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CareerTech Student Organizations Gear Up for Conferences

It is that time of year when some 35,400 Oklahoma students involved in CareerTech student organizations head to spring conferences.

Annually, each organization hosts a state spring leadership and skills conference for students to compete in events, elect state officers and gain leadership training and networking opportunities. Students put competencies learned throughout the year to the test at the state level, with state winners proceeding to the national level, according the Oklahoma CareerTech Director Phil Berkenbile.

“Students who graduate from CareerTech programs are better prepared for future employment,” Berkenbile said. “They seem to transition more smoothly from school to career because of the experiences provided through CareerTech training.”

More than 72,000 junior and senior high school students and adults are members of Oklahoma CareerTech’s seven student organizations. Each organization is an integral part of the CareerTech system supporting related programs found on high school and technology center campuses across the state.

Business and industry leaders are also a vital part of state conferences. Professionals often serve as judges or sponsors for competitive events, as they preview their future workforce.

The seven groups and their conference highlights include

  • DECA, the organization supporting Marketing Education programs, holds the 66th Annual Career Development Conference on Feb. 23-24 at Tulsa Southern Hills Marriott. About 1,200 members are expected to attend and will be participating in 35 competitive events. Oklahoma City University will award scholarships to the top three winners in each competitive event.
  • The Business Professionals of America State Leadership Conference will host 2,300 students at Oklahoma State University-Okmulgee campus March 10. More than $1 million in scholarships will be awarded from Oklahoma City University to the top four students placing in each competitive event, as well as scholarships from Johnson and Wales University and the Art Institute of Dallas. BPA is the organization affiliated with Business and Information Technology Education.
  • The Technology Student Association, associated with Technology Engineering, holds its state conference in Oklahoma City at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds and Clarion MeridianHotel and Convention Center on March 31-April 2. The event features keynote Josh Brecheen and 70 competitive events. Approximately 200 chapters will attend representing 11,500 members.
  • Family and Consumer Sciences Education students involved in the student organization Family, Career and Community Leaders of America will “Get wild about FCCLA” when they travel to Oklahoma City Cox Convention Center April 3rd for the 63nd state FCCLA convention. Members will distribute food that has been collected for Feed the Children and learn how to overcome obstacles from keynote speaker “Faith the Dog”.
  • Health Careers Education students who are members of HOSA are attending the Annual State Leadership Conference on April 8-10 at the Clarion Meridian Convention Center in Oklahoma City. Two new competitive events this year are Epidemiology and Public Health Emergency Preparedness.
  • FFA, the student organization for Agricultural Education hosts the 83nd State Convention at the Cox Convention Center on April 28-29 in Oklahoma City. The first ever state FFA Convention concert, featuring Stoney LaRue, will be held in conjunction with the convention to raise funds for the FFA Foundation.
  • SkillsUSA will hold its 44th Annual State Leadership and Skills Championship at the Tulsa Convention Center on May 3-5. More than 75 competitive events will feature students applying the skills learned through Trade and Industrial Education. The diverse skill area contests range from Crime Scene Investigation and Masonry to Cosmetology and Computer Repair.

For more information about CareerTech student organizations visit

UPDATE: See News story on Skills USA here- FOX 23 News

Written by: Katie Gruntmeir

Publish Date: February 18, 2009

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