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Tech Center Credentials

Canadian Valley Tech Signing Day marks a new beginning for students whose certifications will garner them real career results.

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Canadian Valley Technology Center

CareerTech

Show Details

Show 1723: Tech Center Credentials
Air Date: June 4, 2017

Transcript

Rob McClendon: Well, many boys and girls grow up dreaming of playing sports in college and beyond, but few do. Of the nearly 8 million students currently participating in high school athletics in the United States, only 480,000 will ever compete at the NCAA level. And of that group, only a fraction will realize their goal of becoming a professional or an Olympic athlete. Take for instance football. Right over a million young men played high school football last year, but only about 73,000 will ever play in college. And when you do the math, that figures out to be just 6.8 percent. And of those college football players, only 1.5 percent will ever make it to the pros. Yet when it comes to college signing day, we now celebrate it almost as much as we do the game, which is why some Oklahoma tech centers have put their own twist on going pro.

Blane Singletary: This may look like a fresh batch of young athletes signing on their intent to play for a top college team, but here at CV Tech in Yukon, this signing day is a little bit different.

Gayla Lutts: We do signing day this way because we want to focus on the student.

Blane: Gayla Lutts is the deputy superintendent of CV Tech.

Lutts: We want ‘em to know what an honor it is to be a part of CareerTech. We want ‘em to know what an honor it is to be chosen.

Blane: It may not be a traditional athletic signing day, but there are many similarities. Much like the high bar college athletes have to go through, not every student that applied made it into these CV Tech programs, and these teens are making a decision that will impact where they go in life. David Venard is an automotive collision technology instructor.

David Venard: This is the first adult decision they get to make. I mean, they’re taking initiative to take that first step of their life, and, just, the sky’s the limit.

Blane: But David says that’s where the similarities end. Unlike athletics where only a tiny percentage of college athletes make it to the pros, these teens could easily set themselves up for a lifelong career.

Venard: Whenever they come talk to me in sophomore tours, I sell the program to them like, “Look, this is the way you move out of Mom and Dad’s house. This is how you get going on with your life, and these certifications can set you up for life.”

Blane: And the moms and dads of these teens are obviously thrilled by this concept. Marka and Scott Dyer’s son, Tanner, plays football for Yukon High, but has signed up today to enter the electrician program.

Marka Dyer: We’re just happy that he picked something that can benefit him in the future when he graduates.

Scott Dyer: Just to give him an opportunity. Before he even gets out of school, he’s already got a trade. He already knows what he’s gonna do.

Tanner Dyer: It’s just something I’ve been wanting to do because my dad was doing it for a little bit so, it’s just, it’s just what I kinda wanna do.

Krista Klontz: I am super excited for Cooper.

Blane: Krista Klontz is another newly minted, proud CareerTech parent.

Klontz: He really tried really hard to get into the welding program. Was excited about his interview. His family is welders – my husband, and his dad, and uncle – so he’s very excited to continue on with the tradition.

Blane: And the signees themselves have a variety of reasons for taking up these courses. Addison Ryburn wants to take his passion to the professional level.

Addison Ryburn: Came here when my school came here, and I saw that they were building computers, and I was really interested. I built my own computer before. And I was like, “Oh, that would be cool to get certifications to do this, so I can do it as a job.”

Blane: And his father, Adam Ryburn, professor at Oklahoma City University, agrees.

Adam Ryburn: That’s how you get jobs. In order to make money, to be a productive member of society, you gotta have that piece of paper saying that you’ve done something. They’re leaving here at the age of 18 with that credential. They don’t have to wait until they get to college and get a college degree to get that credential. And that credential is also gonna help him get through college as well.

Don Dewald: I started here in 1976.

Blane: Don Dewald is a longtime computer information technology instructor and former CareerTech student.

Dewald: I did a year of college, and it just, I wasn’t ready at the time. And so a friend told me about Moore Norman Vo-Tech. I took their electronics program. In eight months, I started my first job. Within three years I was working for IBM. I spent over 40 years working with computers, based on that eighth-month program I got in electronics at Moore Norman Tech.

Blane: While the programs have, of course, evolved with technology over time, Don says what hasn’t changed is, these students signing today can expect some real career results, and that’s thanks in part to their industry partners.

Dewald: Dell representatives spent probably 30 hours in our class this year. They showed ‘em, “Here’s what we want in a resume, this is what we’re looking for.” They showed ‘em, “Here’s interview questions.”

Blane: Dell is more than happy to help, since these budding computer engineers are just what they need in job applicants.

Dewald: Dell will give them $3,000 a year tuition reimbursement. They’ve certainly got money to pay for their college. And so whether they feel forced to do it in four years or if they take five, six or seven years, at the end they’ve got no college debt, they’ve got a great career.

[NATS: One, two, three].

Blane: And Adam Ryburn says that’s what makes this signing day all the more remarkable.

Adam Ryburn: To have that in a different situation and see the excitement on the students who are going to be going to a place to learn a trade they’re gonna make money at immediately out of school, it’s just really cool.

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