New DHS Director tours DRTC

Pass through any of Dale Rogers Training Center’s work floors at Prism Place, Wyman Frame or our Vocational Services Program and you’ll be hard pressed to leave without 1) being impressed by the variety and quality of work; 2) hearing from people engaged in DRTC programs about the importance of their work; and 3) a smile. Oklahoma’s Director of the Department of Human Services (DHS) and a member of Governor Stitt’s Cabinet appear to be familiar with all three.

OKDHS Director Justin Brown, left, visits with a client of DRTC.
OKDHS Director Justin Brown, left, visits with a client of DRTC.

Justin Brown, who was appointed in June to lead Oklahoma’s largest state agency, along with Secretary for Human Services and Early Childhood Development Steven Buck, toured DRTC to learn about Oklahoma’s oldest and largest community vocational training and employment center for people with disabilities.

DRTC Deputy Director Deborah Copeland, M.Ed., introduced Director Brown to the nonprofit agency’s array of programs, leading the tour through DRTC’s awards and trophies, and picture framing divisions, as well as the Vocational Services Program. Many of those served by DRTC’s on campus programs receive DHS funding to come to work.

Brown recognizes the importance of a united front to serve vulnerable Oklahomans, while maintaining good relationships with community providers like DRTC.

“Building these partnerships… not just funding relationships, but relationships in which our team engages fully and really understands the challenges that those in the community face, that’s the sort of partnership we need to build together,” said Brown.

OKDHS Director Justin Brown, right, speaks with an individual at DRTC's Vocational Services Program about the subcontract work she's completing.
OKDHS Director Justin Brown, right, speaks with an individual at DRTC’s Vocational Services Program about the subcontract work she’s completing.

Over the course of about two hours, the DHS director visited with many people involved with DRTC programs, and saw the positive impact employment has on their lives. Brown spoke with several people in DRTC’s Vocational Services Program, learning about their individual jobs and complimented them on their work. He also participated with campers in Camp Tumbleweed, DRTC’s summer day camp.

“We’re extremely honored Director Brown and Secretary Buck chose Dale Rogers Training Center to experience a first-hand perspective of the talents and skills of people with disabilities hard at work,” said Copeland.

Governor Kevin Stitt touted Brown’s leadership and problem solving abilities when announcing the appointment.

“He has a passion and desire to help the state deliver better services to those who depend on DHS,” Governor Stitt said.

Director Brown and Secretary Buck also visited fellow United Way partner agency YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City. Buck later tweeted on their encounters, “These organizations make outstanding contributions to our community and state. The time definitely helped inform my understanding of employment training and early childhood programs.”

“The positive impact our programs have on people leaves a lasting impact,” said Copeland. “Our folks like going to work, they’re loyal, and they’re part of our community. Inclusion of their unique abilities makes a great difference not only in their own lives, but also in the lives of others.”

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

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United Way stands … divided we fall

Dale Rogers Training Center is a proud United Way Partner Agency. United Way helps subsidize portions of DRTC’s Adult Rehabilitation, transportation and extended care programs.

 

United Way also helps subsidize Camp Tumbleweed, which serves youth 14-21 years old with autism and other significant development disabilities.

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

History on display

A new piece of Oklahoma’s storied history is on display at the Oklahoma History Center, thanks in part to people with disabilities at Dale Rogers Training Center (DRTC).

Cody and Shon standing next to the finished product.

A replica of Oklahoma’s first flag (adopted in 1911) is now encased in a 5’6” by 8’6” picture frame, manufactured at Wyman Frame – DRTC’s custom picture framing division. It is the largest frame ever assembled at Wyman Frame.

“The sheer size of this frame presented challenges,” said Carla Folks, Certified Picture Framer at Wyman Frame. “We assembled it with an inner and outer frame to provide more support, and had to special order other materials to finish the project.”

The completed frame, weighing approximately 100 pounds, required special care and multiple people to transport throughout the process. It is now on display in a classroom connected to the Research Center at the Oklahoma History Center.

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March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, and DRTC is proud to honor the accomplishments of individuals served through its various programs. Each year, DRTC provides training or employment to approximately 1,000 people with disabilities. Last year, participants in DRTC’s programs earned $5.2 million in wages.

In addition to operating Wyman Frame, DRTC also manufactures awards and trophies, as well as produces custom-branded promotional items. The nonprofit agency holds federal contracts at Tinker Air Force Base, FAA and federal buildings in downtown OKC providing custodial and food service.

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