April 14, 2021
Alliance member Galt Foundation is partnering with Oklahoma Career Tech and Recovering Oklahomans After Disaster, Inc. (ROAD) to employ job seekers enrolled in ROAD’s new Vocational Training Apprenticeship Program. The new collaboration offers individuals with barriers to employment the opportunity to gain training credentials and job experience while making home repairs for low-income homeowners affected by extreme weather events.
For the initial pilot in Tulsa, Green Country Workforce (formerly Workforce Tulsa) recruited participants, and Tulsa Technology Center provided classroom space and competency certification in each of the construction disciplines included in ROAD's apprenticeship training.
Participants initially complete two weeks of classroom instruction focused on proper use of tools and forklift operation, along with OSHA-10 certification. Then they begin on-the-job training while repairing the homes of disaster survivors. During this phase, Galt Foundation serves as the employer of record and ROAD staff manage the repair projects.
Over the course of 6 to 12 weeks, each apprentice earns an official Career Tech certificate of competency in framing, roofing, insulation, drywall, flooring, siding, trim, painting, and fixture installation. Beyond these vocational skills, the program coaches individuals on good work habits, team building, and personal growth and development.
According to Wesley Mitchell of Green Country Workforce, the pilot was a "resounding success" and the program is now expanding to serve other regions of the state. Galt will continue as the employer of record and offer workers new job placements with other employer clients upon completion of the ROAD projects.