Oklahoma CareerTech touches and improves the lives of Oklahoma residents in many ways. With more than 426,000 registrations, the CareerTech system provides education and training to individuals and businesses in a myriad of specialized and personalized opportunities.
One of the strengths of our CareerTech system is its accessibility and flexibility. Students in Grades 6 to 12 can receive hands-on learning while exploring career paths. More than 116,000 Oklahoma students took advantage of this opportunity in fiscal 2021. Young people can see for themselves how their passions can fuel education and training for a career.
Over 86,000 Oklahoma students learn important leadership skills as members of CareerTech’s seven student organizations: Business Professionals of America; THIS SIDE; Heads of families, careers and communities in America; FFA; HOSA; Skills United States; and the Association of Technology Students. Participation in career and technology student organizations increases academic motivation, academic engagement, grades, professional self-efficacy, academic aspirations, and student employability skills.
More than 20,000 high school and mature students attend one of Oklahoma’s 29 technology centers. And adult registrations for career programs, industry-specific training, and career development training totaled more than 283,000. CareerTech students have earned more than 14,885 certificates and / or diplomas recognized by industry in FY2020. Additionally, through CareerTech programs, 93% of students were employed, entered the military, or continued their education.
Oklahoma CareerTech is not only working to fill the labor pool, through its business and industry training programs in fiscal 2021, CareerTech worked directly with more than 5,600 companies, helping them increase their profitability. through training, entrepreneurial services, quote support and more. These programs are customized to meet the needs of Oklahoma businesses.
Another valuable component of Oklahoma’s CareerTech system is the specialized vocational training offered to more than 1,300 adult and juvenile offenders at skill centers statewide. These people complete programs that will allow them to earn a living wage for themselves and their families when released.
People who have dropped out of high school can also get help from Oklahoma CareerTech. In FY2021, CareerTech served over 1,000 early school leavers and also served over 8,000 people through Adult Basic Education, which offers high school equivalency, the English as a second language and literacy.
Through all of these delivery weapons, Oklahoma CareerTech plays a vital role in advancing Oklahoma’s workforce and fueling the state economy. CareerTech – through its network of school districts, technology centers, and skill centers – helps close the skills gap facing Oklahoma industries and employers.
We are very proud of these accomplishments, which help us fulfill our mission of providing Oklahoma residents with the skills and abilities necessary to enter the workforce and make informed career choices. The work we do statewide is yielding significant results for the Oklahoma economy.
Marcie Mack is the state director of the Oklahoma Department of Vocational and Technological Education.