#I♥OSUIT: Na'Komas (Nikie) Blackford

#I♥OSUIT: Na'Komas (Nikie) Blackford

#I♥OSUIT: Na'Komas (Nikie) Blackford

Where are you from?

I am from Locust Grove, about an hour and a half away.

What do you do here at OSUIT? 

I am currently the workforce training coordinator in Workforce and Economic Development. I began my career with OSUIT as the administrative assistant at the MidAmerica Industrial Park Advanced Training Center in Pryor 

I began working as the workforce training coordinator here at the OSUIT campus at the beginning of 2019. At WFED, we work with those who are not able to attend college to help provide the quality of education that OSUIT provides through a few choice classes. We also help facilitate company trainings such as leadership training. We find out what they need by a standard needs assessment and help provide that. We offer non-credit certificate programs and some individual certificates.

Tell me a little about your experience with the university so far?

I started at OSUIT as a student at MAIP. I graduated from there with an Associate in Applied Science in Electromechanical Technology with full intentions of working in the industry after graduation. While attending classes, I started working for Charles Harrison as a work-study and was later promoted to working full-time as his administrative assistant. 

I found while working there that I was much better at serving the needs of students, employees and employers than what I had received my degree in. Having a background in industry makes me able to work more efficiently with industry partners. The technical knowledge served me well, but in an unexpected way. 

Being a student while working with students was a unique experience. I enjoyed working with the students to ensure graduation for them. 

What’s been the best thing about working here?

The people. The people on this campus are amazing. Everyone is nice and helpful and wants what is best for the students, companies we work with and the community. Everyone has been nice since day one. 

What do you wish more people knew about OSUIT and the role you play here?

Related to my role, I wish more people knew about what we offer at Workforce and the quality of training. We have a lot of capabilities to help individuals and our industry partners.

I also wish people knew how amazing the technology is that we have on campus. For example, the life-size mannequins in our nursing program are so life-like. Every program has actual working hands-on technology that they will gain experience with before entering the workforce. It’s not just classes on theory, they actually get to climb the poles and drive the trucks. Our HVAC program has every type of freezer you can think of. They have an ice cream maker, ice makers, refrigerators, walk-in freezers, grocery store refrigeration and more. 

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

I would say the bookstore. I love those ladies! The first time I met them, they immediately made me feel at home. You walk in the door, they know your name, it feels like walking into Cheers!

What would you tell someone who was thinking about attending or working at OSUIT?

Why wouldn’t you? If you’re looking for a career in the technical field, why wouldn’t you? You get great schooling, paid internships, hands-on learning and the people are amazing. Not to mention, the food on this campus is amazing. If you’re looking for the best technical school, that’s us. The instructors truly care, they know your name and really know you.