Partners in Progress 2023

Partners in Progress

At last Tuesday’s annual Partners in Progress celebration, the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education (OkACTE) and Oklahoma Association of Technology Centers (OATC) presented awards to some of Oklahoma CareerTech’s most valued industry partners. The 27 businesses were recognized for making outstanding contributions to the improvement, promotion, development, and progress of career and technology centers in Oklahoma.

“Workforce is the number one issue right now for businesses across the nation, and Oklahoma is no exception. Each of the companies and organizations we recognized as Partners in Progress has worked closely with their technology center to solve a local workforce problem,” said OkACTE executive director Skye McNiel. “These partnerships are prime examples of how our CareerTech system helps fuel Oklahoma’s economy, working hand in hand with industry to ensure the tech centers are providing the right training solutions to help Oklahomans get hired and to help local businesses find the skilled workforce they need to be successful.”

Partners are recognized for their commitment to working with our technology centers and students. Tri County Tech nominated longtime collaborator Ascension St. John Jane Phillips for their commitment to advancing healthcare education and workforce excellence in northeast Oklahoma.

“Ascension St. John Jane Phillips has been a tremendous asset to Tri County Tech for decades,” said Dr. Tammie Strobel, superintendent and CEO of Tri County Tech. “They serve as advisory board and board of education members, healthcare program clinic sites, and hire many of our healthcare students.”

In 1966, Tri County Tech assumed responsibility for the Jane Phillips School of Practical Nursing, with its first class graduating in 1968. Since the first partnership with Ascension, Tri County Tech has created an economic base in the area by creating a pipeline of healthcare professionals ready to enter the workforce. Ascension St. John Jane Phillips continues to be a vital partner in offering employment opportunities and top-tier training opportunities to nursing students at Tri County Tech.

For four years in a row, Ascension St. John Jane Phillips has been named one of the Top 100 Rural & Community Hospitals in the United States by The Chartis Center for Rural Health. Tri County Tech and the Practical Nursing program are proud to partner with excellent institutions like Ascension for quality training and employment opportunities.

Some recent partnership statistics include the following:

  • Since 2017, over 242 students have attended one of 23 Ascension St. John Jane Phillips healthcare system clinical areas.
  • Since 2017, roughly 25% of Tri County Tech nursing graduates have earned employment within the Ascension St. John Jane Phillips healthcare system.
  • Four Ascension St. John Jane Phillips employees serve on the TCT Practical Nursing Advisory Board; three are TCT nursing program graduates.
  • The Director of Nursing for Ascension St. John Jane Phillips is a Tri County Tech Practical Nursing graduate.
  • Mike Moore, Ascension St. John Jane Phillips CEO, has served on the Tri County Tech Board of Education since 2008 – helping to shape the mission and vision of Tri County Tech and its strategic direction.

In 2021, Ascension St. John Jane Phillips and Tri County Tech expanded their partnership to include employer-sponsored scholarships for Ascension employees entering the Practical Nursing program. From 1966 to today, the collaboration with Ascension St. John Jane Phillips has flourished and grown – working together to improve healthcare in rural Oklahoma.

“The support that these businesses show our technology centers allows our students to be more successful in school, more excited about future careers, better equipped for the workforce, better employees for future employers, and better contributors as citizens and taxpayers for our communities and state,” said Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education director Brent Haken.

Among the attendees were Oklahoma legislators, technology center superintendents, leaders, and representatives from recognized companies. Each award recipient has demonstrated their commitment to progressing career technical education through their partnerships with CareerTech and through the commendable obligation to workforce excellence and education in their community.

ABOUT: Tri County Tech is one of Oklahoma’s first CareerTech schools with a steadfast spirit for innovation and improvement – driving economic development since 1967. Our devotion to each other, our students, and the life-changing learning we provide fuels our pursuit of excellence. We call this the “Tri County Way.” We have locations in Bartlesville, Pawhuska, and Nowata, Oklahoma. Tri County Tech is part of the Oklahoma CareerTech system, which offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 60 campuses, 391 PK-12 school districts, and 15 Skills Centers campuses, including three juvenile facilities and 32 adult education and family literacy providers. CareerTech plays a vital role in developing a world-class workforce for Oklahoma employers and prepares Oklahomans to succeed in the workplace, in education, and in life. The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.

*Pictured from L to R: Brent Haken, Representative Judd Strom, Tara Gotwalt, Representative John Kane, Jennifer Butler, Mike Moore, Dr. Tammie Strobel, and Skye McNiel.

Last update February 27, 2023