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Director's Memo 2021-03-29

Monday, March 29, 2021

Oklahoma’s first statewide Making Schools Work virtual conference planned

Registration is open for Oklahoma’s first statewide Making Schools Work virtual conference March 30-31.

Oklahoma CareerTech and the Southern Regional Education Board will host the two-day event, which will showcase best practices and strategies being implemented by high schools and technology centers across the state.

Sessions will focus on leadership for continuous improvement, aligned curriculum, engaging instruction, career pathways and systems of support. High Schools and Tech Centers That Work State Coordinator Twila Green said the sessions are open to anyone looking to enhance their teaching strategies and enlarge their professional circle.

Read more on the CareerTech website.

CareerTech plans virtual job fair

Oklahoma CareerTech, along with the system’s technology centers from across the state, will offer students and employees a statewide virtual job fair on April 7.

Employers can register to post job opportunities and hold group and one-on-one video sessions. Students can create accounts and upload resumes and portfolio work to share in interviews and question-and-answer sessions with businesses and recruiters.

The virtual job fair will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, visit the CareerTech website.

CareerTech thanks outgoing board member for his service

Tim Burg
CareerTech State Director Marcie Mack, right, presents a certificate to outgoing board member Tim Burg, left.
Oklahoma CareerTech presented a proclamation to Tim Burg at the March meeting of the State Board of Career and Technology Education for his service on the board.

Burg served seven years on the board. He is the director of economic development at Shawnee Forward and one of only 1,200 certified economic developers in the world. His term on the CareerTech board ends April 1.

Thank you, Mr. Burg, for your service to the Oklahoma CareerTech System.

CareerTech Champion: Justin Cockroft -- SkillsUSA, Moore Norman Technology Center and Gordon Cooper Technology Center

Head and shoulders shot of Justin Cockroft with the front of an airplane behind him.THEN: A high school graduate who thought he might want to own a home remodeling business. Justin Cockroft initially launched his CareerTech experience by enrolling in Moore Norman Technology Center’s carpentry program. There, he learned valuable carpentry skills from framing to roofing to trim carpentry. Although he didn’t start a business, Cockroft uses those skills for his own home remodeling projects.

His experience at Moore Norman sparked an interest in computer-aided drafting, which led to his second CareerTech experience. Cockroft enrolled in the CAD program at Gordon Cooper Technology Center in Shawnee.

It was at Gordon Cooper Tech that Cockroft discovered SkillsUSA, the CareerTech student organization for students preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations. He was active in SkillsUSA leadership activities and competitions, winning second place in the national SkillsUSA Chapter Display team event. Cockroft said

His CAD skills helped him land an entry-level position in an electrical engineering firm, where he later became senior electrical designer and firm manager, working with budgets in the tens of millions of dollars.

Those skills also helped him obtain a job at the Federal Aviation Administration, doing similar work.

He learned valuable project management and collaboration skills which he uses professionally today, both at the FAA and in the Air Force.

“CareerTech provided a strong foundation for me,” he said. “I firmly believe that much of the success and opportunities I have experienced in my career can be directly attributed to the training and education I received from the CareerTech system.”

NOW: A management and program analyst at the FAA’s Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City. Cockroft administers a training program for more than a thousand federal employees and as many contractors, and facilitates the development of strategic messaging; planning; and science, technology, engineering and math initiatives.

He is a logistics readiness officer in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, ensuring his squadron's fuels management flight delivers petroleum resources to the Air Force's aerial weapons systems and vehicle management flight maintains vehicle fleet readiness. 

“CareerTech provided me the opportunity to work with students, instructors and leadership, and I know I grew stronger and better because of these interactions.”

Justin Cockroft, FAA and MMAC

Tri County Tech helps hundreds return to workforce with CARES Act funds

Tri County Technology Center in Bartlesville has used a $1 million grant funded by the CARES Act for scholarships to provide accelerated job training to more than 500 unemployed and underemployed people.

A recent Tulsa World article highlighted the success of the Skills to Rebuild program and some of the students who received scholarships, including a woman who now works at a local hospital and a man who works in information technology.

Tri County Superintendent Lindel Fields said he would like to see the program expand across the state.

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.

Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. -- Abraham Lincoln
Last Modified on May 15, 2023
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