Our CEO’s Corner
This time of the year is always my favorite. A time to reflect on the past year, to celebrate accomplishments, to learn from our mistakes and to set personal and professional goals for the new year ahead. It is also a time to pause and reflect on what we are thankful for and to experience and share our gratitude.
This year, I am so grateful for having the opportunity to impact the lives of our graduates from TWS. I am grateful for having the opportunity to work with such a passionate, talented, and hard-working team who is dedicated to caring for and supporting our students, every step of the way, and to make an impact on their lives, their families, and the communities and employers they serve.
Our organization is in an exciting growth mode with dynamic organizational transformation. As a leader in skilled trades education with multiple offices and campus locations nationwide, it is mission-critical that we focus on investing in our culture to achieve our goals.
As an organization, we share in these beliefs:
- We believe in diversity and inclusion.
- We believe in equity and access to education.
- We believe in the ability for everyone to succeed with the right support.
- We believe in the critical need for the skilled trades to help America meet our growing infrastructure needs and, in meeting that need, facilitating true life change for our graduates.
I am personally looking forward to contributing to enhancing our “People First Culture” and making a positive and life-changing impact on each other as colleagues, our students, employers, and the communities we serve nationwide. With gratitude, appreciation, and excitement,
Have You Considered a Career in the Skilled Trades?
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Mary Kelly, President and CEO
Corporate Social Responsibility
At TWS, we are committed to corporate social responsibility across each of our campuses, and as we close out the fiscal year, we look back at the tremendous impact we have had on each other and the communities we serve.
Tulsa Welding School & Technology Center Volunteers at Local Food Bank
To help serve the needs of the Houston community, Tulsa Welding School & Technology Center volunteered at a local food bank and assembled bags of food for people who are homebound, live in homeless shelters, and who can’t afford food.
To continue our mission or serving our community’s needs, TWSTC plans to do these sorts of food drives more often.
Thank you to everyone who was involved in these initiatives. You helped make a difference. We look forward to continuing this momentum into the new fiscal year and making an even greater impact on our communities!
Partnering With Oklahoma Food Bank to Care for our Students
Student success is about more than just training students and seeing that they graduate—it’s also about caring for them as human beings. We’d like to thank the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma for their partnership in helping us provide 10 of our students with a Thanksgiving meal.
Innovation and Technology
Career Education Review Recognizes StrataTech, Tulsa Welding School, and RSI.
This recognition highlights the forward-thinkers, innovators, and advocates making a positive impact in the private career school sector and leading change in career education. Mary Kelly, President and CEO at StrataTech Education Group, Chris Shuler, Director of Training and Student Services at Tulsa Welding School, and Alex Declair, Business Development Representative and Regional Training Manager at StrataTech, have been honored for the innovation and development of OcuWeld.
Ocuweld is first-of-its-kind, virtual reality training technology that is transforming welding education by bringing hands-on training into a virtual environment.
“StrataTech Education Group is honored to be named among those making an impact in career education for the innovation and development of OcuWeld – providing virtual reality (VR) training for welding,” said Mary Kelly, president and CEO of StrataTech Education Group. “Addressing the need for equity and inclusion in education, we developed OcuWeld, using the power of virtual reality, to provide training to underserved areas. Without requiring access to the Internet or WIFI, we can reach our students where they are, eliminating technological and geographic barriers to education. In addition, the OcuWeld VR platform fosters heightened student engagement through gamification. Finally, by integrating the latest technology in technical education, we can help our students be better prepared for current and future workforce and employer demands. We’d also like to thank the team at ForgeFX for their help with the coding to bring OcuWeld to market.”
Tulsa Welding School Launches Virtual Reality Labs at all locations
Last October, as part of the National Open House Event, The Refrigeration School, Inc. and Tulsa Welding School campuses launched the first-of-its-kind Virtual Reality Labs for prospective students.
Each lab gave individuals the chance to try out our innovative virtual reality technology, OcuWeld and Interplay. OcuWeld simulates the experience of being a welder, while Interplay simulates the experience of being an HVAC/R technician or electrician. Neither simulator requires the user to use physical tools or be in a physical booth or classroom. Read and watch the full story.
A huge thank you to Fox 10 Phoenix for stopping by the campus to chat about the OcuWeld’s capabilities and our welding training program! Click here to watch the segment.
B2B and Workforce Development
StrataTech Education Group Joins the Grow with Google Indigenous Career Readiness Program
StrataTech is proud to join the Grow with Google Career Readiness Program, an initiative by Google that provides Native students with training and career workshops to prepare them with digital skills. Joining this program not only helps Grow With Google’s goal of training 10,000 Native students for career readiness by 2025, but it also helps our goal of expanding skilled trades training to as many people as possible, no matter their background. Read the full announcement.
Tulsa Welding School & Technology Center Opens the Electrical Apprenticeship
At Tulsa Welding School & Technology Center, we have expanded our electrical students’ opportunities for training and career advancement with the Electrical Apprenticeship. Students of the Electrical Applications program now have the option to sign up with the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation (TDLR) during enrollment. They earn hours as they attend the program, when they graduate, they will have 700 hours signed off by a Master Electrician, counting toward the 8,000 hours needed to become a journeyman electrician.
Setting our students up for lifetime success and fulfillment is our top priority as a school. The Electrical Apprenticeship makes the path to becoming a certified journeyman electrician more accessible to our electrical students with ambitious career aspirations.
Tulsa Welding School Jacksonville Joins the NAS Jacksonville Air Show
On October 22nd and 23rd, led by Regional Director of Admissions Montrez Lucas, our fantastic Admissions team participated in the NAS Jacksonville Air Show in Jacksonville, Florida, setting up a space to talk to event attendees about Tulsa Welding School and our skilled trades training programs.
Held at the NAS Jacksonville base, birthplace of the Blue Angels, the NAS Jacksonville Air Show is a showcase of military and civilian demonstrations of aviation acrobatics. There are military aircraft displays, food and beverage booths, and kid zones for entire families to enjoy the day and festivities.
Tulsa Welding School Tulsa – Proud Sponsor of the Tulsa Oilers
This sponsorship provided us with a whole host of advertising opportunities: video board spots, ticket vouchers, social media and website promotions, and our logos on the dasher boards in the Oilers Ice Center.
We also had a big event scheduled for the center: Skilled Trades Night, presented by Tulsa Welding School, will be Friday, December 2nd. The game was a tribute to skilled trades professionals everywhere. This was a staff, faculty and student appreciation event.
TWS staff and faculty were at the arena to talk about our skilled trades training programs and to demonstrate OcuWeld and Interplay. Along with a representative of the Tulsa Oilers, Campus President Shalisa Powell presented about Tulsa Welding School and our commitment to recognizing the country’s skilled trades professionals.
In the News
Mary Kelly Challenges Industry for More Inclusive Language in the Skilled Trades
Inclusivity, equity, and diversity in the skilled trades are some of our paramount goals at StrataTech. We believe that empowering the country with skilled labor of the future can happen only if we give everyone, no matter their background, a chance to become a skilled tradesperson.
That means making sure everyone feels included.
In her newest article on construction and building industry news site Construction Dive, our CEO Mary Kelly stresses the importance of using more inclusive language in skilled trades industries. Using terms like “trades professional” instead of “tradesman” would be a great start. Mary also highlighted how female graduates like Celia Reyes and Brenda Hay are making a positive impact on the industry and demonstrating how the skilled trades are not just for men.
Click here to read Mary’s thoughts about the importance of gender inclusivity in the skilled trades.
Graduates Making an Impact!
Jabari Montague – Tulsa Welding School
Jabari was always curious about welding. College? He didn’t want to spend 4 years at a university spending a bunch of money.
His friend told him about Tulsa Welding School, and that’s when the light bulb went off. Jabari trained at Tulsa Welding School for 7 months and loved every minute of it. After graduation, he got a job as a welder at W International.
Jabari now lives in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina, right by the beach. Now that he’s in the field and welding, it’s obvious to Jabari just how important welders are to creating things: building bridges, buildings, and submarines, just to name a few.
Welding is everywhere, and it’s for everyone. Jabari credits his friends and family for pushing him to get where he is. He’s extremely proud to be a graduate of Tulsa Welding School. Watch Jabari’s Day in the Life video.
Allie Espinoza – Tulsa Welding School
At 17, Allie got her start welding on trucks and knew right away that’s what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. She even started her own welding company at a young age.
Allie got to learn and figure out new things at Tulsa Welding School. After graduating, she went to a job fair at TWS and got hired for a new job at W International across the country. Since she started working, Allie has been able to help support her husband, daughter, and two pit bulls. She recommends TWS to anyone who wants to work hard and work with their hands.
Is welding a good career for women? Allie thinks so! At Tulsa Welding School, we believe the skilled trades are for everyone, and Allie represents our commitment to that belief. Watch Allie’s Day in the Life video.
Tulsa Welding School’s National Open House
Wednesday, January 11th, 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, and Saturday, January 14th, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Tulsa, Oklahoma. 2545 East 11th Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74104. Located near the 412, 244 and 64 expressways, near Broken Arrow and within driving distance from Oklahoma City, Norman and Tuttle.
3500 Southside Boulevard, Jacksonville, Florida, 32216. Located near Beach Blvd (Highway 90), close to Orange Park, Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach.
243A Greens Rd. Houston, Texas 77060. Situated just East of I-45 and just North of Beltway 8/Sam Houston Parkway.