Senator James Lankford watches a demonstration on how a pig is run at Central Tech

U.S. Senator James Lankford toured several programs on Central Tech’s Drumright campus Tuesday. He, along with Dr. Lee Denney, interim state director of Oklahoma CareerTech, and Skye McNiel, executive director of OkACTE, heard from instructors on how they train students to meet the needs of the workforce. 

The senator’s team scheduled the visit to learn more about the training opportunities Central Tech has in the region for truck drivers, especially as we continue to face supply chain issues around the country. 

Senator Lankford told ELDT Class A CDL students, “the number one thing that I hear in the state is people are looking for drivers. Literally, what you all are doing is stepping up and solving one of the biggest challenges we have as a nation right now.” 

He said employers in all 77 counties across Oklahoma are sharing the same message that their businesses would be doing better with more drivers. 

“Everybody in the state is looking for you,” Lankford told truck driver students as he thanked them for meeting this high need.  

The touring group met with students and instructors discussing needs in several industries including cyber security, oil and gas, truck driving, powersports, and linemen.  

Lankford told lineman students, “I can’t even imagine that kind of emotion of watching those in action (in Florida) right now. Unfortunately, it will come to us as well at some point, so thanks for stepping into that role and taking on that job.”  

This past year Central Tech achieved a 94% placement for students entering the workforce or continuing their education. Central Tech, part of the Oklahoma CareerTech system, provides technical education leading to industry certifications.