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Director's Memo 2020-06-22

Monday, June 22, 2020

Oklahoma Department of CareerTech honors employees with Pinnacle Awards

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Center honored several of its employees this week with Pinnacle Awards, which recognizes exceptional work that goes beyond an employee’s job duties.

Recipients were Gina Hubbard and Melissa Sturgeon, Leadership in Achieving Excellence; Sandra McKnight, Jerry Greenwood and Karen Talbott, Excellence in Customer Service; Kent Roof and Sharon Baker, Above and Beyond; Nathan Brubaker, Innovation Award; Skills Centers team members Gary Flynn, Georganne Mackey, Brandy Burns, Christi Williams, Tiffany McCollum, Denice Thomas, Christi Pugh, Aubrey Metcalf, Paul Mode, Joshua Steele, Joey Nutley and Buffy Guthrie, Team Award; Facilities team members Brian Bates, Brian Preston, Tom Casey, Richard Curtis, Robin Herrod and Kris Watkins, Team Award; and Educational Technology Resources team members Rob McClendon, Blane Singletary and Margi Cooper, Team Award.

Read more about the recipients on the CareerTech website.

Two agencies partner to meet workforce needs

Oklahoma CareerTech and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry announced new educational programs this week to help curb a workforce shortage in the meat processing industry.

The curriculum was designed to encourage more commodity processing within the state and help address the ever-growing labor shortage within meat processing plants across the state. It also helps to supply a skilled workforce to rural areas and processing plants across the state. 

“This is an exciting day for the Oklahoma meat processing sector,” said Blayne Arthur, Oklahoma secretary of agriculture. “I am very proud to be here especially because this solves problems across the board. A lot of times, we just address one piece of something but this provides a solution to both our producers and consumers.” 

Central Technology Center plans to offer multilevel, customizable, online courses to provide students with the certification that aligns with the American Meat Science Association while still supporting industry need. It will provide workforce development and training within a timely manner.

Marcie Mack, state director of CareerTech, explained at the announcement event how CareerTech began the process of offering these courses by meeting with an industry panel to determine the specific criteria and credentials they are needing in their workforce. 

“Right now, we have the new opportunity for individuals to enroll on our website in three meat certification programs,” she said. “The initial phase will be online to help students get their foot in the door. Eventually, we will move to in-person classes for courses such as carcass harvesting.”

You can find more information about the courses on the CareerTech website.

Pioneer Tech breaks ground on expansion

Pioneer Technology Center broke ground recently on an addition that will add almost 21,000 square feet to its facilities.

The new structure will add space for the culinary arts program and join the cosmetology program to the current building. Additionally, a multifunctional space serving as a conference center and a campus severe weather refuge will accommodate larger groups and provide a safe space for campus personnel, visitors and students.

 “This expansion will provide excellent opportunities for those in our district, and we are excited to be able to bring this to our community,” Superintendent and CEO Traci Thorpe said during the virtual ceremony.

You can find more information about the expansion on Pioneer Tech’s website.

Registration is open for Oklahoma Summit

Please register for Oklahoma Summit 2020, which will be a virtual conference this year. A schedule and information about spotlight sessions is now on the ODCTE and OkACTE websites.

Conference at a Glance

Useful links

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

For news about Oklahoma’s CareerTech System, subscribe to CareerTech communications.

A failure is not always a mistake. It may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying. -- B.F. Skinner
Last Modified on Nov 15, 2021
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