Oklahoma Tech Center Partnership Allows Carpenters and Employers to Talk Directly with Future Workers

Our partnership with the Canadian Valley Technology Center (CVTECH) in El Reno, Oklahoma is proving to not only get more workers onto job sites, but it is also allowing us to get the union message to tomorrow’s workforce.

CVTECH has adopted the UBC’s Career Connections pre-apprenticeship curriculum for the 2021-2022 school year. Construction Trades Instructor Michael Graham encourages interaction among his students, the carpenters union, and our signatory employers. He believes this engagement exposes the students to what he calls “high performers.” Graham’s students are high schoolers from around the region as well as adults. Already as part of this partnership, we have recruited a few students and placed them to work.

Recently, we hosted a panel discussion with these students that lasted about 2 hours. Their questions allowed us to give them insight to higher levels of the construction industry and carpenter expectations on their job sites. Representing the Central South Carpenters was Local 329 Representative John West, II (pictured standing on the far left). He was joined by (pictured, facing the camera, left to right) Matt Thomas, President of Smith and Pickel Construction  Tony Yanda, Senior Director of Operations at The Boldt Company; Jon Bickell, Area Manager with Midwest Drywall Co., Inc.; and Tom Lippert, President of Lippert Bros., Inc.

“This is invaluable interaction with young men and women who are primed to be leaders in the future construction workforce,” said Jason Engels, CEO/EST of the Central South Carpenters. “Between the Career Connections curriculum and hours of personal engagement with industry leaders, these students will be well-versed to excel as talented professional carpenters in the near future.”

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