Path Home News Director's Weekly Memo 2013 Monday Memo 2013-10-07
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Monday Memo 2013-10-07

Community tours start this week; manufacturing experiencing - a rebirth in Oklahoma; United Way – get involved!; performance measures committee advances work; continued work on the Metro Tech trail; Meridian Tech to hold an open house; future doctors of rural Oklahoma; Oklahoma is a designated creativity state; teacher shortage issue being considered; and my schedule for the week.
Monday Memo 2013-10-07

VF Jeanswear Distribution Center, Seminole, is one of many manufacturers that recognize the value of Oklahoma's CareerTech System.

"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself." – Anna Quindlen

Community tours start this week

Our first community tour is Friday of this week. The event will involve meeting with key business leaders, Tech Center board members and administrators; visits to local businesses; a meeting with common school superintendents; and other related activities. This is the first of 29 such visits over the next year or so.

Manufacturing experiencing a rebirth in Oklahoma

This was the news last week and is the latest in continuing improvements in the economy. This bodes well for the work CareerTech does with youth and adults.

“Oklahoma has led the nation with the most rapidly growing manufacturing growth rate — a growth rate of 6.7 percent,” Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb said, according to an article in The Oklahoman. This growth has brought manufacturing to 12 percent of the state’s economic output.

The great news is manufacturers across Oklahoma recognize the value CareerTech brings to the rebirth. In the same article, Loren Plotkin, CEO of M-D Building Products, said, “In Oklahoma, we are fortunate to have a robust CareerTech system to train workers to operate state-of-the-art systems used in today’s manufacturing processes.”

United Way – get involved!

United Way makes a difference in our community. United Way is a tradition at the Oklahoma Department of CareerTech. I look forward to everyone in the agency and around the state engaging in the great work of United Way. Stay tuned for fun activities, announcements and pledge cards. Give generously!

Performance measures committee advances work

The field-based performance measures committee wrapped up several major recommendations last week during meetings. Their work will be incorporated into the CareerTech business plan and will drive some portions of our legislative agenda. Tom Stiles, who retired this past week, has led this group to complete some great work. Stay tuned for the details in the business plan.

Continued work on the Metro Tech trail

Jack Staats and members of his team are traveling next week to visit sites where agricultural education is located within tech centers. This trip is in advance of continued work to resolve concerns and assure the Metro Tech program is successful individually and contributes to the overall health of agricultural education statewide.

The team also held conference calls with key legislators. They are raising legitimate concerns that are being addressed in a formal memorandum of understanding, through possible changes in
administrative rule and through a possible task force to help ensure the future vitality of agricultural education and FFA.

Meridian Tech to hold an open house

In celebration of Careers in Construction Month, Meridian Technology Center will host an open house Oct. 17 for its new Construction Trades Building. The event takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., with a dedication at 11 am. Guests will have an opportunity to visit with instructors about their programs, hear from students about why they love their classes and tour the facility. For more information, call 405-377-3333. (contributed by Paula B. Bowles)

Future doctors of rural Oklahoma

This week on “Oklahoma Horizon,” we look at how Oklahoma FFA is working with the OSU Center for Health Services to attract young people into rural medical care. Horizon airs statewide at 3 p.m. Sunday on OETA. (contributed by Karen Hart)

Oklahoma is a designated creativity state

Creative Oklahoma sponsors several awards for innovation, inspiration and creativity with deadlines in October. The Love’s Creative SPARKS! Award recognizes students who use their imagination to envision a more creative learning environment.

The Oklahoma Innovation Prize awards great ideas and creative initiatives that address improvement in quality of life issues in one’s community, state, nation or world. The Great Inspirations award recognizes past and current Oklahomans’ creative endeavors, solutions and/or activities as both a stimulus and an example for other organizations, including schools. The deadline for all three awards is Oct. 18, and prizes are substantial. For more information, visit

Teacher shortage issue being considered

The Oklahoma Education Workforce Shortage Task Force recently met to discuss workforce shortage concerns and address the problem of recruiting and retaining the best teachers in the present economy.

“The most important factor in a child’s education is having a highly effective teacher in the classroom,” said State Superintendent Janet Barresi, “and yet we are facing a critical shortage of classroom teachers in our state.” Oklahoma's average teacher salary, $44,343, ranks 47th in the nation, while starting teacher salaries, $31,600, rank 41st.

A comparison of surrounding states shows Texas pays starting teachers $34,234 and an average salary of $48,638; Arkansas pays starting teachers $32,478 and an average salary of $46,500; Kansas pays starting teachers $32,964 and an average salary of $46,598; and New Mexico pays starting teachers $32,092 and an average salary of $46,888.

Schedule for the week

This schedule is subject to change without notice:


Meeting with Chancellor Johnson and Superintendent Barresi
Meeting with Steve Hendrickson
Conference call with legislators
Meeting with President Hargis
United Way Kickoff
Meeting with Ben Robinson
Meeting with Dan Hunter
CEO meeting planning conference call


Meeting with Carl Edwards
Opening remarks for Governing Magazine Event (OKC)
Policy committee meeting – governor’s office
Meeting at Board of Regents
Oklahoma Manufacturer’s Alliance conference


Governor’s Energy Conference panel discussion
Conference call with legislators
Meeting with Brian Paschal and Chris Benge (Tulsa Chamber)
Meeting with Dave Stewart


Conference call with Superintendent Barresi
Meeting with David Littlefield
Industry credential meeting
Meeting with Scott Jenkins, Western Governor’s University
Meeting with Senators Halligan and Ford
OCTP board meeting presentation
Meeting with Yale School District Board


Enid Community Tour (Autry Tech Center)

See you around!

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