The Woodward News

October 10, 2012

High Plains training vital to companies

Chris Cooper
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — Through High Plains Technology Center's industry training programs, companies are able to provide their employees with skills vital to keeping them updated on the developing technologies of their industries.

One of the companies that most recently benefited from the training opportunities offered at High Plains is Pistol Drilling, which had employees attend a "well control training" course at the center last week.

"High Plains has been an incredible help, both from a cost perspective and convenience perspective," said Terry Peterson, director of human resources and risk management for Pistol Drilling.

"We do in-house training, but there are some things we can't do," Peterson said. "Our employees usually work 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off, so trying to get them all to Oklahoma City to train is both time consuming and expensive. It's a huge relief to be able to train them here."

"Training for well control consists of about half classroom work and half hands-on training," said Peterson. "They have a simulator that simulates drilling into a problem formation and teaches them how to react."

The program is lead by an instructor from the Wild Well Control Inc., a company that  has been in well control services since 1975 according to their website The website also boasts of the company's possession of the most advanced simulator system available worldwide.

Officials with Pistol Drilling couldn't be more pleased with the work that High Plains Technology Center has done to match their employees up with such qualified instructors.

"High Plains has been fantastic," Peterson said. "They respond to the needs of local contractors like us, they've been flexible and accommodating to our schedule and requirements, and they're a crucial part of the community."

Pistol Drilling has also taken advantage of other training courses at High Plains.

"Just in the last 4 to 5 months we've put employees through programs ranging from hydrogen sulfide training to first aid and CPR certification," Peterson said.

And Pistol Drilling isn't the only company benefiting from training at HPTC.

High Plains has provided boiler certifications for Woodward Iodine, coding/compliance workshops for Woodward Regional Hospital, substation training for Suzlon and NAES, as well as production/pumper training for Sheridan Production according to an email from Sandi Liles, Marketing Director for High Plains.

As an entity of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, the High Plains facility is able to use the Training for Existing Industry Initiative.  This initiative allows the school to establish partnerships through cost-shared training with businesses and industries which facilitate economic growth for the company and Oklahoma, according to

While Training for Existing Industry Initiative funds for the current Fiscal Year have been allocated already, in some cases special funding can be available.

Businesses interested exploring a future training partnership or who are wondering if they qualify for special funding are encouraged to contact Taylor Burnett at the High Plains Technology Center at 571-6125 to learn more.