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Dennis Lumley - CareerTech Skills Centers

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

New skillset helps Tulsa man build new life

Dennis Lumley just might appreciate his summer vacation more than some people. That’s because the Tulsa welder had to prioritize a few other things before an annual vacation could fit into his budget or his life.

Lumley had completed two semesters at Eastern Oklahoma State College when he got into some trouble and wound up in the Oklahoma State Reformatory in Granite, Oklahoma. With his college plans on hold, he decided to enroll in Oklahoma CareerTech’s welding program at the Granite Skills Center. He had always wanted to try his hand at welding, and now he had plenty of time to learn.

It wasn’t the career path he’d originally planned for himself, but Lumley said his welding training allowed him to earn a decent living wage after he was released.

“At Granite, I learned to weld, how to operate a gas torch and how to work a plasma cutter,” he said. “These are important basic tools needed to succeed in the welding industry.”

In addition to basic welding, the self-paced training program emphasized on-the-job safety skills, which Lumley said he uses in the welding shop at Industrial Piping Companies in Tulsa. Lumley earned his OSHA 10 certification, part of the OSHA Outreach Training Program. OSHA 10 explains workplace hazards, workers’ rights, employer responsibilities, and how to file an OSHA complaint.

Lumley was released from prison in 2019. Because all of the training was free to him as an inmate, Lumley didn’t accrue any additional debts during his incarceration. That has allowed him to work on getting his finances under control.

“I’ve been able to pay off all of my fines,” he said, adding that he was also able to work on clearing his name.

“I was able to afford to hire an attorney to get my criminal record expunged,” he said.

It’s not all work for Lumley, who said he allows himself to take a yearly vacation. And someday, he said, he hopes to return to college and complete his associate degree in business administration.



Oklahoma CareerTech: Education that works for you

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 60 campuses, 391 PK-12 school districts, 15 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities and 32 adult education and family literacy providers.

The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.

Last Modified on Oct 05, 2023