The CareerTech Skills Center (CTSC) school system in Oklahoma is a multi-campus entity operated by the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education that provides Career Technical Education (CTE) training to adult offenders under the supervision of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) and juvenile offenders under the supervision of the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA).
What originally began in 1971 as a division that provided a few occupational training programs to adult offenders, CTSC is now a statewide school system that equips adults and youth with employability and technical skills necessary to succeed in the workforce. Learners in the CTSC school system can obtain industry-recognized certifications and career readiness credentials that document that learners have obtained the work readiness skills sought by employers.
Additionally, the CTSC partners with the DOC and the Oklahoma Correctional Industries (OCI) to provide incarcerated adult learners with the opportunity to participate in Registered Apprenticeship programs in the areas of meat-cutting, commercial food preparation and cabinet building. The CTSC and OJA partner with the Association of General Contractors of America (AGC), an association for the construction industry, to develop appropriate curriculum and learning activities for incarcerated youth.
To help ensure that each incarcerated learner has access to CTE opportunities and the supports they need to succeed post-release, the CTSC employs the Student Services Team, which consists of Instructors, Employment Coordinators and Transition Coordinators. The Student Services Team Instructors help learners complete a Life Success Plan, in which learners receive career guidance, labor market information and assistance in determining their ability to benefit from specific CTE programs, and help learners enroll in their preferred CTSC program. Employment Coordinators, who are responsible for helping learners with job placement upon release, meet with each learner prior to his or her release to help with resumes, interviewing skills and job search strategies. Employment Coordinators also provide employment workshops and career counseling to learners. Upon discharge, Transition Coordinators help learners secure housing, transportation, clothing and other resources to support learners’ participation in the workforce. The Student Services Team also regularly visit with business and industry to learn about employer’s needs to ensure that graduates of CTSC programs understand and are equipped with the skills to meet current employers’ needs.
Policy in Action
The mission of CTSC is to prepare Oklahomans to succeed in the workplace, in education and in life. CTSC campuses serve an average of 2,071 learners annually through full time programs and short-term training. Almost 90 percent of learners who participate in CTSC programs have a positive job placement post-release.
Website: CareerTech Skills Centers
Website: CareerTech Skills Centers Student Services
Website: CareerTech System: CareerTech Skills Centers
Website: CareerTech Skills Center: Trade Areas
Resource: Making Good on the Promise Series
Resource: Oklahoma’s Technology Centers
Last Updated August 2021