You can find this original post written by the Northeast Workforce Development Board on their Facebook page here. We are grateful for their continued support.

The Northeast Workforce Development Board is joining with the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development in celebrating Workforce Development Month in September. We are using Workforce Development Month to promote our services to jobseekers and educate Oklahomans about the workforce system. We have highlighted one of our sector partnerships in logistics and transportation to detail the value of sector partnerships and the impact our businesses have in the communities in Northeast Oklahoma.

Ms. Wolf noticed a lack of opportunities for Northeast Oklahoma residents, particularly in rural communities and Native American tribes, and a local need for Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) training. Ms. Wolf offered a solution by founding Heavy Metal Training Institute (HMTI) in Northeast Oklahoma. HMTI provides hands-on truck driving training with a focus on safety. HMTI and Ms. Wolf have a passion for serving the community and providing high quality training.

Initially operating out of a small office in Vinita with one truck, the school quickly added additional trucks to the fleet to meet the demand for training. After opening a training facility in Vinita, Heavy Metal Training Institute (HMTI) opened an additional training facility in 2020 in Tahlequah with the purpose of expanding and continuing to provide quality training and job placement to the local community and Cherokee tribal members. Ms. Wolf has partnered with Grand Nations in support of the 2020 Back 2 School Bash graciously providing donations which allowed for services to hundreds of students. Ms. Wolf has been honored by Grand Nations as a “community representing individual” who takes on an issue or project and raises awareness and support for it.

Heavy Metal Training Institute (HMTI) partnered with Grand Nation providing trucks, trailers, and student drivers to make pick-ups and deliveries to communities and tribes in Northeast Oklahoma for The Farmers to Families Food Box Program. In February 2020, HMTI partnered with Cherokee Nation Career Services to offer CDL training in Tahlequah to its High-Voltage Lineman program. Ms. Wolf partners with NEOK Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) providers utilizing two-way referrals and providing much needed training for individuals interested in receiving CDL licensing. HMTI recently acquired the old Frank and Sons Transport Company and lot in Big Cabin, allowing for the expansion of the training facility which can now offer housing as needed.

As of August 2020, more than sixty (60) individuals within the community have completed CDL training. 96% of the graduates have followed their career pathway within the trucking industry with the assistance and coordination of the career network through HMTI. HMTI is currently providing work-based learning opportunities with three (3) Work Experience participants and is working with local WIOA staff on the possibility of an On-the-Job Training opportunity as the training center continues to expand.

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