CV Tech Named Top Workplace in Oklahoma Fourth Consecutive Year

December 15, 2016

EL RENO – Don’t let the name fool you. Canadian Valley Technology Center sits high on a hill. Metaphorically speaking.

No other educational entity besides Canadian Valley has been recognized each of the four years that the list for Oklahoma’s Top Workplaces has been released.

The latest findings were released Sunday, following an independent survey conducted by Workplace Dynamics. The Pennsylvania-based company partners with publishers across the county to produce regional Top Workplaces lists. Findings are published in The Oklahoman newspaper each winter.

Established in 1970, CV Tech’s mission is unwavering. Faculty and staff at three campus sites in the west OKC and southwest metro OKC area focus on preparing students for success, accomplished by means of quality career and technical programs and services.

CV Tech placed tenth this year among 15 companies in the mid-sized group that is comprised of organizations with at least 125 employees and not more than 349. Canadian Valley was listed No. 1 in 2013, third in 2014 and 10th last year.

This kind of sustainability is no accident, said CV Tech Superintendent Dr. Greg Winters.

“Obviously we are so honored to be named the fourth time in a row,” Winters said. “We work extremely hard to create a very positive culture at Canadian Valley.

“We have great staff who have this belief that working here is like a big family. We lean on each other in tough times. That resiliency shows. It’s not just a place to go to work, it’s a place to enjoy going to work and to enjoy the people you work with.”

Last year, Workplace Dynamics surveyed more than two million employees from among over 6,000 companies nationwide. Surveys assess fundamentals of the company, including values, execution, leadership and culture.

Deputy Superintendent Gayla Lutts said workplace success has resulted from faculty and staff having a singular focus to serve students and maintain relationships with area companies who provide feedback regarding industry trends and in turn hire those students to fill labor needs.

Employees maintain this focus in spite of what happens around them, Lutts said. And lately, much has happened in and around Canadian Valley. A May 2013 tornado destroyed the El Reno Campus, sending ripples across the 1,500-square-mile district. Programs were moved to alternative locations until the school could be rebuilt. Shortly thereafter came the deaths of two instructors.

“Because of the tornado, we were operating in a temporary facility, and then tragedy struck with the sudden deaths of two tenured instructors just months apart,” she said. “When you go through those tough situations, you realize how strong you are as a group, collectively and collaboratively.

“In spite of all that, it’s helped us to refocus on what’s really important. I think what has happened at Canadian Valley is that it’s caused us to focus on people as individuals and what each person brings to the organization. This in turn allows us to meet students’ needs and focus on their successes.”

CV Tech offers two dozen, full-time programs at campus sites in El Reno, Chickasha and in Yukon. These are designed to train people for Oklahoma’s workforce more quickly than degree programs, though nearly half of CV Tech’s graduates attend college.

High school students can finish a full-time program in two years by attending half a day. Adults have the privilege of attending a full day and completing in one school year. Classes are provided tuition-free to anyone under age 24 who lives within district boundaries and who meet reasonable attendance and behavioral expectations.

Additionally, CV Tech offers a variety of short-term courses for those who want a fast track to a new skill or a career. The vast majority of classes are offered two evenings per week over a couple months. These courses cost as little as $5.

Finally, CV Tech a built-in economic development engine known as the Business and Industry Services division. This team provides affordable customized training for area businesses owners. An example is a business that buys a new piece of equipment and needs to train its employees quickly how to safely and accurately operate it. This group steps in and provides an instructor for this specialized training.

Often, the BIS team is called upon in instances of Occupational Safety and Health Administration violations. Safety culture training ensues, resulting in a safer workplace and usually the avoidance of heavy fines. For a complete list of services provided at CV Tech, visit the school’s website at cvtech.edu.