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Director's Weekly Memo 2018-5-7

Changing the conversation

What is one of the most critical economic needs Oklahoma faces? The answer is clear: a sustainable, qualified workforce.

Oklahoma’s relatively low unemployment rate means every Oklahoman is needed to drive the state’s economy.

So how do we work to build a sustainable, qualified workforce?

First, we must change the conversation. We must educate students about the jobs available in our state. We must talk about career options and the education needed to obtain careers.

The conversation about college or career must change. There are multiple paths; education is vital to obtaining any career, but the level of education needed for individual careers varies. So the conversation needs to be focused on, “What skills, training and education do you need to be successful?” not, “What skills, training or education do you need to be successful?”

Today’s qualified workforce does not have an option of either skills or academics. The workforce requires individuals to have both skills and academics along with critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills. The conversation cannot be college or career. Our workforce requires both.



CareerTech State Board member receives agriculture honor

Randy Gilbert, a member of the Oklahoma Board of Career and Technology Education, received the Governor’s Outstanding Public Service in Agriculture award Wednesday at the state Capitol.

The award honors individuals who have made exceptional contributions of public service to Oklahoma agriculture. Gilbert and his family work tirelessly to support students in agriculture and to advance the Oklahoma agriculture industry.

The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry hosted the ceremony, which was sponsored by the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives.

Congratulations, Mr. Gilbert!

Outstanding Public Service in Agriculture, Randy Gilbert; link to video.


CareerTech biomed students honored

Dawson Haworth and Nathan Herndon
Dawson Haworth, left, and Nathan Herndon, right.
Two Oklahoma CareerTech students were chosen for the prestigious Fleming Scholar Program.

Nathan Herndon and Dawson Haworth were among 13 students chosen statewide for the program, named after British scientist Sir Alexander Fleming. The program was founded in 1956 as a way to give Oklahoma high school and college students hands-on biomedical research experience. It attracts as many as 100 applicants each year.

Herndon attends Canadian Valley Technology Center – Cowan campus. Haworth is a student at Northwest Technology Center – Fairview.

Fleming scholars work in state-of-the-art biomedical research laboratories on individual projects and are supervised by senior members of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation staff. They work at OMRF for eight weeks, typically in June and July. Scholars attend weekly seminars and social events. On the final day of the program, they give formal scientific seminars outlining the findings of their projects.

In 1982 the Fleming Scholar Program became a model for a national program funded by the federal government.

FFA students hear about diversity and inclusion at the 92nd State FFA Convention and Career Show

Oklahoma FFA members had the opportunity to learn about diversity an inclusion at the 92nd State FFA Convention and Career Show.

Quentin Sanders, ODCTE equity and diversity specialist, led a workshop, “Apples and Oranges,” for approximately 150 FFA student members at convention May 2.

Sanders discussed the importance of diversity and inclusion and provided suggestions on how students could increase their diversity and inclusion awareness. In addition, he facilitated student role-play skits to teach students how to treat others with respect and professionalism to embrace fully the concepts of diversity and inclusion.


Summer Conference exhibitors sought

Do you have a product you would like to show to more than 4,000 people? We are looking for exhibitors for the 51st Annual CareerTech Summer Conference and Expo.

If you know someone who’d like to be an exhibitor, send them this link: OkACTE exhibitor information.

Summer Conference is an excellent opportunity for vendors to strengthen relationships with existing customers and illustrate potential resources for career and technology programs throughout Oklahoma.


CareerTech events

Government Contracting Workshop for Small and Disadvantaged Businesses, May 15

CareerTech Board Meeting, May 17

Contracting Business Fair, May 23

Southwest Procurement Conference, June 5

CareerTech Board Meeting, June 14


Useful links

Follow us on Twitter at @okcareertech and find us on Facebook at OKCareerTech and on Instagram at oklahomacareertech and read our blog, Oklahoma CareerTech Delivers.

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

Oklahoma Works

OK Career Guide

CareerTech Curriculum

Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude. - Zig Ziglar
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