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Kenji Brown - CareerTech Skills Centers

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Oklahoma CareerTech helps inmate rebuild his future

When Kenji Brown told his employer he had an OSHA 30, it was enough to get him a promotion and a pay raise. Now the Midwest City native says he is making more money than he’s ever made.

Brown works at Cooks Venture Poultry as part of a work-release program at Northeast Oklahoma Community Corrections Center, and he credits Oklahoma CareerTech for helping him learn the skills he needed to get the job.

“My life felt like it had no purpose,” he said. “I wanted to build a future with a career.”

At the time, he was an orderly at NOCCC, cleaning the medical facility at the corrections center. He enrolled in CareerTech’s transportation, distribution and logistics program at the Vinita Skills Center, and that decision was life changing. Now, in addition to certifications for TDL, forklift and OSHA 30, Brown is a certified logistics associate and logistics technician.

He is still finishing his sentence at NOCCC, but a facility van takes him to and from work. In addition to the skills and certifications that helped him land his current job, his work ethic and attitude helped him earn the title of Employee of the Month. CareerTech programs emphasize soft skills such as communication, leadership, problem solving, time management and teamwork, and Brown absorbed it all.

“There aren’t very many people who are willing to put so much effort into people,” he said about the Skills Centers staff. “I like knowing my TDL instructor actually cares about me and my future and about me bettering myself.”

Brown was recently promoted to forklift driver and also plans to get his commercial driver’s license through CareerTech’s CDL program. Brown hopes to someday own his own trucking company.



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 Jul 26, 2023