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Tulsa Public Schools heats up maintenance efforts while preparing for hiring search

Posted at 5:24 PM, Mar 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-18 18:59:39-04

TULSA, Okla. — Steve Gilford started working as an electrician at Tulsa Public Schools back when he was 18.

Spring break is a time to tackle the many projects that stack up throughout the year, which can be anything from fixing lights to air conditioning.

"I take great pride in what I do as far as making a great environment for the kids and the teachers and the staff. We really enjoy our jobs," Gilford said.

This comes as the district makes a push for hiring. There are six maintenance openings now, but staff expect many more by the summer, and it's competitive.

"We find that there is a huge demand in the Tulsa area alone. A lot of companies out there are looking for people with licensed skills in everything from carpentry to painters to electricians to plumbers and HVAC mechanics," TPS maintenance manager Jason Coan said.

On an average year, the maintenance team tackles more than 40,000 work orders. Now they're looking to train the next generation as many plan to retire in the years to come.

"They know what the environment is, they know what they're looking at, they've lived it day to day. We'd really like those people to come in with a fresh set of eyes to work with us, to learn about our skills and our trades and a great opportunity to show what Tulsa Public Schools can do for the community," Coan said.

TPS currently offers an apprentice program to train in fields like electric and HVAC. In the year ahead, they hope to expand and create a youth program.

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