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Director's Memo 2021-10-11

Monday, October 11, 2021

Oklahoma Aerospace Forum planned

Oklahoma CareerTech Director Marcie Mack will join other education panelists in a breakout session at the Oklahoma Aerospace Forum this month.

The event will be 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Oklahoma City Convention Center.

Mack will join Travis Hurst of Rose State College, Jeffery James with the Air Force Association’s Cyber Patriot and StellarXplorers programs, Jamey Jacob from OSU Unmanned Systems Research and Randa Shehab of OU’s Gallogly College of Engineering to discuss aerospace workforce development and the education renaissance.

Other breakout sessions will cover technological advancements and the future of aerospace in Oklahoma; how the aerospace industry is changing because of COVID; and how Oklahoma is working to elevate aerospace.

Information and Registration


ODOC shares video of culinary arts grads

Ten students from Oklahoma City Community Corrections Centers graduated recently from a culinary arts program that is a partnership among the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, the Department of Corrections and TEEM.

An Oklahoma Department of Corrections video showcases the graduates and the work they did preparing meals at the Regional Food Bank.



Oklahoma celebrates Careers in Energy Week

Oklahoma will celebrate Careers in Energy Week Oct. 18-22.

More than 6 million people work in energy careers in the United States, and several hundred thousand employees will be hired over the next three years, according to the Center for Energy Workforce Development.

In Oklahoma, more than 84,000 people work in the industry, according to the Oklahoma Energy Workforce Consortium.

A highlight of Careers in Energy Week will be EnergyCareers2021, a national, virtual and free career fair, on Oct. 20. Attendees will be able to network, attend sessions concerning the future of energy, talk with recruiters, upload their resumes and participate in interviews.

For more information about the career fair, visit the Get Into Energy website.

CareerTech Champion: Mason Hardy -- Canadian Valley Technology Center

THEN: In his own words, college after high school “didn’t go well.” Mason Hardy needed to learn a trade and find a stable job, so when Canadian Valley Technology Center offered him a Next Step Scholarship waiving his tuition, he enrolled in its automotive collision technology program.

He learned how to paint cars damaged in collisions, but he also

  • Had an opportunity to hear from potential hiring managers.
  • Got leads on numerous job openings.
  • Received career advice that helped him land a job.

This spring, Hardy was named one of the CV Tech Foundation’s Outstanding Scholars, but the career path he took after graduation was somewhat unconventional.

It was a guest speaker who sent Hardy down a career path he didn’t even know existed. Instructor David Venard invited a senior manager from Kratos, a drone-manufacturing company, to speak to the class about career opportunities. Soon, Hardy found himself on a phone interview with the company. After another interview in person, he was offered a job. Even after he accepted, he said, he wasn’t sure what kind of drones he’d be painting. He just knew he had the skills they were looking for.

“Everything we paint is made of carbon fiber deposits,” Hardy said. “Just like with cars, I do prep work and body work to fill in imperfections in the aircraft. Then I primer and paint.”

Hardy paints high performance unmanned aerial tactical and target drone systems for the military, including the newly organized U.S. Space Force. The smallest drone produced at the facility is 7 feet long, but Hardy also paints combat drones, used in air-to-air or air-to-ground scenarios. These aircraft are 36 feet long and have wings that measure 15 feet.

NOW: Proud of the work he does and making good, steady money. Hardy calls it “a blessed opportunity,” saying he likes knowing he is helping protect the lives of service members and American interests around the world.

“I give much of the credit to my instructor and counselors.”
Mason Hardy, painter for Kratos drone manufacturer

To do a common thing uncommonly well brings success. -- Henry J. Heinz
Last Modified on May 15, 2023