No. 1 midsize company: Canadian Valley Technology Center

by Paula Burkes Modified: December 12, 2013 at 10:37 am •  Published: December 15, 2013

photo - Canadian Valley Technology Center Superintendent and CEO Greg Winters in Yukon, Monday November 11, 2013. Photo By Steve Gooch, The Oklahoman
Canadian Valley Technology Center Superintendent and CEO Greg Winters in Yukon, Monday November 11, 2013. Photo By Steve Gooch, The Oklahoman

It sounds like a little request, but to Colleen Dill, a health careers instructor at Canadian Valley Technology Center, it was huge.

Dill needed a door, to separate students training in CPR from those learning nurse aid skills.

She had her door within a few days.

That's really no surprise for an organization that, after an F-5 tornado leveled its El Reno campus on May 31, was ready Aug. 15 to commence classes in 19 high school and adult career and trade programs — in an old Chevrolet dealership in Yukon that'd sat vacant for five years.

But Dill said the school's administration has listened to her concerns since she started teaching there 23 years ago, and enjoyed a discounted employee rate to send her 18-month-old son to the on-site day care staffed by students in the school's early childhood education program.

Now, her son is the same age of many adult students of Canadian Valley, which -- upon the prompting of Superintendent Greg Winters five years ago -- offers free tuition to anyone 24 and under who lives in the district.

“Many didn't take advantage of the technology center when they could have in, in high school,” Winters said, “and then find themselves with no job at 22 or 23 and living at home with mom and dad, who reside in the district and still support us with taxes. I feel like we're helping the students and the parents out,” Winters said.

The technology center also offers $1,500 in annual tuition reimbursement to support faculty pursuing college degrees. Many are recruited from industry for their technical expertise.

Opened in 1970, Canadian Valley has three campuses: one being rebuilt in El Reno to open in August 2015, a Chickasha campus and a third situated between Mustang and Yukon. In total, the school employs 206 and serves 1,442 students, including 130 and 788, respectively, being housed temporarily in the car dealership.

by Paula Burkes
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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