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Director's Weekly Memo 2017-6-19

Gordon Cooper Technology Center names Grissoms John Deere as Partner for Progress

Gordon Cooper Technology Center named Grissoms John Deere as its 2017 Partner for Progress. Grissoms has supplied John Deere equipment to Gordon Cooper Tech for training and safety classes along with student recruitment events at the tech center, while the tech center has provided trained technicians and business training services to Grissoms.

Grissoms has five locations in central and eastern Oklahoma, including Shawnee and Prague, and employs more than 100 people.


ODCTE presents Pinnacle Awards to employees

During its annual staff meeting, the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education recognized seven employees for outstanding work.

Pinnacle Award recipients were Jim Bullington, Innovation; Tonja Norwood and Rebecca Clapp, Above and Beyond; Shari Goad and Alice Rushmore, Leadership in Achieving Excellence; and Elizabeth Armstrong and Nancy Overton, Excellence in Customer Service.


Internships being offered in Oklahoma CareerTech

Five former Great Plains Technology Center students were selected to be Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company-Lawton’s first class of industrial maintenance technician interns.

Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company operates North America’s largest tire manufacturing facility in Lawton. In 2016, the company announced a $100 million project to expand and modernize the 38-year-old facility.

Goodyear will need more qualified industrial maintenance technicians, and an aging workforce highlights the need for a pipeline to the next generation of skilled maintenance technicians. So Goodyear turned to Great Plains Technology Center.

 GPTC has been a Goodyear training partner since the before the plant produced its first tire. The customized training program has evolved over the years into a nationally recognized program divided into 16 technical courses.

 Also each year, students with skills that are closely aligned with industrial maintenance technician skill set -- welders, automotive and diesel mechanics, electricians, HVAC technicians and pre-engineering students -- graduate from GPTC. It was the employee pipeline that Goodyear needed.

GPTC employment counselors and secondary technology teachers and Goodyear human resources specialists identified current and former students who were interested in the opportunity, and Goodyear representatives visited GPTC classrooms and told their story of personal achievement and financial success as members of the Goodyear maintenance team.

Working with public partners at the South Central Oklahoma Workforce Board, the technology center found financial incentives to help Goodyear pay the expense of the on-the-production floor portion of the internship program.

The five students selected for the Goodyear Industrial Maintenance Technician Internship Program have diverse backgrounds. Two were home-schooled and enrolled in the tech center’s pre-engineering program during what would have been their last three years of high school. They were recruited while they were students. One was a traditional welding technology student who was also recruited as a student. The final two were welding technology graduates who had entered the workforce but were laid off during the oil and gas industry downturn. Their former welding instructor contacted them about the opportunity.

Working with Goodyear training and maintenance leadership, the curriculum development and training team at GPTC developed a hybrid course for the internship program that blended online training, instructor-led training and work experience. Interns spend two days a week working at Goodyear, one day completing online training modules and two days in GPTC’s 30,000-square-foot technical skills training facility.

This program offers full-time employment with Goodyear Tire and Rubber for six months. Interns are paid a living wage and full employee benefits. At the end of the internship, they are eligible to compete for permanent full-time employment as maintenance technicians by taking a rigorous exam and committee interview. Successful interns are enrolled as students in the Goodyear maintenance technician program alongside other maintenance trainees who are recruited from internal and external applicants.  

Information provided by Great Plains Technology Center


CareerTech offers internet of things training

CareerTech offered internet of things training to instructors.Oklahoma CareerTech recently offered Connecting Things, an internet of things training session, to Oklahoma instructors.

The IoT Fundamentals curriculum consists of three courses: Connecting Things, Big Data & Analytics and the Hackathon Playbook. It covers core and emerging topics such as prototyping, programming internet of things devices, electronic circuit design, network connectivity, internet of things security and data visualization.

One of the consistent instructional focus areas across the curriculum is to develop and expand creative maker mindsets. Students create prototypes and products in a lab environment modeled after makerspaces and then transition CareerTech offered internet of things training to understand how those concepts can be applied at the enterprise level to transform businesses. 

The curriculum has been engineered to help students explore and understand the domain: 

  • Rich multimedia content, including interactive activities, videos, games and quizzes, addresses a variety of learning styles to help stimulate learning and increase knowledge retention.
  • Cisco Prototyping Lab facilitates hands-on labs using a blend of maker-grade technologies (Raspberry Pi, Arduino) and enterprise-grade technologies (Cisco Spark).
  • Packet Tracer simulation-based learning activities help students develop critical thinking and complex problem-solving skills by designing realistic models of real or imagined implementations.
  • Assessments provide immediate feedback to support the evaluation of knowledge and acquired skills.
  • Hackathons are used as a learning tool to reinforce and apply the skills students acquire. In the hackathon they work in teams to identify a business or social need, design a prototype of a solution to address the identified need and present their solution to their peers and an expert panel.


FFA seniors attend Future Ag Ed Teacher Academy

Fifteen Oklahoma high school FFA seniors attended the Future Ag Ed Teacher Academy at Oklahoma State University this week.

The academy is designed to encourage and promote the teaching of high school agricultural education as a positive and promising college major and career choice. The academy is aimed at students who have a desire to pursue a career as a high school ag ed instructor and FFA adviser and have a sincere desire to develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions expected of an ag ed teacher to meet the needs of a diverse society.

Students learned the many aspects of what it’s like to be an ag ed instructor, toured Oklahoma State University, visited the ODCTE and visited a wheat farm and cooperative. Participants also attended a session of the National Association of Agricultural Educators Region II conference in Oklahoma City.

Upon enrollment at Oklahoma State University, each student will receive a $1,000 scholarship for participating in the program.

Academy program sponsors include the Oklahoma FFA Alumni Association, Farm Credit Services of Oklahoma, Chapman Ranch and Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.


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

Code Camp 2017, June 27-29

FCCLA National Leadership Conference, July 2-6

Certiport Training, July 10-12

Family and Consumer Sciences New Teacher Academy, July 17-19

Business, Marketing and Information Technology Education New Teacher Academy, July 18-20


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

The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better. ― Robert F. Kennedy
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