A Southwest Technology Center instructor, a graduate and a community agency recently received awards from the Oklahoma Career and Technical Education Equity Council.
Aviation mechanics instructor Mike Hall received the Outstanding Instructor of Non-Traditional Students Award. Graduate Rainey Alvarado received the Outstanding Graduate Award. Goodwill Industries received the Outstanding Business/Industry Partner Award.
They were among five organizations and 17 people honored at the 22nd annual Making It Work Day March 23 at the state Capitol. Making It Work Day recognizes individuals and organizations who are committed to removing barriers to success for single-parent families by providing educational experiences for students beyond the classroom. The ceremony also recognized nontraditional students.
Hall’s program has had a number of female students since 2013, and he has worked hard to ensure they have been able to complete the program, said Karen Bertrand, employment services adviser with the POWER Program at Southwest Tech, who nominated him for the award.
Alvarado graduated from Southwest Tech’s licensed practical nursing program, but started in the POWER Program in 2013 with the certified med aide program with hopes of entering the LPN program someday, said Leslie Brown, POWER Program director at Western Oklahoma State College, who nominated Alvarado for the award. Even though she had three young children at home, she applied for the 2014 class and was accepted in the first round. After graduation, Alvarado began working two jobs, as a PRN at Plantation Village Nursing Home, a Grace Living Center facility in Altus, and at Granite Reformatory.
Sandy Callins, manager of the Goodwill Industries Store in Altus, has hosted several work-based training students from the POWER Program in the last five years and has give one student a job after the student completed the work-based training and a four-week trial period, Brown said. She teaches them time management, task completion and teamwork, Brown said.
OkCTEEC is affiliated with the administrative division of the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education. The council advocates for students pursuing nontraditional careers and for resources for educating single parents.
“The mission of OkCTEEC is to serve as a unifying council for all personnel serving displaced homemakers, single parents, teen parents, single pregnant women, nontraditional students and at-risk females. This ceremony is put on to honor the tireless work of our amazing students and partners,” said Charlie Weeks, Work Prep and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families coordinator at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. He serves as an adviser for OkCTEEC, along with Lisa French of the Department of Human Services and Kathy Quinn-Teague of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.
“OkCTEEC hosts Making It Work Day as a way to recognize the hardworking students, the administration and instructors who affect those students and community partners and businesses that provide a continuous avenue of support for students and schools in their area. Making It Work Day focuses on those students who encounter greater odds than most students would during their training,” said Brown, who is also OkCTEEC president.
For more information about OkCTEEC, visit www.cteec.org/. For more information about the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, visit www.okcareertech.org.
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