Essential Gratitude

Essential Worker t-shirt being screen printed at DRTC.

Employees at Dale Rogers Training Center’s (DRTC) federal contracts have some new threads for the new year. DRTC, a private nonprofit agency that employs, trains and serves approximately 1,000 people with disabilities or limiting conditions in Oklahoma, recently distributed gifts bags that included shirts celebrating the essential workers. Those shirts were screen printed at DRTC’s main campus in Oklahoma City.

When the pandemic officially shuttered operations of several industries nationwide beginning in March 2020, one key group remained on the frontlines: essential workers. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has several categories of essential critical infrastructure workers, which includes food service and custodial staff. DRTC employs approximately 300 such staff at its federal contracts at Tinker Air Force Base, the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center at FAA and federal buildings located in downtown Oklahoma City. These staff stepped up their game during the pandemic, cleaning areas more frequently and following site-based guidance regarding dining options, as well as proper safety protocols.

“We can’t thank the crews enough for their dedication during these trying times,” said DRTC Executive Director Deborah Copeland, M.Ed.

DRTC custodial crew

Employees at DRTC’s federal contract locations work in a variety of positions with many opportunities for advancement. These jobs are available through SourceAmerica®, which requires 75% of staff to have a documented disability.

“People with disabilities are an essential workforce in Oklahoma and now, more than ever, we understand how important their contribution is to our critical infrastructure,” said Copeland. 

View job openings and apply online at https://www.drtc.org/now-hiring. Our new Employment Guide featuring jobs at our Federal Contracts locations is online now!

Staff on cover image: Cody, Andrea, Sharon, LaShonda, Dylan, Corey

Dale Rogers Training Center (DRTC) is Oklahoma’s leading community vocational training and employment center for people with disabilities in Oklahoma. With multiple locations in Oklahoma, DRTC trains, serves or employs approximately 1,000 people with disabilities per year. Visit us online: DRTC.org.

Fog advisory

Closeup of Mark spraying a door and door handle.
Mark spraying a restroom door and handle

Oklahomans are no stranger to dense fog, but a different kind of fog is also becoming more common at Dale Rogers Training Center (DRTC). Trained staff are fogging and misting office spaces in the name of safety during this era of COVID-19.

“The agency is attuned to the safety concerns brought on by COVID-19,” said DRTC Executive Director Deborah Copeland, M.Ed. “We are happy to provide this additional service to keep staff as safe as possible, while still following recommended guidelines.”

While the imagery of a fogger or mister may lead one to conjure visions of dense fog, the result is actually quite the opposite. DRTC utilizes each method to disinfect areas: foggers produce more of a spray bottle effect, while electrostatic sprayers are more targeted when applied and create a fine mist. Another key difference is the sprayers can be used safely on electronics. Basically, the electrostatic sprayers positively charge the disinfectant that seeks out negatively-charged surfaces.

Mark spraying a table at DRTC. The mist is clearly visible.
Mark spraying a work table

Dozens of staff on DRTC’s main campus and federal contracts are trained in the use of these disinfectants, with the goal of having multiple people in each building capable of treating their area. In the future, operations may expand opening the way for people with disabilities to develop new skills with the equipment. DRTC employs approximately 300 people at its custodial contracts.

“Offering this training would encourage skill development and build confidence for our staff,” said Carolyn Thompson, DRTC Director of Custodial Services.

Cleaning Industry Management Standards (CIMS) has certified DRTC’s federal contract locations since 2012. The most recent re-certification, in 2020, again saw DRTC pass with honors. CIMS is sponsored by ISSA, The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association.

Dale Rogers Training Center (DRTC) is Oklahoma’s leading community vocational training and employment center for people with disabilities in Oklahoma. With multiple locations in Oklahoma, DRTC trains, serves or employs approximately 1,000 people with disabilities per year. Visit us online: DRTC.org.

DRTC celebrates workplace inclusion

Dale Rogers Training Center (DRTC), Oklahoma’s leading nonprofit employment center for people with disabilities and limiting conditions, continues to promote disability-inclusion in the workplace during National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October. DRTC employs, trains or serves approximately 1,000 people with disabilities in the OKC metro every year through the following programs:

"An essential workforce in Oklahoma" Four images of DRTC program employees. "Employment for people with disabilities."
An Essential Workforce in Oklahoma

“People with a disability are an essential workforce in Oklahoma,” said Executive Director Deborah Copeland, M.Ed. “We specialize in accommodations to help people reach their employment goals, and can help employers fill their employment needs with talented and dedicated personnel.”

People of all abilities can view DRTC job openings at DRTC.org/now-hiring. Positions at federal contract sites are designated as critical infrastructure, pay more than minimum wage, and include great benefits. Last year, people with disabilities in all DRTC programs earned a combined $5.9 million. DRTC is an EEO/AA/Vet/Disability Employer.

Dale Rogers Training Center (DRTC) is Oklahoma’s leading community vocational training and employment center for people with disabilities in Oklahoma. With multiple locations in Oklahoma, DRTC trains, serves or employs approximately 1,000 people with disabilities per year. Visit us online: DRTC.org.