Central Tech holds annual Open House, Job Fair, and Car Show

The Sapulpa Campus of Central Tech held its annual Open house, Job Fair, and Car Show, Sunday, February 19th. The Sapulpa Herald attended the event and spoke to administration and staff members who were present.

According to Assistant Director Mike Baugus, the Sapulpa campus offers ten programs:

Welding, plumbing, HVAC, Criminal Justice, Health Careers, Medical Assisting, Business and Information Technology, NSA, photography, and Business and Industries Services. Later this year, Cosmetology will be added to programs offered at the Sapulpa campus.

When asked what the NSA program entailed, Baugus said, “it is cybersecurity-type stuff, but they do networking, cabling for computers, and fiber optics, we are getting into that this year.”

Baugus spoke about students enrolled in Central Tech’s Plumbing Program and the working relationship with the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board which certifies journeyman status in specific construction-related industries.

One must work as an apprentice for three years under a licensed plumber before receiving a journeyman license. However, high school students who start as juniors and finish the two-year program at Central Tech only have to work for one year to be certified as a Journeyman.

“It short circuits two years by coming here as a junior and senior…Journeyman (plumbers) make forty or fifty thousand a year,” said Baugus.

Dr. Kim Howard, Director for Central Tech, Sapulpa, spoke to the Sapulpa Herald About recent developments and future plans for the Sapulpa campus.

“We have a new Superintendent, he’s actually not new to Central Tech, he’s been here over thirty-two years. This is his first year as Superintendent, and he has got a lot of really big plans to grow our campus. We have right now about ten programs on this campus and he would like to add a couple more programs in the next few years. We are really excited about that, what those programs are, we haven’t decided yet…we are working out a strategic plan of where we want to be in three years.”

Dr. Howard pointed out that Central Tech offers night classes for adults and has a program that custom tailors training to a company’s specific needs.

“We have a separate division, it is called Business Industry Services, we call it our BIS Department. They cater to existing businesses…basically, any kind of training our industry needs, we can provide it. If we don’t have the skill set or the curriculum, we can ask one of our partner technology centers around the State of Oklahoma.”

“For example, if someone wanted to have a wind turbine farm right here in Sapulpa, although we don’t have the curriculum or experience to do that, we can reach out to another technology center in  Western Oklahoma, borrow the adjunct instructor of their curriculum, and be ready to teach that in a week.”

Kent Burris, the new Central Tech Superintendent was the next to be interviewed. When asked what his plans are for the Sapulpa campus besides adding more programs, his response was, “Just to serve more students, One of my metrics is how many of our population in our five-county region are serving. If that is twenty-five percent right now, I want it to be thirty percent.”

He said that there are eighteen partner schools that send their secondary students to Central Tech campuses.

“A junior or senior comes here for the 3-hour block in the morning or afternoon, and takes industrial maintenance, construction trades, or health careers.”

This program is part of the Career Tech program established by the State of Oklahoma.

“Years ago, they did  some studies on career Tech students who go onto college, are more likely, almost twice as likely to complete college within the first ten years of starting college.”

The campus is spotless and incorporates state-of-the-art equipment coupled with experienced, competent instructors.

The Medical Assisting program career classes enable one to be a doctor’s assistant performing office-based lab work. The Health Careers program provides the skills needed to become a CNA, or with further education, go on to be an LPN or RN. The Criminal Justice program teaches basic crime scene investigation techniques, how to handle a dangerous situation, how to drive a police vehicle, plus many more skills needed to begin a law-enforcement career. The NSA program will enable one to obtain a job in several fields of IT, including cyber-security. And it goes without saying that the welding, plumbing, and HVAC programs will allow one to go directly into a good-paying job.

There has been much discussion in the last few years about the need for post-secondary education to provide skills commensurate with the current job market. Central Tech certainly meets the requirements for that task and boasts a ninety-four percent job placement rate.