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Director's Weekly Memo 2017-4-17

Pioneer Tech names Head Country as Partner for Progress; Digital curriculum files to be available; National FFA scholarship recipients announced; CareerTech Champion: Kalli Watkins – Eddie Warrior Skills Center; CareerTech events; and useful links.

Pioneer Tech names Head Country as Partner for Progress

Pioneer Technology Center named Head Country its 2017 Partner for Progress.

Pioneer Tech personnel routinely share information with Head Country, which is located across the street from the technology center, about training programs and services and local and state services available to the company. Head Country then matches its service and training needs with Pioneer Tech programs.

Pioneer Tech has helped Head Country meet auditing requirements for food and employee safety and helped the company improve its building layout, traffic flow and warehouse storage through a space utilization project suggested by the manufacturing extension agent at the tech center. Pioneer Tech also provided training to Head Country in lean manufacturing, lifting, hearing evaluation, forklift operation and other areas.

The Oklahoma Bid Assistance Network coordinator at Pioneer Tech helped Head Country submit a bid and win a contract from the University of Oklahoma. Head Country products can now be found all over the OU campus.

Head Country was honored at an Oklahoma Association of Technology Centers luncheon at the Oklahoma History Center.


Digital curriculum files to be available

Digital curriculum files in PDF, Word and PowerPoint formats will soon be available to purchase for integration within a school’s existing learning management system. The files for select CIMC titles will be available under an annual or a multiyear license, allowing schools to add CIMC content to their online courses in nonprint form.

Contact the CIMC manager for details at


National FFA scholarship recipients announced

Ninety Oklahoma FFA members have received a total of $106,000 in National FFA Foundation scholarships, according to the list of 2017 recipients just released by the National FFA Organization. The list of recipients can be found at

This year, 115 sponsors provided more than $2.7 million in scholarships. National FFA received more than 8,300 applications and awarded 1,883 scholarships to assist students in their postsecondary education.


CareerTech Champion: Kalli Watkins – Eddie Warrior Skills Center

Kalli WatkinsTHEN: An alcoholic, sentenced to Tulsa Drug Court. Unfortunately, drug court led Kalli Watkins to trade one addiction for another. She entered a relationship with a meth user in the group and went from working as an accountant at a rental car company to serving jail time for a series of drug-related crimes.

The Cherokee Nation native spent nearly three years in Eddie Warrior Correctional Center. Determined to better herself before she got out, she says she begged her way in to the Skills Center’s transportation, distribution and logistics program. According to Kalli, the TDL instructors there not only believed in the program, but in the students themselves.

Kalli said finding a job is tough for ex-offenders, adding, “Employers want proof that you’ve changed, and when you’re first coming out of prison there’s no way to offer that.”

Steve Evans and the rest of the Skills Center staff at Eddie Warrior helped Kalli move beyond her past by:

  • Helping her get her TDL certification.
  • Providing information on job leads she could pursue when she was released.
  • Helping her polish her resume, putting a positive spin on her time away from the workforce.
  • Instilling in her a strong work ethic, through early morning classes and training.

NOW: Kalli works at the Cherokee Nation’s Career Services office in Tulsa, drawing on experiences from her past to mentor and counsel women with similar backgrounds. She was cleared by the OSU Board of Student Conduct and allowed re-admittance to OSU-Tulsa, where she is taking classes.

Kalli’s boss, Daryl Legg, said he has no regrets about hiring Kalli.

“She’s done a bang-up job for us. We’re proud of her,” he said.

Daryl is a self-proclaimed champion for the CareerTech System, saying, “I wish the state had a larger budget for DOC, and I hope the Skills Centers programs never get cut.”

“Sometimes people just need people to believe in them.”
Kalli Watkins, Cherokee Nation’s Career Services


CareerTech events

Teacher Institute 2016-2017 Cohort, April 20

FCCLA Joint Executive Council Meeting, April 24

2017 Job Placement Conference, April 28

Oklahoma Nontraditional Student Institute Professional Learning Community, May 4

Carl Perkins Application Training, May 8


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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