Oklahoma's oldest and largest vo-tech school is getting a new campus. Tulsa Technology Center dedicated the new $38,000,000 Riverside Center Tuesday. The Federal Aviation Administration considers the Tulsa Tech facility as the first "Aviation University" in the country.
Classes will train employees for Tulsa's largest industries, including telecommunications, electronics and aviation. "When I first got into it, none of the airlines were hiring at the time in '91 and '92,â€ said OSU flight instructor Shane Heck. â€œMore and more airlines are starting to hire now."
Tulsa Technology Center's new Riverside campus was built to feed employment demands for Tulsa's 300 to 400 aviation and aerospace companies. "Our kids who graduate from here have their choice of 10 to 15 jobs," said T-C-C campus director Lee Tarrant. He says students can start on their careers in high school and work through the Aviation Education Alliance -- a cooperation among Tulsa Tech, O-S-U and T-C-C to prepare graduates for every facet of the aviation industry.
Andy Eursery teaches power plant skills to hundreds of students. American Airlines will employ a lot of them when they graduate, and company mechanics even help with this training. Teens who start in high school could earn more than just a degree.
"If they start out with us, either as a junior or senior, keep their grades up and attendance up, they can complete the adult program for free,â€ said Eursery. â€œThey'll have to buy a few tools and books."
Without that help, airframe and power plant certification runs about $5, 200.
These mechanics can get their F-A-A paper work directly from the school.
"After the students get back from their respective flights, they can attend their other classes here,â€ noted Heck. â€œSo they don't have to run all over town."
Astronaut Scott Carpenter attended the grand opening ceremony with other dignitaries Tuesday. The public can take tours of the new campus between 6:30 and 8:30 Tuesday night.
For enrollment information, call the Tulsa Technology Center campus at 828-4000. Ask to speak to a counselor.