Education is the key to creating a better future for all of Oklahoma — for individuals, for communities and for our entire state. We must continue to do everything possible to encourage young people to stay in school and complete their high school diploma and we must also encourage students to pursue additional education following high school. One way to pursue additional training and certification is through Oklahoma’s CareerTech institutions.
The first such schools actually began prior to Oklahoma’s admission to the union. A teacher by the name of H.F. Rusch, along with an Oklahoma City School Superintendent named Edgar Vaught, began the first manual training program. Next, similar programs in Lawton, Comanche, Ardmore and Muskogee were created. By the time the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917 was approved, establishing guidelines and funding for vocational education throughout the United States, there were 90 schools here offering what was then called vocational training.
Today the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education offers programs and services in about 400 public school districts, including 29 technology centers with 56 campuses. Students can specialize in a variety of areas, including agriculture, business, computers and information technology, health occupations, aerospace technology and more.
Students in many areas throughout the state can take advantage of concurrent enrollment in CareerTech, and many facilities offer dropout recovery programs that enable students to return to school and complete their educations.
Programs such as Training for Industry, or TIP help meet specific needs of new and expanding industries, providing a win-win initiative by providing the highly-trained workforce a company needs in order to locate a facility within our state.
To find out if a CareerTech program might be right for your children or yourself, please contact the Northeast Technology Center in Afton at 918-257-8324 or call the toll free number, 1-888-513-2378.
As always, I welcome your comments on state government. Please feel free to contact me by writing to Senator Charles Wyrick at the State Capitol, Room 530, Oklahoma City, OK, 73105; call me at (405) 521-5561.