Path Home News Director's Weekly Memo 2014 Monday Memo 2014-02-10
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Monday Memo 2014-02-10

Reminder to follow on Twitter; agency reorganization moving forward; updates from new divisions: Partnerships, Workforce Recovery and Customized Services; Career Preparation; Curriculum, Assessment and Digital Delivery; Career Development, Readiness and Academics; Finance; Innovation, Research and Quality; and Communications and Marketing Division. Also, how technology centers can assist high schools with their A-F report card grades; course change in education; education in Oklahoma; State Chamber of Commerce focuses on education; CareerTech CFO honored; CareerTech Education Month; and my schedule for the week.
Monday Memo 2014-02-10

SnapOn CEO Nick Pinchuk

Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat." – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reminder to follow on Twitter

Just a reminder you can follow me on Twitter at @rdsommers. I look forward to having you follow the daily information as well as the Monday Memo.

Agency reorganization moving forward

We are in full transformation mode at the agency. The process isn’t simple, but the staff is up to the challenge. The transformation involves a shift in culture, changes in reporting structures, freedom to innovate at all levels and an intense focus on results. We appreciate the field’s patience as we make these transitions. Here are a series of updates from the various new divisions.

Partnerships, Workforce Recovery and Customized Services

The Partnerships, Workforce Recovery and Customized Services Division is focused on maximizing the effectiveness of internal and external system partnerships. This team’s primary mission is to develop and grow these relationships in a way that continually improves our system’s ability to meet the needs of business and of students.

Within this division, there are three cross-functional work groups. Education Partnerships and Customized Services is committed to working with our system and external education partners such as technology centers, comprehensive schools, state and federal departments of education and higher education.

Government and Economic Development is dedicated to working to develop and grow relationships with large industry partners that have needs that span multiple technology center districts; leading system partnerships with government agencies in the area of workforce and economic development; and maximizing our system’s support of Oklahoma’s primary ecosystems throughout the state.

Our Workforce Recovery team is working with multiple partners and through direct services to support students with basic education and technical training in a variety of programs that serve at-risk youth and adults.

In addition to these teams, the Oklahoma Bid Assistance Network continues to work throughout our system in support of our state’s ability to identify and capture federal contract revenue.

Career Preparation

The Career Preparation Division is focusing on industry credentials that employers will use to determine that students possess characteristics identified as necessary for success in the workplace.

The division will place its major focus on those certifications that are required for entrance into a specific occupation and those that can be identified as wealth generators. These credentials will identify individuals who have gained advanced skills within specific occupations.

The division will use a national database to identify worker attributes, job characteristics and industry certifications.

Curriculum, Assessment and Digital Delivery

The Curriculum, Assessment and Digital Delivery Division will ensure the availability of industry-driven standards, curriculum and assessments for CareerTech programs. New areas of focus will include increasing the number of industry certifications acquired by students; measuring skills such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity; and establishing a statewide digital delivery system that complements traditional delivery efforts.

Career Development, Readiness and Academics

The Career Development, Career Readiness and Academic team will be responsible for the following purposes: career development, career readiness, work and family studies and academic enhancement. This division will also be responsible for the student services process.

Career Development: The Career Development team is developing specifications for a statewide online career development tool, serving kindergarten through adult students. The team is beginning the process of developing career development pilot site implementation and requests for proposals. The Career Development Focus Team is meeting Feb. 10 to discuss elementary, middle school/high school and postsecondary/workforce/business and industry career development system requirements.

Career Readiness and Work and Family Studies: Includes working with programs on critical thinking, creativity and collaborations (the three Cs). Career readiness will encompass the majority of secondary programs, several technology center programs and CareerTech student organizations. The Career Readiness and Work and Family Studies team is defining market share and expansion options in addition to analyzing process improvement opportunities.

Many Oklahoma CareerTech students will be competing in CTSO career development/leadership events in the next couple of months.

Academics: Academic team initiatives include Career Readiness Certificates (WorkKeys), High Schools That Work, Technology Centers That Work and academic improvement throughout all our programs. This team will benchmark CRCs, remediation and HSTW/TCTW data.


The Financial Division, also known as Administrative Services, added the regulatory oversight process. Initially this involves only the office of civil rights compliance. This responsibility requires coordinating a compliance program to prevent, identify and remedy discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age by any entity providing vocational education and receiving federal funds through the U.S. Department of Education as per regulations in federal statutes. Information Management has moved to the Division of Innovation, Quality and Research. Processes now under the Financial Division are finance; facilities, logistics, safety and security; and regulatory oversight.

Innovation, Research and Quality

The Innovation Research and Quality Division is working to refine processes in areas such as human resources, strategic planning, system quality, information management, technology support, innovation, research and professional development. The division is working to deploy a project management system, install a substantial upgrade/renovation to the information management system and realign accreditation with the Baldrige criteria. Professional development continues to go strong, and the division is ready to respond to customers’ needs.

Communications and Marketing Division

The Communications and Marketing Division, including Creative Services, Marketing and Horizon staff members, will be focusing on two strategic processes – marketing and customer and stakeholder focus. The division is researching Baldrige concepts on customer and stakeholder satisfaction. The division will also implement ways to increase brand awareness and acceptance, which will produce greater efficiency. The team supports major purposes and initiatives and is involved in updating several marketing tools, including those for science, technology, engineering and mathematics; CareerTech student organizations; and Career Readiness Certificates. Staff members are also working closely with the new Workforce Recovery and Advancement Division to explain its purpose and promote successes. During the legislative session, the team, through our association, is sending CareerTech success stories, called Bright Spots, to legislators.

How technology centers can assist high schools with their A-F report card grades

Technology centers do not receive A-F report cards. There are several ways in which technology centers can help their partner high schools earn points for the high schools’ A-F report cards, however.

Option 1

Students who enroll in industry certification courses* at the tech center can earn one point for participation in advanced coursework if they earn a grade of D or better.


Students who enroll in industry certification courses* at the tech center can earn one point for performance in advanced coursework if they earn a grade of C or better.

Option 2
Students who enroll in career majors that are tied to a Cooperative Alliance Agreement can earn one point for participation in advanced coursework if they earn a grade of D or better.


Students who enroll in career majors that are tied to a Cooperative Alliance Agreement can earn one point for performance in advanced coursework if they earn a grade of C or better.

Option 3
Students who enroll in advanced placement courses at the tech center can earn one point for participation in advanced coursework if they earn a grade of D or better.


Students who enroll in advanced placement courses at the tech center can earn one point for performance in advanced coursework if they score a 3 or higher on the AP exam.

Course change in education

Job seekers need some type of technical certification and secondary or postsecondary degrees to establish careers. In the video “Nick Pinchuk - Growing a Highly Skilled Workforce,” Snap-On Inc. CEO Nick Pinchuk says ideas and hard work must go together if we are to be successful. Check out his presentation and responses to questions at

Education in Oklahoma

On the Feb. 16 edition of “Oklahoma Horizon,” state education leaders will address concerns about the implementation of the new Common Core standards in Oklahoma, and we’ll meet four women who have moved from poverty to prosperity, thanks to CareerTech’s Making It Work program. (contributed by Rob McClendon)

State Chamber of Commerce focuses on education

One of the new initiatives of the State Chamber is the Oklahoma Education Excellence Initiative. This organization is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to research and policy development to improve Oklahoma’s workforce. It has received initial funding and is beginning the process of hiring an executive director. The salary will be between $100,000 and $130,000 plus benefits. Please feel free to contact Jonathan Buxton at 405-272-4438, 405-313-4862 (cell) or

CareerTech CFO honored

Ora Morgan, chief financial officer at Autry Technology Center, was among 32 leaders in Oklahoma recently recognized by The Journal Record. Morgan was one of four CFOs in the state to receive the 2014 Financial Stewardship Award. Others were Mike Beckwith, Buy For Less; Doug Evans, Cherokee Nation Businesses; and Ken Stephens, Neighborhood Services Organization.

The ability to demonstrate leadership, think strategically and keep an eye on the bottom line are just some of the top qualities considered when companies are searching for the next leader to guide their businesses down the road of success.

These leadership characteristics are prevalent among the group selected to be honored at the fifth annual Oklahoma’s Most Admired CEOs event Feb. 6 at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City. The event was started in 2010 to recognize Oklahoma’s business and nonprofit leaders for their leadership and dedication to the community.

CareerTech Education Month

If you follow any of the technology centers on Twitter or like their Facebook pages, you’ve probably seen a lot of facts about CareerTech education recently. That’s because February is CareerTech Education Month, and one way the technology centers are spreading the word about what we all do is through social media. This year’s theme is “Celebrate CTE Superheroes.” During February, the technology centers hold open houses, plan special activities for students and try to tell as many people as possible about CareerTech.

If you have not liked the official CareerTech Facebook page or followed CareerTech on Twitter, please do – and invite your friends and followers as well. You can find CareerTech on Facebook at and on Twitter at (contributed by Paula Bowles)

Schedule for the week

This schedule is subject to change without notice:


Meeting with Rep. Casey
Senate confirmation hearing
Spirit Bank Ambassador Leadership Conference
Meeting with Sen. Jolley
Meeting with Rep. Inman
Meeting with Rep. Nolan
Meeting with Rep. Burrage
Governor’s reception


DECA Conference
General office work
Governor’s Initiative
Team Sirloin Club Banquet


Meeting with the chancellor, state superintendent and secretary of commerce
Meeting with Rep. Martin
Meeting with Rep. Mazzei
Meeting with the House Rural Caucus
Tech center superintendents’ meeting
State Chamber Legislative Reception
Tech center retirees’ banquet


Meeting with freshman legislators
Meeting with Senator Shaw
AAR tour
OkSPRA meeting
Education Day Leadership OKC


Meeting with comprehensive school superintendents
Meeting on educational performance data
General office work

See you around!

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