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Director's Weekly Memo 2017-2-20

CareerTech Champion: Jason Burks - Broken Arrow High School BPA; Kiamichi Tech honors Okie Drilling; CareerTech grad speaks to Leadership Oklahoma; Good Day for ag ed, FFA and CareerTech; What’s new with ACT WorkKeys?; CareerTech events; and useful links.

CareerTech Champion: Jason Burks - Broken Arrow High School BPA

Jason Burks
Jason Burks
THEN: A high school student with big dreams of owning his own filmmaking business. Jason Burks says it all started with his computer technology class at Broken Arrow High School. Through that class he competed in Business Professionals of America events and discovered he had a special talent. At just 17 years old, he started his own film company. One of his goals was (and still is) to be as good at marketing and sales as he was at filmmaking. He says BPA

  • Gave him an understanding of marketing objectives.
  • Taught him how to deal with customers in a professional manner.
  • Taught him how to take notes so he could communicate his ideas in an effective way.

NOW: At 32 years old, Jason is one of the youngest film directors and cinematographers in the business. His company takes him all over the world, competing with top companies in Los Angeles and New York while taking advantage of Oklahoma’s much lower cost of living.

“[BPA] showed me a way that I could start developing a skill set and a career that didn’t end when I graduated high school. It gave me a lot more purpose, it gave me a passion, and I was excited.”

Jason Burks


Kiamichi Tech honors Okie Drilling

Kiamichi Technology Centers named Okie Drilling of Stigler, owned by Bill and Susan White, as its 2017 Partner for Progress.

Okie Drilling began in January 2003 with three employees and one drilling machine. It now employs 32 people and has a fleet of 26 drills servicing 42 quarries. Okie Drilling’s service area includes Arkansas, Texas, Missouri and Kansas, in addition to Oklahoma.

The Whites attribute the company’s growth and success to their employees’ dedication to customer service and their commitment to workplace safety. The company originally started working with KTC for miner safety training. KTC’s Stigler campus continues to provide the company annual miner safety training, along with general safety and CPR and first aid training.

In addition, Susan White has volunteered at KTC Stigler, and the Whites’ two sons have both been students at the technology center.

Okie Drilling was honored at an Oklahoma Association of Technology Centers luncheon at the Oklahoma History Center.


CareerTech grad speaks to Leadership Oklahoma

Tim Long
Tim Long, Moore Norman Technology Center pre-engineering graduate and now lead laboratory engineer II at GE Global Research, spoke at the Spring Issues Summit of Leadership Oklahoma.
Tim Long, Moore Norman Technology Center pre-engineering graduate and now lead laboratory engineer II at GE Global Research, spoke at the Spring Issues Summit of Leadership Oklahoma.

Long was one of three speakers. He spoke about how MNTC’s pre-engineering program helped prepare him for his career. The group also heard from representatives of K-12 and higher education.

Long said he uses the technology he used and information he learned at Moore Norman every day in his job at GE.

“Every day when I went to school, there was a goal, there were these objectives that I could see, that I could understand and realize,” he said. “It wasn’t just going to math class and, ‘OK, what information am I going to memorize and regurgitate a week later on a test?’ It was, ‘OK, I’m going to learn something, and in two weeks I’m going to have to build a functional device that sorts marbles, so I’d better pay attention.’”


Good day for ag ed, FFA and CareerTech

Ag ed, FFA and CareerTech
From left, Kendall Brashears, Oklahoma FFA Foundation executive director; Randy and Suzanne Gilbert, Gilbert and Sons Trucking Co.; and Kurt Murray, Oklahoma CareerTech ag ed program specialist and state FFA alumni adviser.
The Sirloin Club of Oklahoma made it official this week during the annual Oklahoma Youth Expo’s Kick-Off Banquet and Chalice Auction at the Cowboy Hall and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

Kendall Brashears, FFA Foundation executive director, and Kurt Murray, southwest district program specialist and state FFA alumni adviser, agricultural education, Oklahoma Department of CareerTech, were officially inducted as the 2017 Show Honorees.

Only one or two people are singled out each year for their tremendous support, involvement and advancement of the Oklahoma Youth Expo over time. An impressive list of former honorees dates back decades. The former honorees select the current recipients.

Gilbert & Sons Trucking Co. was recognized as this year’s corporate honoree by receiving the prestigious 2017 President’s Award. Randy Gilbert serves as the chairman of the Oklahoma FFA Foundation and is also a member of the State Board of Career and Technology Education. Suzanne Gilbert is a past chairman of the Oklahoma FFA Foundation and a current board member.

Congratulations Kurt, Kendall, Randy and Suzanne for receiving these honors. It is well-deserved recognition for individuals who continue to make a difference in Oklahoma CareerTech.


What’s new with ACT WorkKeys?

For more than 10 years, Oklahoma CareerTech has helped Oklahoma high school students and adults learn their strengths and weaknesses and earn Career Readiness Certificates through the ACT WorkKeys job assessment system.

ACT has been the authority in job skills assessments and training for more than 20 years. ACT measures the real world skills individuals and businesses need to succeed and has analyzed more than 20,000 jobs to help employers and individuals benchmark, remediate, assess and certify the skills essential to workplace success.

Now the company is making the WorkKeys system even better.

The ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate assessments and credential will be updated to ensure ongoing relevance and alignment to the changing skill requirements of today’s jobs. The assessments will be delivered on a new modernized delivery platform that offers improved stability, security and a better user experience. ACT is prioritizing development based on maximum potential for national and international impact and will phase out some assessments over the next two years.

Starting in June, ACT WorkKeys NCRC assessments available will be Applied Math (formerly Applied Mathematics), Graphic Literacy (formerly Locating Information) and Workplace Documents (formerly Reading for Information).

The updated assessments will continue to measure the same core set of broadly relevant career readiness skills that have historically been measured by the NCRC assessments. The updated credential will continue to be a reliable signal of career readiness, trusted by job seekers, employers and educators around the globe.

For more information about WorkKeys and the NCRC in Oklahoma, visit



CareerTech events

TechCAP VIII, Feb. 23

Oklahoma Nontraditional Student Institute - Edmond, Feb. 24

OK Career Guide Training, Feb. 24

Teacher Institute 2016-2017 Cohort, Feb. 24

For Counselors Only Conference, March 2


Useful links

Oklahoma Horizon Schedule

Follow us on Twitter at @okcareertech and find us on Facebook at OKCareerTech and on Instagram at oklahomacareertech.

For news about Oklahoma’s CareerTech System, subscribe to CareerTech communications.

State Agency Assistance at a Glance

National Center for Research in Career and Technical Education

Adult Basic Education Foundations newsletters

Oklahoma Works

OK Career Guide

CareerTech Curriculum

Your idea is only an idea unless you do something with it. – Kristen Sundberg
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