Jeanie Zagar is executive director, Career Planning/Career Development at Meridian Technology Center. MTC serves individuals and industries in the communities served by the Agra, Carney, Glencoe, Guthrie, Morrison, Mulhall-Orlando, Pawnee, Perkins-Tryon, Perry and Stillwater school districts.
Q1: While many schools are out for the summer, Meridian doesn’t seem to slow down. What’s taking place on your campus this summer?
A1: Summer is actually a very busy time on our campus. Adult-only programs like Evening Cosmetology, Health Informatics, Practical Nursing and Radiologic Technology have class year-round. We also host two camps each summer. We just wrapped up our summer camp for kids, and next week we will hold Technovation4Education camp for educators. Additionally, throughout the summer our meeting and training rooms are used for other education-related training sessions.
Q2: What services do you provide to help students explore their career interests?
A2: Our career services division provides a wide range of services for both our students and prospective students. These services include assessment, career information, job readiness training, academic skills training and job placement services. There are also free online career information and assessments available through the Oklahoma Career Guide at okcareerguide.org. These assessments are available to assist you in learning more about your abilities, interests, personality and values.
Q3: Meridian’s mission is to educate, enrich lives and secure economic futures. There is a shortage of employees in the construction industry nationwide. What do people need to know about the construction trades programs?
A3: There’s a skills gap in the construction industry that’s only getting wider. In the next two years, Oklahoma will need more than 95,000 new professionals including carpenters, masons and concrete workers. That number doesn’t even factor in the demand for electricians and HVAC workers. We offer five programs that are designed to help fill that skills gap: Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, Carpentry, Electrical Technology, Facilities Management and Masonry. Graduates of these programs are primed for success according to the job outlook in each of those industries. These programs still have openings.
Q4: Health care is another career field that continues to have a shortage of workers. What programs does Meridian offer in this area that students can still enroll in for the fall?
A4: We simply do not have enough health care professionals to meet the needs of the population. Meridian offers health-related training in a variety of areas. Students who want to work directly with patients can take the Health Careers program. The Pharmacy Technology program offers a unique option to make an impact in the industry. We also offer Health Informatics, which is more of the technical side of the health industry. If you like working with computers and have an eye for detail, it may be a perfect fit.
Q5: Is it too late for someone to enroll in career training for the fall semester?
A5: We are still accepting applications for programs that have not yet reached capacity. Adult students can apply online at meridiantech.edu/admissions/adult-students. They will also need to attend an orientation session on either June 13 or July 11. High school students will need to come and apply in person.
– David Bitton