The annual meeting of CareerTech educators and administrators started today in a new location — downtown Oklahoma City. (Previously, meetings have been held in Tulsa.) But CareerTech state director Phil Berkinbile had another locale in mind in his opening address — DisneyWorld.
He said Walt Disney’s dream started with a drawing of a mouse and a vision of greatness. CareerTech doesn’t have Mickey Mouse but it does aim “to help make dreams and success a reality for Oklahomans,” he said.
The CareerTech system of vocational technical schools across the state helps tens of thousands of high school students and adults each year gain job readiness skills, and for many, a start on a college education.
But the system also struggles with higher operating costs amid stagnant state funding, loss of many Baby Boomer instructors to retirement, and a significant high school drop out rate.
Still, CareerTech graduates add $2 billion annually to the state’s economy, Berkinbile said.
Now that’s a mouse that roars.
Susan Simpson, Education Writer