Tulsa Tech has made it even easier to connect job-seeking students to businesses searching for qualified employees.
As many colleges across the country have fallen behind in their investments in career services, Tulsa Tech has been proactive in improving the quality of its program and incorporating best practices to get more students to use the service.
In 2018, Tulsa Tech began expanding its career services program, hiring a career coordinator for each of its six campus locations to assist with students’ career readiness.
It launched HireTulsaTechgrads.com that year to provide a comprehensive one-stop shop to better serve students and alumni. Program standards were aligned with those of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), as are all area colleges and universities.
“We’re using the same type of system that any post-secondary institution is offering their students,” said Karen Johnson, director of Tulsa Tech Career Services. “I like for people to know that when our students leave here – and about 40 percent of our students go on to college – they will have already experienced the type of career services program they will see in college.”
Tulsa Tech is the first of Oklahoma’s 29 career tech centers to employ a program that meets NACE standards, she said. “We pave the way and then they follow in our steps,” Johnson said.
Since launching the new career services program, student engagement with the program has grown and employer relations have both improved and increased.
One of the highlights of HireTulsaTechgrads.com is direct 24/7 access by students and alumni to area employers.
“This is like our own personal ‘Indeed.com,’” Karen Johnson, director of Tulsa Tech Career Services, said of the popular online job board.
Thousands of employers are actively seeking employees through Tulsa Tech career services to fill available positions. “These students have a job board specific to what we train for.”
And HireTulsaTechgrads.com offers so much more than job listings.
The program provides job search, career readiness and networking opportunities, as well as mock interviews, resume reviews and career fairs. The goal is for every student to have a resume uploaded to the system upon completion of their educational program.
“I like to tell students that they don’t want to miss the opportunities on HireTulsaTechgrads.com because these local employers have contacted us trying to find you,” Johnson said.
The benefits go both ways.
Employers have access to a significant pool of job applicants who are trained for the jobs they are looking to fill. They also have connections with instructors, alumni and have a voice in helping develop the curriculum with Tulsa Tech to get employees that are trained to meet their specific needs.
“Our advisory members guide us not only on technical skills students will need to be successful in the workplace, but sometimes more importantly what soft skills are needed, such as a work ethic and dependability,” Johnson said.
Overall, 96 percent of Tulsa Tech graduates obtain jobs in their field. A large part of the reason is due to Tulsa Tech’s efforts in reaching out and developing relationships with area employers.
In the past 18 months alone, the system has added 1,000 new employers who want to use the service to find new employees, Johnson said. Currently, there are nearly 300 new job postings available for students and alumni to peruse.
For employers, a partnership with Tulsa Tech can be a great boon for their business.
Once an employer signs up with HireTulsaTechgrads.com and is approved, they can ‘sell’ their company to potential employees. Not only can they post multiple employment opportunities and internships on the job board, but they also can promote their company by helping Tulsa Tech students prepare for the job selection process by offering mock interviews and other resources.
“Oftentimes, this is the first time our students have been through an interview process,” Johnson said.
Also, employers may volunteer to offer industry tours for students or provide speakers in the classrooms as well as participate in job fairs that Tulsa Tech hosts on various campuses.
“We’re in the business of preparing students for success in the workplace and that includes developing relationships with industry to gauge their workforce needs,” Johnson said.
According to a recent Grow Metro Tulsa survey of industries in 11 counties, every single industrial employer interviewed praised Tulsa Tech for the quality of its facilities, instructors and customer service in regards to meeting employer workforce needs.
Architecture and construction, hospitality, information technology, manufacturing and transportation are currently the top fields where Tulsa Tech students are engaging with local industry.
“We invite any employer that has a workforce need to post on our board. Most likely, we have some program that has prepared students for that career path,” she said.
Tulsa Tech offers a wide range of opportunities to prepare students for success in a career. With six campuses in the Tulsa metro area, a Tulsa Tech campus is never too far away.
Tulsa Tech will host a districtwide job fair from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on April 24 at the Riverside campus. It is open to students and alumni as well to the public.
For more information about Tulsa Tech, visit tulsatech.edu.
P.O. Box 477200, Tulsa, OK 74147