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Director's Weekly Memo 2017-3-6

Southwest Technology Center names American Gypsum as its Partner for Progress

Southwest Technology Center named American Gypsum its 2017 Partner for Progress.

In 2008, when American Gypsum needed additional training for its employees at its plant in Duke, the company entered a cooperative relationship with Southwest Technology Center. Plant expansions and modifications that resulted in increased production and staff in the last four years have increased the amount of training American Gypsum employees receive from Southwest Tech.

American Gypsum opened its plant in Duke in 1964 and now employs approximately 140 people. It hired 50 of those in the last two years; Southwest Tech has provided new employee orientation and safety training for most of these new employees.

Increased safety training from Southwest Tech has helped the plant go more than 600 days without a lost work day accident, said Peter Bauer, vice president of operations.

American Gypsum was honored at an Oklahoma Association of Technology Centers luncheon at the Oklahoma History Center.


BPA Members get jobs at annual State Leadership Conference

More than 2,100 students and advisers from across Oklahoma made their way to Tulsa this week for the annual Business Professionals of America State Leadership Conference, where some students actually obtained employment.

AT&T, Dell and Express Employment Professionals interviewed and hired students onsite during the trade show.

Mid-level, secondary and postsecondary students spent two days competing in more than 70 events, attending leadership workshops and taking educational tours across Tulsa. Students also had the opportunity to hear from keynote speaker Susan Bennett, the original voice of Apple’s Siri.

The mission of Business Professionals of America is to contribute to the preparation of a world-class workforce through the advancement of leadership, citizenship, academic and technological skills. Oklahoma BPA has 6,224 members, which puts it third nationally.

More than 200 business and industry judges, exhibitors, sponsors and partners assisted in the annual conference.


CareerTech Champion: Libby Parker – Canadian Valley Technology Center

Libby Parker
Libby Parker and instructor Corey Herndon
THEN: A high school cheerleader whose friends wanted her to go into cosmetology. Although Libby Parker wanted to be with her friends, an appendectomy changed her plans. She was having a CT scan when she discovered the world of nuclear medicine. The Piedmont High School senior chose biomedical sciences. She enrolled at Canadian Valley Technology Center in El Reno, where she is on her way to a career as a nuclear medicine technologist.

Libby has flourished in the biomedical sciences program and she has:

  • Gained biomedical skills and knowledge.
  • Been accepted into the high school early admission program at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
  • Tackled hands-on projects in anatomy, cell biology, genetics and disease research.

NOW: One of 60 students chosen from 300 applicants for OU’s biomedical program, Libby is guaranteed a spot when she becomes a college junior. Instructor Corey Herndon said Libby has “all the makings of a medical professional,” calling her “intelligent, intentional and diligent.” She will start college this fall as the first Oklahoma Sooner in a family of Oklahoma State Cowboys, once again blazing her own trail.


Military Transition Summit planned

Oklahoma CareerTech will join with partners Oklahoma Works, the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Army Soldier for Life Transition Assistance Program to present the Soldier for Life Transition Summit this month.

The event will be March 22 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Fort Sill in the Reimer Conference Center. It is an opportunity for businesses and state, regional and local partners to work together to develop methods to connect service members to careers as they transition out of the military.

Attendees will have the chance to hear from past and present military members and their dependents about the opportunities and challenges they experienced in making the transition from military to civilian careers. They will also hear from professionals who serve these individuals.

The summit is intended to help identify gaps in services and discover ways to fill those gaps to help military members.

Building the Pipeline: Soldier for Life Transition Summit, March 22, Reimer Conference Center at Snow Hall, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.


CareerTech Events

TechCAP VIII, March 20

U.S. First Robotics Regional, March 22

OK Career Guide training, Tulsa Tech-Broken Arrow, March 22

TechCAP VIII, March 23

OK Career Guide training, Tri County Tech, March 23


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

You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. - Eleanor Roosevelt


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