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Director's Memo 2023-10-16

Monday, October 16, 2023

Oklahoma celebrates Careers in Energy Week

The fourth annual Oklahoma Careers in Energy Week is scheduled for Oct. 16-20. The Oklahoma Energy Workforce Consortium is celebrating the week by promoting the benefits of pursuing careers in the energy industry.

The state’s oil and natural gas industry supported 198,965 jobs in 2022 and contributed $64.9 billion to the state economy, according to a study released by the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board. Oklahoma is the nation’s third-largest producer of wind power, sixth-largest producer of crude oil, fifth-largest producer of natural gas and home to the world’s largest oil storage site. In addition, Oklahoma produces almost three times more energy than it consumes.

Read more on the Oklahoma CareerTech website and learn more about Careers in Energy Week at


Brent Haken: State must do more to prepare students

Oklahoma students need more from legislators and schools to prepare them for the workforce, CareerTech State Director Brent Haken told Oklahoma Business Voice.

Haken said the state needs to improve its skills training and career readiness education in K-12 schools, according to the website. Legislators need to act to add more programs, he said, but the effort will also require a partnership between the business community and the education community: higher education, CareerTech and K-12.

Haken also spoke on the subject to the House Common Education Committee during an interim study session.

Read more on the Oklahoma Business Voice website.


Western Tech celebrates Workforce Development Month

Western Technology Center celebrated Workforce Development Month with a “Next Step Summit” at the Burns Flat campus.

Students from the Sayre and Burns Flat campuses rotate through three sessions at the event: an employer panel, Next Step booths with college and university representatives and a life skills and workplace information session.

Read more on the Weatherford Daily News website.


CV Tech grad nears M.D./Ph.D. completion

A Canadian Valley Technology Center graduate who started her path to a medical degree there is close to earning a medical degree and a Ph.D.

Ariel Thorson entered CV Tech’s biomedical sciences program in 2015 and is now a fourth-year medical student and second-year Ph.D. candidate at Vanderbilt University.

She entered CV Tech’s program for the advanced coursework, she said, and gained exposure to several science, technology, engineering and mathematics career paths.

“These experiences set me on the path to medicine,” she said.

Read more on CV Tech’s website.


CareerTech Champion: Crystle Mize - Sallisaw Adult Learning Center

When Crystle Mize received her high school diploma this month, it meant more to the Sallisaw mother of three than simply reaching an education milestone. When the piece of paper arrived in the mail, it brought with it a promise of opportunity and hope, two things that have eluded her most of her life.

Mize had a lot to overcome after dropping out of high school before the start of her senior year. Throughout her life, the Sallisaw woman had very few positive role models, which only served to compound her struggles. Even finding a safe place to live was fraught with challenge after challenge.

A lifetime of abuse, drug use, incarceration, toxic relationships and continuous heartbreak left Mize broken and lost. Ironically, it was her addiction to drugs that ultimately saved her life. After being accepted into the drug court program in Sequoyah County, Mize wound up in the Sallisaw Adult Learning Center. A high school diploma was one of the requirements of her rehabilitation, and she began working toward her GED.

Read more on the Oklahoma CareerTech website.


Useful links

Follow us on X (formerly Twitter) at @okcareertech and find us on Facebook at OklahomaCareerTech and on Instagram at oklahomacareertech. Find our podcast at and watch our biweekly news show and other videos on our YouTube channel.

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

State Agency Assistance at a Glance

National Research Center for Career and Technical Education

OK Career Guide

OK Career Guide Training Opportunities

CareerTech Curriculum


If an expert says it can’t be done, get another expert. -- David Ben-Gurion
Last Modified on Oct 16, 2023
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