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Jarrod Parks – Gordon Cooper Technology Center and SkillsUSA

Tulsa construction superintendent: “My wife works in a school that I built.”
Jarrod Parks – Gordon Cooper Technology Center and SkillsUSA

Jarrod Parks is a construction superintendent for Crossland Construction in Tulsa.

THEN: A Seminole High School student who lost interest in sports and found himself with time to fill. When Jarrod Parks decided to enroll in Gordon Cooper Technology Center’s residential and commercial carpentry program, he thought he wanted to be an architect. He soon learned that the bulk of an architect’s day is spent in front of a computer and decided that wasn’t for him. Jarrod wanted to build something with his hands. And he did, competing in the individual carpentry event at both the state and national SkillsUSA contests. After graduating from Seminole and Gordon Cooper, he enrolled in a two-year construction program at OSU-Okmulgee.

Jarrod said he never had to look for a job after graduation. Crossland Construction came to the university and interviewed students for an internship program, and Jarrod was one of three students selected for the position.

“I graduated on a Friday and started work full-time on a Monday,” he said.

Jarrod said he had an advantage over many of his peers at OSU, because of his background at Gordon Cooper. Before he started college, he had already:

  • Learned basic construction terms, including the names of materials and their uses.
  • Learned how to read a tape measure.
  • Learned basic construction techniques such as general construction framing and how to square a large-scale project.
  • Received guidance on building a resume and interviewing.

NOW: He recently finished his fifth year with Crossland Construction, and the 25-year-old construction superintendent says he’s bringing home about $70,000 a year, plus perks, bonuses and even a retirement matching program. Jarrod loves seeing his work around Tulsa, where he has remodeled five grocery stores. He is the contractor on-site for a $5.5 million addition for a Tulsa school, and four of the classrooms he is building are in a FEMA-rated tornado shelter.

“If I’d gone into architecture,” he said, “I’d definitely be looking for a change now. And I’d have a lot more college student loans.”


“My instructor, Jodie Eiland, didn’t just teach us how to do it. He taught us how to fall in love with it.”  Jarrod Parks


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