What is Tri County Tech?
As Oklahoma’s first career tech center, founded in 1967, Tri County Tech is dedicated to inspiring success through life-changing learning experiences throughout the northeast Oklahoma counties of Washington, Nowata, and Osage.
Our Vision, “Inspiring Success Through Life-Changing Learning Experiences,” is our guiding star. It is our inspiration and the framework for strategic planning decisions. While our mission, “Providing Superior Training” is the foundation of our educational service offerings, the Tri County Way is our culture and is articulated through our Vision, our Values, and our Strategic Aims.
This past year, Tri County Tech served 648 full-time students, aiming to enrich the life of each student, providing expert guidance to help them acquire the skills and experience needed to be successful in life. These skills will give them the tools to help secure a meaningful future for themselves and their families, enabling them to become valuable contributors to the economic vitality of our region and state. Tri County Tech also provides customized business and industry training programs, and conference meeting services. Over 23,000 students were served by these activities.
Tri County Tech is uniquely positioned to operate a leadership and retreat facility.
TCT demonstrates business leadership and has a track record of investing in workforce and operations:
- In 2008, Tri County Tech implemented Vision 2020, a fearless and bold initiative intended to establish Tri County as a premier education institution and one of the only schools to decline federal funding in the United States. Through hard work and dedication to this vision, this small but mighty CareerTech school in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, has earned several distinguished achievements both regionally and nationally.
- Oklahoma’s Best Places to Work. Four years in a row
- Bartlesville Chamber of Commerce’s Frank Phillips Award in 2013
- “Excellence” Award from the Oklahoma Quality Foundation in 2014
- Bartlesville Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the year in 2018
- Fortune’s Great Places to Work, the only public education institution on the list. Three years in a row.
- Recognized by the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige Performance Excellence Program as a Best Practice Organization for Leadership and Workforce. 2017
(The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is a presidential award presented annually to organizations that demonstrate quality and performance excellence.)
- This fall, Tri County Tech has its eye on the national award yet again as one of only 12 companies nationwide to receive a site-visit for the rigorous 2018 award cycle.
- Experienced operating and training high-capacity leaders. In Spring 2018, TCT partnered with Schnake Turnbo Frank to offer a Leadership & Reputation Academy (LRA), training 33 regional business leaders over five months.
- Established leadership brand. TCT Superintendent/CEO, Lindel Fields, established Lindel Fields Philosophy in 2017, currently broadcasting a weekly leadership lesson, with a viewership of 500+ as well as a monthly article in the bMonthly Magazine.
- Tri County Tech has strong relationships with business and industry. Companies report utilizing the expertise of small, localized firms more than large business schools and institutions.
Why did Tri County Tech decide now was the right time to purchase the property?
We did extensive research on the need and timing for the purchase of this property. This research helped us to solidify our decision. Oklahoma’s economy and education funding from the state has declined over the last decade. We recognized years ago that relying on tax dollars alone to fulfill our mission was not a sustainable business model.
Our investment in the Leadership Retreat Center will not only provide much-needed training, but it will also generate Local Revenue that will be used to support Tri County’s operations; therefore, reducing our dependence on unpredictable state dollars and promoting Tri County’s mission.
How did Tri County Tech pay for Jarrett Farm?
Tri County Tech runs on a debt-free business model ensuring that we are being fiscally responsible with the dollars that are entrusted to us. A portion of Tri County’s funding is a dedicated building fund that is to be used for building and maintaining facilities. Tri County Tech used their building fund to purchase the property outright. Therefore, we were able to pay cash for the property. This allowed us to purchase the property at a tremendous value. We were able to acquire the property at just 75% of the appraised value.
When does Tri County Tech plan to open the Leadership Retreat Center?
Tri County Tech plans to open the facility in 2 years as a training center and hospitality space simultaneously.
Will Tri County Tech develop the property?
At this time, Tri County Tech plans to utilize existing facilities.
What will it take to get the Leadership Retreat Center up and running?
The site was developed with a residence in the early 1980s. In 1988 the owners of the residence converted it into a restaurant. In 1998 guest cottages were added and the site was operated as a bed and breakfast until its closure in 2012. The property has been vacant since that time and will require renovation. Tri County Tech expects to renovate the facility, with a scheduled opening date in 2 years.
Does Tri County Tech expect to add jobs at the Leadership Retreat Center, if so, how many?
The development of the property into a full-scale leadership retreat center will have a substantial positive economic impact on the Bartlesville economy, creating 10 to 20 jobs.
What are the long-term plans?
Tri County Tech is an organization that strives for continuous improvement and proactive research in long-term growth opportunities that align with its mission and vision. The retreat center will feature an event space for leadership and team development opportunities, executive education services, and culinary services. Lodging units and meeting space would also be rented to external customers for meetings, conferences and private gatherings such as weddings.
What are the short-term plans?
Tri County Tech will be fiscally responsible in the renovation of the facility and plans to open in two years as a fully functioning event space for leadership and team development opportunities, executive education services, culinary services, and rental units for lease outside of retreats.
Will Tri County Tech be adding programs? Will this be an educational learning space for Tri County Tech’s existing programs?
Tri County Tech plans on developing its programs using the foundation of distinguished and highly-respected faculty, thought-leaders and relevant researchers, and lessons with engaging classroom management and learning strategies. It expects to draw the attendance of high-caliber individuals to provide an additional resource for peer-to-peer growth and network expansion. At this time, the existing Culinary Arts Program would be the primary program to utilize the facilities at the Leadership Retreat Center. Tri County Tech will launch any new programs slowly and deliberately.