credentials (CRC) may be secured documenting work readiness skills many business and industry employers seek. The CTSC provides students with numerous interconnected and integrated components, each an integral part of preparing offenders for success in the workplace and in society.
The CTSC works in conjunction with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) and Oklahoma Correctional Industries (OCI) to offer three U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, registered apprenticeship programs for offenders. These programs are each three-to-four years in length and are in the areas of meat-cutting, commercial food preparation and cabinet building.
In 1996, the CTSC entered into an agreement with the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA) to provide training to juvenile offenders detained in Oklahoma facilities. The CTSC and OJA have partnered with the Associated General Contractors (AGC). The AGC, through its member contractors, also assists the CTSC in development of appropriate curriculum and learning activities.
The intent of this division of CareerTech is to continue to evolve as business and industry changes. The goal is to provide educational services that will cause skills centers students to seek and find success in the workplace and in society.