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Director's Weekly Memo 2017-5-22

Indian Capital Technology Center names Georgia Pacific/Muskogee Mill as Partner for Progress; CareerTech Champion: Tanner Weston – SkillsUSA – Mid-America Technology Center; Canadian Valley single mom overcomes odds; CTSO state contests results on CareerTech website; Summer Conference registration is open; CareerTech events; and useful links.

Indian Capital Technology Center names Georgia Pacific/Muskogee Mill as Partner for Progress

Indian Capital Technology Center named Georgia Pacific’s Muskogee Mill as its 2017 Partner for Progress.

The tech center works with Georgia Pacific to provide training for employees in welding, machining, industrial maintenance and computers. ICTC classes will meet existing needs and projected demand for training and help Georgia Pacific improve performance and quality at Muskogee Mill.

Employees at the mill make bath tissue, paper towels and napkins for both retail and away-from-home markets, include consumer brands like Sparkle and Mardi Gras.

Georgia Pacific employs more than 800 people at Muskogee Mill, making it the largest private employer in the city, and the 800-plus jobs create an additional 2,700 jobs indirectly. Total annual compensation at the mill is approximately $74 million. Georgia Pacific has approved investments of more than $90 million to improve all aspects of its operations at Muskogee Mill in the last two years.


CareerTech Champion: Tanner Weston – SkillsUSA – Mid-America Technology Center

Tanner Weston
Tanner Weston
THEN: A high school junior who had no idea what he wanted to do after graduation. Tanner Weston tossed around a few career options for his future before deciding to work instead on his back-up plan. Both his friend and his cousin had taken residential carpentry classes at Mid-America Technology Center. After hearing about their experiences in SkillsUSA, Tanner signed up.

He wasn’t sold on carpentry as a career, but he knew he could use those skills to help finance his future college expenses. He said he didn’t know what a framing stud was when he entered the carpentry program, but now he can install drywall.

At Lexington High School Tanner was already an FFA member, but he joined SkillsUSA at Mid-America, becoming a state and then a national officer. Through his carpentry classes, FFA and SkillsUSA, he graduated high school with:

  • A national Career Readiness Certificate at the silver level.
  • Leadership and teamwork skills.
  • An ability to relate to and get along with everyone from welders to pre-engineering students.
  • Residential carpentry skills.

Tanner says much of his success is due to his SkillsUSA adviser, Jeff Herndon, who truly cares about people.

“Mr. Herndon is a fantastic individual,” he said. “I’ve never met anyone who cares that much.”

NOW: Region Four vice president of SkillsUSA and an incoming freshman at Oklahoma State University, majoring in agricultural economics/pre-law. He plans to apply to law school after getting his bachelor’s degree, although he says with his new construction skills he might also consider a career as a construction foreman. Tanner has political aspirations, hoping to someday run for governor or state representative.


Canadian Valley single mom overcomes odds

Mandii Brower
Mandii Brower
Mandii Brower turned the darkest days of her life into an inspiring story of sacrifice and transformation and was honored at Making It Work Day at the Capitol this year. To hear more of her story, go to

For more about Making It Work Day at the Capitol, go to CareerTech - Making It Work.


CTSO state contests results on CareerTech website

Oklahoma CareerTech student organization members competed in many contests at their state conferences this spring. For a list of winners, go to


Summer Conference registration is open

Registration for the 50th annual Oklahoma CareerTech Summer conference is open at

The conference will be Aug. 1-2 at the Oklahoma City Cox Convention Center. For more information, visit


CareerTech events

FACS May Professional Development, May 23

TSA Summer Leadership Experience, May 24

Teacher Institute 2016-2017 Cohort, June 5

FCCLA District Officer Training, June 7

Teacher Institute 2016-2017 Cohort, June 12


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

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