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Director's Weekly Memo 2015-7-13

Oklahoma TSA students cohost conference; Skills Centers tours continue; FCCLA members win, dance, raise money, get elected; standards available for review; military hiring event set for July 16 in Enid; top SBA administrator to speak at Oklahoma event; Oklahoma CareerTech Foundation golf tourney set; useful links and my schedule for the week.
Director's Weekly Memo 2015-7-13

Eleanor Roosevelt

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face ... You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Oklahoma TSA students cohost conference

More than 330 Oklahomans cohosted the Technology Student Association National Conference last week at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas.

Students demonstrated their STEM skills and knowledge during the 31 middle school and 35 high school competitions, attended leadership training, were recognized for involvement with and fundraising for the American Cancer Society, received other awards and met representatives of colleges and businesses from across the country.

Oklahoma was well-represented and brought home 37 finalists, including one first place in Chapter Team, three second places and four third places.

Visit the national conference website at for more about the event.

Skills Centers tours continue

I continued my tours of Skills Centers sites last week, with visits to Fort Supply and Granite. Students in Fort Supply Skills Center programs have the opportunity to learn construction trades and welding. At Granite Skills Center, students are enrolled in the welding program.

CareerTech instructors provide high-quality technical and employability skills that change lives. During the 2014-15 school year, the Skills Centers served 1,315 students. Training-related placement was 69.83 percent, and positive placement was 89.66 percent. The average wage of Skills Centers graduates was $12.29.

Skills Centers programs are more examples of CareerTech’s impact on workforce development. We are pleased to partner with the Department of Corrections to provide education and training.

FCCLA members win, dance, raise money, get elected

Oklahoma Family, Career and Community Leaders of America members brought home 86 gold, 60 silver and eight bronze medals from STAR Events at the FCCLA National Leadership Conference.

The Okay junior parliamentary team won its STAR Event with the highest score in all three divisions of parliamentary procedure. The Meridian Tech postsecondary culinary team and an early childhood education participant from Kiamichi Tech-McAlester also took first.

Keota FCCLA won the National Families Acting for Community Traffic Safety award, beating out more than 100 applications.

Gabriella Cutruzzula, Drummond, was elected as the national vice president of community service, and Karin Davis, an apparel design teacher from Tulsa Tech, was elected to the FCCLA national board of directors.

Dawn Lindsley received the Alumni Achievement Award, and Diana Watson-Maile received the Honorary Membership Award.

Oklahoma rocked the red on Capitol Hill at the FCCLA rally doing Michelle Obama's Gimme5Dance. The state officer team, with help from Timberlake FCCLA, visited with Sen. Jim Inhofe’s and Sen. James Lankford’s education staff and spoke with Rep. Markwayne Mullin and Rep. Frank Lucas. They also visited with staff from Rep. Tom Cole’s and Rep. Steve Russell’s offices and dropped off information to Rep. Jim Bridenstine’s office.

Oklahoma FCCLA members also raised $500 for a local food bank with a Miracle Minute at their first state meeting, which resulted in a pie in the face for Denise Morris, state FCCLA adviser.

Standards available for review

Drafts of new standards in English language arts and math have been posted at

The new standards were mandated last year by House Bill 3399. The measure tasked the Oklahoma State Department of Education — in collaboration with the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, the State Board of Career and Technology Education and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce — with developing ELA and math standards for implementation by the 2016-17 school year.

Posted with the current versions of the standards are online surveys. Your input is critical to this process as we work to develop academic standards for Oklahoma students.

Military hiring event set for July 16 in Enid

An Oklahoma Military Connection hiring event will be in Enid July 16.

The event is a state initiative sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education CareerTech for Vets program, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission and the Oklahoma National Guard Employment Coordination Program.

It will be from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. July 16 at Oakwood Mall. The entire event is open for U.S. military veterans, transitioning service members and Guard and Reserve members. The event will also open to the general public in the afternoon. It will be open to all job seekers from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

“We believe this will help our employers have even more talent to choose from,” said David Crow with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.

Participating employers will have jobs they are ready to fill and will be prepared to interview eligible applicants, said Amy Ewing-Holmstrom, CareerTech for Vets coordinator.

Registration at is required to ensure job-seekers are matched with career fields with the employers at the hiring event. The goal is to make sure those who attend are pre-matched to companies that are compatible with their skills, Ewing-Holmstrom said.

Top SBA administrator to speak at Oklahoma event

A top administrator in the U.S. Small Business Administration will speak at the ninth annual Indian Country Business Summit, which is produced by Oklahoma’s two procurement technical assistance centers, CareerTech’s Oklahoma Bid Assistance Network and the Tribal Government Institute.

The summit will be Aug. 25-26 at the Embassy Suites in Norman.

John Shoraka, associate administrator of government contracting and business development at the SBA, will bring the latest news on SBA programs for firms competing for government contracts as small businesses. Shoraka leads the federal agency’s division over programs that determine the small business size standards, provide assistance in government contracting and administer the HUBZone and the 8(a) Business Development programs.

Other speakers will be Donna Brino-Blackwell, small business specialist in the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime Office of Small Business Programs, and Steven Koprince, managing partner at Koprince Law LLC in Lawrence, Kansas.

ICBS will also feature speakers from local federal facilities and state and local purchasing offices, as well as experts in business topics and services key to government contracting.

As in previous years, the event includes vendor exhibits, a networking reception and a matchmaking event to allow participants to pitch their companies directly to government buyers, prime contractors and others.

Registration for ICBS is open. Sponsorship and exhibitor information and online registration are available at the event website,

Oklahoma CareerTech Foundation golf tourney set

• Aug. 2, LaFortune Park Golf Course, 5501 S. Yale, Tulsa.

• Four-person scramble; shotgun start at 8 a.m.

• Foundation provides teacher recruitment and retention scholarships.

• Cost: $90 per player, includes lunch, green fee, cart and two mulligans.

• Handicap: 50 required minimum per team; 25 max per player.

• Prizes: first place/flight, second place team/flight, hole in one, longest drive; flighted based on team participation; $5 per player split the pot (closest to the pin) contest.

• Sponsorships: $1,000 gold, four players; $600 silver, two players; $300 bronze.

• Information and registration:

Useful links

Oklahoma Horizon Schedule

For daily news about Oklahoma’s CareerTech System, follow us on Twitter at @okcareertech and find us on Facebook at OKCareerTech.

State Agency Assistance at a Glance

National Center for Research in Career and Technical Education

Lifelong Learning Foundations newsletters

Summer conference registration

CSI registration

CareerTech Foundation

CareerTech Hall of Fame

Schedule for the week 7-13:

This schedule is subject to change without notice:

Senior leadership

Employee reviews

Workforce partners

Skills Centers

NASDCTE conference call

Educational leaders luncheon


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