Gordon Cooper Technology Center Honored Citizen Potawatomi Nation at Awards Ceremony

EDMOND, Okla. – Gordon Cooper Technology Center representatives were on hand to celebrate Citizen Potawatomi Nation as its 2024 OkACTE Partners in Progress Award recipient Tuesday at the Hilton Garden Inn.

The annual award is intended to honor industry partners who work one-on-one with technology center districts. Each partner is recognized for their commitment to work with technology centers and students. Legislators are invited to attend the event; where our business partners are encouraged to share their CareerTech success stories.

Citizen Potawatomi Nation, led by Chairman Rocky Barrett, is a federally recognized government with headquarters located near Shawnee, Oklahoma. Along with serving its more than 38,000 tribal members, CPN strives to provide services to neighboring communities and to create a substantial economic impact in the state.

Gordon Cooper Technology Center is just one of the organizations CPN works to partner with and support, including some of the ways listed below.

CPN Vice-Chairman Linda Capps is a founding member of the GCTC Foundation Board, and CPN has served as a sponsor for the GCTC Foundation Rocket Man Run, an annual 5K race that raises scholarship funds for GCTC students.

In 2023, after several months of discussion and planning, CPN helped sponsor the first session of a 450-hour Lineworker Training Program, which will provide much needed training to students who can start work as pre-apprentice lineman once completing the program. This stemmed from a request in 2022 for training for CPN’s electrical plant staff. Ultimately, the hope is that the new program will provide a career path for high school students and skilled labor for organizations such as CPN.

CPN has worked with GCTC to receive custom training for CPN enterprise staff, including forklift and safety training for Sovereign Pipe employees, DISC training, de-escalation and customer service training for CPN Health Clinic Staff, and multi-generation communication training for CPN Housing Authority.

CPN and its grocery store, FireLake Discount Foods, have provided donations to GCTC’s student and staff toiletries cabinet, which provides supplies such as laundry soap to students who are in need.

House of Hope, CPN’s domestic violence shelter, has partnered with GCTC to provide outreach to GCTC students who may be survivors of domestic violence.

CPN employees have served on GCTC advisory committees to provide valuable insight and local knowledge about how to improve its training and programs.

CPN helped GCTC students gain hands-on experience by allowing them to work in a design shop.

Originally part of the Anishnabek peoples who lived in the Great Lakes region of the United States, today the Citizen Potawatomi Nation acts under a ratified Constitution and includes executive, legislative and judicial branches. CPN has more than 50 tribal government programs and commercial enterprises that provide services to its citizens and neighboring communities while creating a substantial economic impact in the state. Visit potawatomi.org for more information.

Gordon Cooper Technology Center is an accredited institution and is one of 29 Career and Technical education options within Oklahoma's globally recognized Career Tech System. GCTC serves an area in East-Central Oklahoma covering approximately three counties. To learn more about Gordon Cooper Technology Center, click here.