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Nathan Hale High School building toward adding construction program
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Nathan Hale High School building toward adding construction program

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Students at Hale High School could be adding PVC pipe and plungers to their school supply lists come fall.

Pending approval by the school board, Hale will launch a construction program starting this fall through a partnership among Tulsa Public Schools, the Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa and the Hardesty Family Foundation.

“Construction is a booming business and looks to be for a long time,” Principal Sheila Riley said. “There is a high demand for specialized jobs within the construction industry, such as plumbers, electricians and masonry, and students in this program can earn up to 10 industry certifications.”

Up to 140 Hale students will be able to take classes through the program and potentially pursue certification or advanced coursework through Tulsa Tech. Initially, the program will be open to Hale students across all grades, but in the future, Riley said, it may be aimed at freshmen who will continue through their sophomore year before pursuing additional classes at Tulsa Tech.

“This is an introduction-to-construction program,” Director of Academic Operations and Impact Dominik Dresel said. “Tulsa Tech offers a wide range of specialized programs that the students will be able to tap into.”

Efforts have been underway behind the scenes to offer a construction program at Hale, 6960 E. 21st St., since 2018, Riley said. There are no plans to expand the program to other high schools at this time.

“The Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa and members of the residential construction industry are excited for this construction training course to begin,” said Jeffrey Smith, the association’s executive vice president and CEO.

“With hundreds of job openings in our industry in Tulsa and the average age of a construction worker eclipsing 57 years old, the need for our next generation of the workforce is great.

“The opportunity these students will see in the construction industry is immense, and we hope to see future tradesmen and women begin their pathway to a lifetime of employment and business ownership opportunities.”


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My primary beat is public education. I am a third-generation graduate of Oklahoma State University, a board member for Oklahoma SPJ and an active member of the Native American Journalists Association.

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