At the annual Partners in Progress celebration in February, the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education (OkACTE) and Oklahoma Association of Technology Centers (OATC) presented awards to some of Oklahoma CareerTech’s most valued industry partners. The 27 businesses were recognized for making outstanding contributions to the improvement, promotion, development and progress of career and technology centers in Oklahoma. Pioneer Technology Center’s (PTC) choice for a Partner in Progress was K&C Manufacturing in Ponca City.
“PTC, like other technology centers, works closely within our district to collaborate with business and industry partners in addressing workforce shortages. K&C Manufacturing is an excellent and engaged industry partner who works closely with us to ensure students are prepared with the skills and training necessary for the jobs in their field. K&C is a valued partner who assists PTC in sustaining program relevance and preparation for future industry trends. Partners like K&C are critical to the development of a skilled workforce, and we greatly appreciate their support of PTC's mission,” remarked Traci Thorpe, Superintendent/CEO of Pioneer Technology Center.
K&C Manufacturing Inc was founded in 1999 by Kirk Brown, President, as a tool and die shop. Brown is a graduate of the Precision Machining Program at Pioneer Tech and has maintained a constancy in his relationship with the tech center. Since the company’s beginning, it has expanded into an international custom manufacturer with a variety of products including plastic injection molding, metal fabrication and production machine work. K&C processes numerous materials including stainless steel, plastics, copper and aluminum. Also offered are an assortment of secondary operations such as anodizing, cad plating, phosphate and heat treatment. K&C serves the aerospace, agriculture, defense, hunting, marine, medical, petroleum, plumbing, veterinary and construction industries, among others. The manufacturing company was founded on the principle of collaborating with their community and industry partners.
In 2014, K&C Manufacturing moved their business to Ponca City from Newkirk; the location is less than a half mile from Pioneer Technology Center’s campus. Through the years, the Business and Industry Services team at Pioneer Tech has assisted the company with management development, machine training and implementation, workforce development, and Brown has been a part of the Precision Machining Advisory Council since 2014. His oldest son is a graduate of the PTC Precision Machining program and his younger son is currently enrolled.
K&C has worked with Janet Schwabe and Johnny Thornburgh on Business to Business opportunities with other manufacturers across the state. The company provides technical expertise on Pioneer Tech student CNC equipment, and Brown has helped improve Mastercam and Conversational Programming instruction.
Among attendees at the Partners in Progress ceremony were Oklahoma legislators, technology center superintendents as well as leaders and representatives from the recognized companies. Award recipients demonstrated their commitment to progressing career technical education through their partnerships with CareerTech and through commendable obligation to workforce excellence and education in their community.
“The Partners in Progress award is a significant recognition for Pioneer Tech’s industry partners. Each year our team chooses an organization that exemplifies what it means to be a true partner in bettering our district’s economy and workforce development. K&C Manufacturing has a long history with Pioneer Tech. They consistently provide support and help lead innovation in manufacturing and training in the Ponca City area,” said Molly Kyler, Executive Director of Business and Industry Services at Pioneer Tech.
For nearly 50 years, Pioneer Tech has connected students and businesses with training opportunities that help individuals find rewarding careers and support community industries. Oklahoma’s CareerTech system is known for being nimble and flexible in order to serve local business and is often used as a model at the national level to demonstrate how CareerTechs should partner with industry. For more information about Pioneer Technology Center’s programs and services, call 580-762-8336.
PHOTO: The Oklahoma Association for Career Technology Education recognized top industry partners for training thousands of workers through CareerTech programs at the annual Partners for Progress awards in Oklahoma City. Pictured left to right Oklahoma CareerTech State Director, Brent Haken; PTC Industrial Coordinator, Johnny Thornburgh; PTC Executive Director of Full-Time Programs, Kahle Goff; Oklahoma Senator, Bill Coleman; PTC Executive Director of Business and Industry Services, Molly Kyler; Incubator Manager, Janet Schwabe; K&C Manufacturing, Kegan Brown, K&C Manufacturing Owner, Kirk Brown, PTC Superintendent/CEO, Traci Thorpe and Executive Director of OKACTE, Skye McNiel.