Giving back is at the core of who Tri County Tech is. TCT Educator, business-owner, Vietnam Veteran with the prestigious Honor Guard, devoted community volunteer, and family man Johnnie Parks personifies Tri County Tech’s dedication to investing in the community.
For 11 years, Parks has been an instructor with the Construction Technology program at Tri County Tech, a program he helped start and mold into the successful, life-changing training opportunity that it is today. Prior to teaching at TCT, Parks taught in the prison system for a decade.
Parks says, “I love to teach. I drive 100 miles a day to get to work and have for 11 years.” He adds, “My passion is to pick up my students where they are and get them ready for the next stage of their life – whatever that may be for them.” And, over 25 percent of Mr. Parks’ students go on to pursue higher education. And, he is committed to helping every one of his students get on the right path for their future.
Parks places much stock in preparing his students for the real world through dedication to community service. He believes that when his students spend time away from the classroom, that it must be valuable time. And each school year, he and his students spend hundreds of combined hours contributing great value to the local community. They have built houses with Habitat for Humanity, torn out carpet, painted, and built cabinets for the Dewey Senior Center, and assisted the George Miksch Sutton Avian Research Center with bald eagle conservation efforts.
But Parks adds, “This isn’t about me; it’s about a culture at Tri County Tech” where community involvement is a core value that guides our operations. Every Tri County Tech employee is involved in community service endeavors that support our local communities. A minimum of 16 community service hours, eight of which can be given during work hours, are included on each TCT Educator’s Individual Leadership Plan. Participation provides opportunities for listening, learning, and building valuable relationships within the community.
During the 2016 school year, Tri County Tech’s 93 employees volunteered nearly 3,000 hours of community service with organizations such as the United Way, the Red Cross, Salvation Army, the Boys and Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity, Boy Scouts, Meals on Wheels, Bartlesville Public Schools, local churches, and much more. Tri County Tech employee, Tami Lewis says, “Tri County Tech supports our community. They encourage community development and support all the hours I donate to community service. They give me the opportunities I need to work disasters for the Red Cross and are very supportive of all my volunteer activities.”
Parks adds that college professors from OSU-IT have told him that Tri County Tech’s Construction Technology students are some of the best prepared when they enter the college classroom. Parks believes this is not only because of excellent curriculum but also because of their involvement in charitable endeavors. These charitable endeavors empower the students – as they do the Tri County Tech organization as a whole – to build deeper connections within the community. And this is precisely why giving back is at the core of who Tri County Tech is.
That’s why we’re excited to announce that consulting firm Great Place to Work® and Fortune magazine have named Tri County Tech one of the country’s 50 Best Workplaces for Giving Back. Great Place to Work® analyzed surveys from nearly 600 companies to rank those that best create a sense of purpose and meaning among their employees through involvement in the community. Not only do these workplaces stand out for their generosity, their team members also express a great deal of pride in what their organizations accomplish.
In addition to giving so much of their time, 100% of Tri County Tech’s employees donate to the Tri County Tech Foundation on an annual basis, totaling more than $56,000. This total commitment to the TCT Foundation is proof that TCT employees believe in the mission of their organization. These donations directly support students who might not otherwise be able to obtain a life-changing education. Tri County Tech Foundation employee, Lisa Froemming says, “Whether it’s a high school graduate learning a valuable trade or a single parent wishing to increase earning potential, each student deserves a chance to succeed. That’s where I get my motivation. By offering financial assistance to these aspiring students, we become part of each students’ success.”
“The Best Workplaces for Giving Back demonstrate more than just a commitment to charity,” said Kim Peters, executive vice president at Great Place to Work®. “These organizations have earned employees’ admiration by involving staffers in their community service efforts and contributing resources in ways that genuinely reflect their unique cultures.”
Tri County Tech and the other winning companies were selected based on responses to the Trust Index©, Great Place to Work’s employee assessment survey. Employees rated their sense that they make a difference in their jobs, the meaningfulness of their work, and the impact they feel their organizations make in the community. The list also took into account company programs and an analysis of anonymous employee comments about their workplaces.
The Best Workplaces for Giving Back is one of a series of rankings by Great Place to Work® and Fortune based upon employee survey feedback from Great Place to Work®-certified organizations. Tri County Tech also ranked as 62nd best on the 100 Best Workplaces for Women (October 2015) by Great Place to Work and Fortune.
About Tri County Tech:
TCT is in the business of elevating futures by providing superior and relevant training. Guided by the preeminent vision of “Inspiring Success through Life Changing Learning Experiences,” TCT offers the following services:
1. Full-time programs serving high school and adult students;
2. Flex and Fast Track programs for working adults (NEW in fiscal year 2014);
3. Customized business and industry training delivered through The Strategy Center (TSC), a division of TCT that provides business incubator services, startup business training, and other customized training;
4. Community education classes;
5. Conference and meeting services.
Follow Tri County Tech online at www.tricountytech.edu and on Twitter at @tricountytech.
About Great Place to Work®:
Great Place to Work® is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Through proprietary assessment tools, advisory services, and certification programs, including Best Workplaces lists and workplace reviews, Great Place to Work® provides the benchmarks, framework, and expertise needed to create, sustain, and recognize outstanding workplace cultures. In the United States, Great Place to Work® produces the annual Fortune “100 Best Companies to Work For®” and a series of Great Place to Work® Best Workplaces lists, including lists for Millennials, Women, Diversity, Small and Medium Companies and over a half dozen different industries.
Follow Great Place to Work® online at www.greatplacetowork.com and on Twitter at @GPTW_US.