FORT SILL, Okla. (April 25, 2019) -- Lawton Great Plains Technology Center (GPTC) recognized the Army Air Defense Artillery School as a Partner in Progress.

On April 6, the Oklahoma Association for Technology Centers held a business and industry event in Oklahoma City to recognize top industry partners for training and employing thousands of Oklahoma workers through CareerTech technology center programs.

The ADA School in support of the Army Credentialing Program has partnered with the GPTC to certify air defenders on numerous industry and business standards.

The ADA School has credentialed air defenders in CompTIA IT Fundamentals, CompTIA A+, CompTIA Security +, CompTIA Network+, forklift operators and as National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainers.

What would generally be an expensive certification was provided at no cost to these Soldiers, thanks to the ADA School receiving funding for these programs from Army University.
This program alone has led to 1,167 air defenders obtaining an Occupational Safety and Health Administration Class 7 forklift license.

The primary objective of the Army Credentialing Program is to directly impact Army readiness by establishing and implementing programs to validate Soldiers' professional skills, training, and work experiences.

These credentialing programs will bolster military-technical competence within the Army total force.

"This training is increasing our awareness, knowledge, and ability to face threats," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 David Hemingway, Warrant Officer Course manager. "This program is not simply providing certifications to our students, but will make us more capable in our mission to fight and win our nation's wars."

Communities across Oklahoma sent representatives to the business and industry event luncheon. Each community technology center recognized its local Partner in Progress.

Brig. Gen. Brian Gibson, ADA School commandant and chief of ADA, and Col. Maurice Barnett, 30th ADA Brigade commander, received the Partner in Progress award from Clarence Fortney, GPTC superintendent.

"We have had a longstanding partnership with Fort Sill that goes back several decades," said Fortney. "For the past three years, we have worked specifically with air defense to provide training in six different areas. GPTC is proud to provide valuable training and support for our military through our ongoing partnership with Fort Sill.

Barnett said credentialing improves Soldiers.

"Any time you can increase the experience and knowledge of Soldiers, it benefits the Army," he said.

Gibson said the training was professionally edifying for Soldiers.

"Our ADA Soldiers have an incredible opportunity, especially with the technical aspect of their jobs to get industry and nationwide credentialing," said Gibson. "We are very excited about the partnership with the Great Plains Technology Center, and we are going to continue to grow it."

Sean Kouplen, Oklahoma secretary of commerce, congratulated award recipients and said, "Partners for Progress represents a powerful alliance between CareerTech and employers to train Oklahomans and put them to work in quality jobs. Last year alone, almost 7,000 organizations took advantage of CareerTech training resulting in more than 350,000 enrollments statewide."