Business Development Center and Open House

Great Plains Technology Center’s


Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Friday, May 5th, 2017

10:00 a.m.

1601 South West Park Ridge

Lawton, OK


Friday, May 5th, 2017

3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.


The Open House will follow the formal Ribbon Cutting Ceremony that will take place in the center’s McMahon Lecture Hall at 10:00 a.m. on the same day.  The Business Development Center is a state of the art, state-certified business incubator designed to support start-up and early-stage businesses by helping to reduce their initial capital investment burdens and providing them an outstanding facility in which to launch their enterprises.  Tenants receive Great Plains Technology Center BIS (Business and Industry Services) team support helping to help them achieve success and growth.  The center features a shared commercial kitchen for food producers and studios for visual artists. The BDC also leases spaces with bay doors for light industrial use and individual and co-working office spaces.  The building is equipped with telephone and high speed internet service, individual post office boxes and 24/7 access. Tenants can share use of two different conference rooms, (including the Buddy Green Meeting Room), the 80-seat McMahon Lecture Hall, and an office equipment room. The Center also features a Comanche Nation rapid-prototyping lab that is equipped with 3D printers, 3D digital scanner, laser engraving & cutting machine,  and other computer-controlled equipment used to support innovations, product development and manufacturing process improvements.  The purpose of the Business Development Center is to help small businesses succeed, create jobs and wealth.  To learn more about the Center please visit or contact the center’s coordinator, Cody Holt, at 250-5519 or

Great Plains will hold an Open House for its new 28,000 sq. ft. Business Development Center, Friday May 5th, from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Great Plains Technology Center to offer Truck Driver Training course this summer

Great Plains Technology Center in partnership with Caddo Kiowa Technology Center will offer a Truck Driver Training (Class A CDL) course here at the Great Plains campus. Dates for the 6-week, 253 hour course are July 10-August 18. The trucking industry continues to be a major employer in the United States, with almost 9 million people employed in trucking-related jobs. More than 80% of the U.S. cities receive their goods exclusively from trucks.

The trucking industry is facing a driver shortage every day. Entry-level drivers are entering a demanding field where there is a premium placed on quality student drivers fresh out of training.

This Truck Driver Training course offers one-on-one road time. The experienced instructor will teach procedures that will enable students to become a better, safer driver while preparing for the state road test.

Students will learn basic operation, how to address driving difficulties, learn to protect driver space, handle adverse weather conditions, prevent collisions, and meet other transportation challenges. This course will offer driving instruction on the vehicle used for the exam.

The minimum requirements to attend:

  • Students must be at least 18 years old; 21 for Hazmat
  • Current Oklahoma Driver’s License
  • DL 18 and permit
  • Mandatory drug testing


Business Development Center Videos

Kenneth D. Taylor Scholarship

GPTC board members and former co-workers came together Tuesday night to honor retired (and long-time) principal at the Lawton campus—Ken Taylor.  Previous superintendents Kenneth Bridges and Dr. Tom Thomas were present when Superintendent Clarence Fortney and GPTC Board President Clark Smith presented Taylor with a photo depicting Great Plains first class of instructors (there were six of them) taken at a new vocational-technical teachers training workshop in 1971—and with a plaque that recognizes the school will present an annual Kenneth D. Taylor Scholarship.  The scholarship will cover up to $1,575.00 in annual tuition for a full-time program.   Construction-related program students will have priority for the scholarship that will become effective this summer.  Taylor called his 37 years at Great Plains some of the best years of his life.  He immensely thanked all of those who attended.

Superintendent Clarence Fortney presents former GPTC principal, Ken Taylor, a plaque acknowledging the first annual Kenneth D. Taylor Scholarship

Learn to take the best pictures of your life!

Frederick photographer extraordinaire Jennifer Grice will teach a Digital Photography class Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., starting March 21st and running through April 27th. Bring a friend or make it a family affair and learn to take memories that will last a lifetime! Tuition is just $79 and there’s a 50% discount for persons 60 years of age or older. And while you’re on the phone enrolling in Digital Photography you might as well get “up to date” on Windows Fundamentals, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 2:00 p.m.—4:00 p.m. Take the class in the early afternoon and put it to use the same night on your home computer! Phone 335-5525 to enroll or stop by Great Plains Technology Center.

“Let’s learn to make homemade tamales”!

Frederick’s own outstanding cook Fabian Reyes will return to the Great Plains campus Tuesday evening March 21st to teach a fun and tasty class on how to make homemade tamales! Fabian’s classes always sell out so reserve your seat today. Tuition is just $25 for this class that will run from one night only from 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. Phone 580.335.5525 to enroll and plan on having some tasty fun. Great Plains has also scheduled several other short classes this spring including: Digital Photography, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m., March 21st-April 27th; CPR for Health Care Providers, Tuesday, March 21st and Homemade Tortillas, Tuesday April 18th. Call your friends. Enroll. Learn. Have fun.

Two Great Plains Surgical Technology students serving on HOSA!

For the first time in Great Plains Technology Center history two of its students are serving simultaneously on a statewide student organization.!

Kyle Carroll and Anthony Scales

Kyle Carroll and Anthony Scales, both Great Plains Surgical Technology students, were elected to the Oklahoma chapter of Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), an international student organization created to promote career opportunities in the health care industry while enhancing the delivery of quality health care. Carroll was named reporter, while Scales will serve as parliamentarian.

Ann Tahah, director of Great Plains’ surgical technology program, said it is the first time Great Plains has had two students serving on HOSA at the same time, and only one other Great Plains student has served as a state HOSA officer.

Carroll and Scales, already engrossed in a demanding 10-month surgical technician program, said they understand the commitment of time the positions will require, noting their service to HOSA will continue after they graduate from Great Plains in May. But, the men said they believe in the goals HOSA sets and the benefits the organization brings to student participants.

Scales, who entered Great Plains’ program after leaving the military, said he knows HOSA will help further the education he and other students want, noting that, among other things, HOSA is focused on maintaining peak health profession standards.

“It really is very good for us,” he said.

Carroll said he also knows the organization will provide leadership opportunities as he finishes the training he needs for a health profession that he chose deliberately as his life’s work.

“I know what I wanted to do,” he said.

Tahah said the selection process was rigorous, involving an online test and an interview. Applicants with the highest scores advanced to the HOSA Conference where each technology center chapter was allowed to vote. Candidates with the most votes were elected to the 10 statewide positions and completed leadership training in early November.

The men said their work on behalf of HOSA already has begun, noting the organization has selected mental health awareness as this year’s focus.

Scales said he is pleased by the opportunity to serve HOSA and to receive his training at Great Plains.

“It’s hard to get and maintain certification,” he said, noting the quality education that is given to students.

Carroll also said he is pleased by the opportunity to participate in HOSA on a statewide level.

“It provides good, professional health care training,” he said.

Janey Johnston Scott makes generous contribution for the purchase of Automotive Services Technology.

Dr. George Bridges, GPTC Boad member, Clarence Fortney, superintendent, Allen Whittaker, AST instructor, Janey Johnson Scott, benefactor and daughter of the late GPTC Board Member Julius Johnston and AST instructor Michael Thomason.

Janey Johnston Scott, daughter of the late Julius “Ju Jonhston” an original board of education member at Great Plans Technology Center, who served from 1970-1976,  contributed a $25,000 gift to the technology center Automotive Services Technology program earlier this month.  The funds were earmarked for the purchase of automotive technology.  Building 400 on the Lawton campus has long been named the Johnston Automotive Center in Johnston’s honor.  Automotive Services Instructor Michael Thomason said the funds will help the school purchase one or two used automobiles that are equipped with the latest “computerized driver assist technology” such as back up cameras, and side and front sensor warning systems.  Superintendent Clarence Fortney, Dr. George Bridges, GPTC Board member, Deputy Superintendent, Karen Bailey, Thomason and fellow Automotive instructor Allen Whittaker were among the GPTC officials who toured the Scotts.  The Scotts also previewed the school’s new Business Development Center (Incubator) that is scheduled to open May 5th.  The Scotts said they were stunned the school had grown so much since they last visited the campus.  She said her father would be proud of the advances the technology center had made in preparing students to successfully enter the workforce or for clients to succeed in small business.  Bridges succeed Johnston on the Great Plains Board of Education and recalled the advice that Johnston had given him at the time about how it is a person’s responsibility to serve the community as a public servant.  “Ju told me in 1976 that now it was my turn”, Bridges said laughingly.  Fortney said it was the first time he could recall such a generous gift to Great Plains being earmarked for one specific program.  Johnston was a very involved citizen who in addition to serving on the “vo-tech” board, served on the Lawton City Council and  Board of Regents He was also a landmark high school football coach who is credited with bringing the T-Formation offense to southwest Oklahoma.  Johnston was also a successful Lawton businessman who owned and operated a Lawton salvage yard for many years.

Congratulations to the new owner of Great Plains Student Built House!

Nora Sovo representing the Comanche Nation Housing Authority made the high offer of $86,025.00.   Plans are for the 3BR/2B house to be moved within the next 90 days.    The Great Plains Technology Center Foundation, a 501 c 3 non-profit organization finances construction of the house.  Any profits provide scholarships and other financial support for Great Plains students.  Thank you GPTC students for constructing an outstanding house—and thank you instructors for guiding them along the way.  It was the ultimate instructional project.  Thank you Comanche Nation Housing Authority.  We hope the house is enjoyed for many decades to come!


Tillman County Emergency Services named Great Plains “Partners for Progress” Award Winner for 2017

The Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education, (OKACTE) and the Oklahoma Association of Technology Centers (OATC) named the Tillman County Emergency Services as Great Plains Technology Center’s “Partners for Progress” Award Winner for 2017. John Noel, Great Plains Director of Adult Career and Development, said that Ralph Washburn who directs the Tillman County Emergency Services has taught many EMR and EMT classes at Great Plains Frederick campus at no charge. Washburn and James Heap, Fire Chief of the Frederick Department accepted the award that was presented during a special ceremony, February 23rd at the History Center in Oklahoma City. Great Plains was represented by Noel; Deputy Superintendent, Karen Bailey; Gary Tyler, Assistant Superintendent at the Frederick campus; Sandi Noel, Accreditation and Planning Coordinator and Don Dunham, Dunham is the chairman of the Tillman County Ambulance Service, and a part-time I.T. specialist at the Frederick campus.