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Project SEARCH - Growing Oklahoma's Workforce

Most jobs in the oil and gas industry require highly skilled workers. An internship program at Chesapeake Energy called Project SEARCH is giving an opportunity to young people with other abilities.
Project SEARCH - Growing Oklahoma's Workforce

Project SEARCH - Growing Oklahoma's Workforce

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Francis Tuttle Technology Center--Project SEARCH

Show Dates

Show 1220: Project SEARCH - Growing Oklahoma's Workforce

Air date: May 13, 2012

 

Transcript

ROB MCCLENDON:  WELL DRIVE OUT WEST AND IT IS EASY TO SEE THE IMPACT OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION HAS ON COMMUNITIES AROUND THE STATE.  HOTELS ARE FULL AND NEW ONES ARE SPRINGING UP ALL THE TIME.  CHESAPEAKE ALONE IS OIN TRACK TO HIRE UP TO 1,500 PEOPLE THIS YEAR, TO ADD TO A STATE WORKFORCE APPROACHING 7,000.  BUT AS OUR ALISA HINES REPORTS WHILE MOST OF THESE JOBS ARE HIGHLY SKILLED, AN INTERNSHIP PROGRAM AT CHESAPEAKE IS ALSO GIVING AN OPPORTUNITY TO YOUNG PEOPLE WITH OTHER ABILITIES.

ALISA HINES:  IT’S LUNCH TIME AT CHESAPEAKE ENERGY AND LOGAN CLIFFORD IS DISHING UP A FEAST OF FLAVORS.  WORKING AS A PROJECT SEARCH INTERN, LOGAN SAYS HE REALLY LIKES WHAT HE’S DOING.

MALE VOICE:  HAVE A GREAT DAY!

LOGAN CLIFFORD:  BECAUSE I LEARN NEW JOB SKILLS AND I CAN GET A CAREER, JUST NOT A JOB.

ALISA:  PROJECT SEARCH IS A PROGRAM THAT PROVIDES REAL-LIFE WORK EXPERIENCE TO YOUTH WITH INTELLECTUAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, HELPING THEM MAKE THE TRANSITION FROM SCHOOL TO PRODUCTIVE ADULTS.  AND FOR LOGAN, WORKING IN THE FOOD SERVICE INDUSTRY ALLOWS HIM TO USE HIS ABILITIES VERSUS DEALING WITH HIS WEAKNESSES.

LOGAN:  YOU DON’T REALLY HAVE MUCH READING TO DO IN IT; AND I, THAT’S MY WEAKNESS, IS READING, SO I MAKE UP FOR THAT.

ALISA:  ACCORDING TO CHESAPEAKE’S TERESA ROSE, PROJECT SEARCH IS A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, METRO TECH, OU, AND AREA BUSINESSES LIKE CHESAPEAKE ENERGY.

TERESA ROSE:  THE PARTNERSHIP HAS BEEN FANTASTIC.  THE SUPPORT THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATIVE SERVICES PROVIDES IN THE WORKPLACE TO THE INTERN, AS WELL AS, TO THE BUSINESS HAS BEEN ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL.  THEY HAVE COACHES THAT THEY WORK, THAT THE INTERNS WORK WITH EVERYDAY.  AND PART OF THAT IS TO COME TO THE BUSINESS LEADERS AND SAY HOW IS IT GOING, HOW DID TODAY GO?  THEY CHECK THE WORK, THEY PROVIDE COACHING, THEY PROVIDE MENTORING; IT HAS REALLY BEEN A PHENOMENAL PROJECT FOR US.

ALISA:  FOR MICHAEL WORTHINGTON, IT’S BEEN A CHANCE TO WORK WITH HIS HANDS.

MICHAEL WORTHINGTON:  OH IT’S TREMENDOUS.  I GET TO LEARN NEW THINGS EVERY DAY; FROM CHANGING OUT LIGHT BULBS, TO WORKING ON ELECTRICALS, TO PRETTY MUCH DOING PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE.

ALISA:  DEREK PATTISON IS MICHAEL’S SUPERVISOR AND SAYS THE INTERNSHIP IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

DEREK PATTISON:  OH I THINK IT’S GREAT THAT CHESAPEAKE PROVIDES THE OPPORTUNITY FOR THESE GUYS TO COME IN AND LEARN A TRADE AND HELP IN THE WAY THAT THEY DO.  IT MAKES ME FEEL PROUD AS AN EMPLOYEE.  MICHAEL’S A REAL GOOD KID, I ENJOY WORKING WITH HIM; HE’S BEEN UH, HE’D DONE A GREAT JOB WITH US.  IT’S BEEN UH, IT’S BEEN FUN WORKING WITH HIM; ENJOYED IT.

ALISA:  IT’S OPPORTUNITIES LIKE THIS THAT TERESA SAYS IS BENEFICIAL TO THE STUDENTS.

TERESA:  ONE OF OUR CORE VALUES IS GIVING BACK TO OUR COMMUNITY AND HELPING THOSE PEOPLE THAT NEED A LITTLE SUPPORT.  I’VE SEEN THOSE INTERNS REALLY BLOSSOM AS THEY HAVE WORKED IN A BUSINESS SETTING, GETTING THE AFFIRMATION OF SUCCESS.

ALISA:  AND SOMETHING MICHAEL TRULY APPRECIATES.

MICHAEL:  TO ME, IT’S A GOOD OPPORTUNITY FOR A PERSON WHO HASN’T PREVIOUSLY HAD A JOB IN THE WORKING FORCE YET; SO, I LOVE IT.

ROB MCCLENDON:  AND ALISA TELLS US THAT IN ADDITION TO THESE INTERNSHIPS, THE METRO TECH STUDENTS ENROLLED IN PROJECT SEARCH ALSO RECEIVE INDEPENDENT LIVING TRAINING AND JOB COACHING SKILLS TO HELP THEM TRANSITION INTO ADULTHOOD.