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Director's Memo 2024- 2-12

Monday, February 12, 2024

Director’s Column: Workforce investment should reflect demand

Improving workforce development, recruiting new businesses and retaining existing businesses are high priorities for state leaders as they begin the 2024 legislative session.

Meeting these goals will require more skilled workers and thus more opportunities for career training in Oklahoma.

State lawmakers will soon be introducing legislation that would bolster Oklahoma’s statewide system for career and technology education, helping it close the skills gap for industries in need of highly skilled workers.

Oklahoma CareerTech, which provides career training through a network of 397 school districts, 29 technology centers and 16 Skills Centers, is seen by many as the chief catalyst for expanding career readiness programs in education and meeting the state’s workforce goals.

Read more on the Oklahoma CareerTech website.


CT Conversations looks at FFA

Oklahoma CareerTech Conversations recently talked with Stillwater agricultural education teacher Robby Branscum and two Stillwater FFA members.

Branscum, who recently won the National ACTE Carl Perkins Community Service Award, talked about how “the FFA way” isn’t just a catalyst for a career in agriculture, but lays a foundation for success in life.

In a separate conversation, Emma and Elle Yates talked about their FFA leadership roles and the educational and personal growth opportunities that have come their way through Stillwater High School’s high-performing FFA chapter. The chapter was named the 2023 National Model of Excellence Chapter and the 2023 National Premier Chapter: Building Communities at the 96th National FFA Convention.

Robby Branscum video

Emma and Elle Yates video


Mid-America Tech student excels at competition

A Mid-America Technology Center student recently placed second overall at the Western Equipment Ag Tech Invitational in Plainview, Texas.

John Turnpaugh, MATC diesel instructor, took three first-year students -- Cutter Dobbles, Blanchard, and Peyton Standridge and Wyatt Woods, both of Lexington -- to the competition. They had to take a written exam and compete at four stations: critical thinking, electrical, parts identification and tool identification.

Dobbles placed at each state and earned second place, receiving a prize package that included a $15,000 scholarship, tools and a toolbox. He also received an internship offer at Western Tech Equipment in Weatherford this summer.

Read more on the MATC website.


Lieutenant governor praises Oklahoma CareerTech

Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell wrote recently about the stories he has discovered through his video interview series, “A Look at Oklahoma CareerTech.”

In the series, Pinnell interviews students from across the state to find out why they chose CareerTech and what they have gained from it. The series, he writes, has taught him more about how important CareerTech is to Oklahoma’s workforce development.

Read the full column on the lieutenant governor’s 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


Set your course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship. -- Omar N. Bradley
Last Modified on Feb 12, 2024
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