Moore Norman Technology Center Board President Glen Cosper is now in an even better position to help encourage career and technology education.
The Norman Realtor was recently named president of the Oklahoma Association of Technology Centers, a governing body that promotes and fosters education, provides professional development for board members and superintendents, and offers leadership advancement.
Cosper, who has been on MNTC's board since 2005, started his new duties Sept. 1. He said the state has 29 career tech centers that focus on a combination of health, agriculture, consumer science, administration, guidance, trade and industrial, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
"They're all in different divisions. We try to bring them together to unify everything," Cosper said, adding that career tech centers offer skillsets, collaboration and help economic development.
One of his goals as president is to increase aerospace education.
"It would help diversify economics where it's more balanced," said Cosper, who works at Keller Williams Realty in Norman.
Currently, only about five centers offer aerospace programs. However, almost all of the centers offer STEM, which are helpful in aerospace jobs, Cosper said. STEM subjects include science, technology, engineering and math.
"There are all sorts of classes in the arena," he said regarding the aerospace field.
Cosper said he was previously president of the OATC eight years ago, and his term will last one year.
He said he has been working with the Oklahoma Veterans Caucus to help increase the amount of veterans who participate in career tech centers.
"It has been very positive so far," he said. "I think it's important that veterans take their training and use them in civilian life."
Cosper said MNTC has about 35 veterans currently enrolled, but he would like to see that tripled.
"I'm so pleased that Glen has the opportunity to serve as president of the Oklahoma Association of Technology Centers. He does an exceptional job leading the teams he's connected to, and Moore Norman is so grateful for his service," MNTC Superintendent Brian Ruttman said. "He stays current on statewide issues that impact industry and technical education, such as the demand for aerospace programs and how to best serve our veterans. He will do an amazing job guiding OATC."
Another goal Cosper shared was strengthening collaborations with career tech centers and community centers. An example of this, he said, is the High Plains Technology Center in Woodward and Oklahoma Panhandle State University's collaborative welding program, where students can get an associate's degree in the field.
He said he would like to make the public more knowledgable about work skills systems in general. Currently, there are 16 youth centers or prisons that offer this type of education.
As far as MNTC goes, he said he believes the center does a good job working with elected officials, community, advisory board and partners to accomplish achievements.
"We just hired a new superintendent, and I'm looking forward to some changes and plans. We're making great greater," he said.