WAYNE, Okla. (OBV) – Mid-America Technology Center is focused on building the future of Oklahoma’s workforce, and was honored once again for outstanding work in providing students career readiness training.
The Southern Region Education Board (SREB) awarded Mid-America Technology Center the 2023 Gene Bottoms Pacesetter School Award during its Making Schools Work conference, held in Orlando, Fla., from July 18-21.
The award is given to outstanding middle schools, high schools and technology centers that have implemented SREB’s school improvement frameworks and are succeeding in meeting graduation, readiness and credential attainment goals.
“It makes me very proud of my entire staff that they are being recognized for the investment they put into the people we serve,” said Mike Eubank, superintendent of Mid-America.
SREB presents the award to a handful of schools from across 17 states each summer.
Nine technology centers received the award this year. Mid-America and Pioneer Tech in Ponca City were the only two Oklahoma-based technology centers to receive the award. Two elementary schools, nine high schools, including Westmoore High School, and seven middle schools received the award.
This was the third time for Mid-America to win the award, having previously won it in 2019, the first year the award was given, and 2020. It won the award this year for the success of its student mentor program, Check-Ins, which gives Mid-America students an adult mentor with whom they meet throughout their enrollment, according to Eubank.
“The main benefits of Check-Ins are that the students are given a voice regarding their current action steps, and provided an advocate to help achieve their future hopes and dreams,” Eubank said.
Mid-America, located in the McClain County town of Wayne, Okla., has just over 1,100 full-time students. It offers 27 programs for high school and post-secondary students, as well as two that are high school only and two that are post-secondary only.
The technology center provides its students a career-readiness curriculum that opens pathways into various workforce sectors and gives them the knowledge they will need to succeed in their chosen career.
Mid-America builds its workforce development curriculum with local communities in mind.
“We focus on the workforce needs of our district and are confident we help fill the gap for those economic sectors,” Eubank said.
Mid-America serves a district that includes 18 communities. The workforce needs of those communities are as follows:
- Energy – oil & gas
- Public service
“We added 3 programs this year based on needs assessment of our district. We closed 2 programs last year based on the same data,” Eubank said.
Most of Mid-America’s 31 programs are 900-hour programs that can be completed in a year by post-secondary students who attend full school days, or two years by high school students who attend half-day sessions. Some of the technology center’s health-related programs are 450-hour programs that can be completed in one year by high school students.
A large majority of students who complete the program go onto careers in the industry they trained for at Mid-America. Job placement for all students for calendar year 2021-22 was 92 percent, according to Eubank.
“We are very pleased with that, but expect that to increase when 22-23 data is posted,” he said.