Tulsa Community WorkAdvance, 2020 ONE Awards Finalist

Linh M. Sasser, Marketing Coordinator, Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits

The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits (OKCNP) will host the 2020 Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence (ONE) Awards on Friday, April 24, 2020, in Tulsa, Okla. In the weeks leading up to the event, we are spotlighting the 21 finalists in seven categories.

Tulsa Community WorkAdvance (TCW), located in Tulsa, Okla., is one of three finalists in the Self-Sufficiency Category for the 2020 Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence Awards hosted by OKCNP.

“It is an honor to be named a ONE Awards finalist,” said Karen Pennington, executive director, Tulsa Community WorkAdvance. “Since the inception of TCW, we’ve worked to become a leading nonprofit in best practices for workforce advancement strategies. Our team believes that TCW represents a proven strategy for helping Tulsans find meaningful long-term employment through no-cost technical training and other career supports. We are thrilled to be recognized for our work in helping our community build better futures.”

TCW opened in February 2012 as Transportation Connections WorkAdvance, “providing low-income individuals with technical training, job placement and promising careers in the transportation, aviation and aerospace industries,” according to a 2012 Tulsa World article.

Within their first five years, TCW placed over 500 individuals in new careers, most of whom earn more than 25% than in previous positions. TCW has found success by providing technical training and partnering with more than 65 local employers.

TCW has modeled their programs toward providing “underserved people with quality training and career counseling,” according to their website. Their training programs include CDL-B, CNC, machining, diesel maintenance, healthcare, welding, shipping, receiving and supervisory leadership programs. After being placed in a position, an individual will receive up to 2 years of advancement coaching.

“Last year my life changed for the better,” said Ashton W., program participant. “I was introduced to the wonderful family at TCW. I was confused on the career path I would be taking until I met with a career adviser. I was worried about my career, because I didn’t have the money to pay for my schooling to advance my career. I’m a single mother. Every school I applied for would not accept me, because I couldn’t pay and I didn’t have the correct child care. I want to thank the TCW family for believing in me when I couldn’t believe in myself.”

To learn more about Tulsa Community WorkAdvance, visit their website:

The Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence (ONE) Awards gala is dedicated to honoring the outstanding work of Oklahoma nonprofits statewide. The ONE Awards also serves as the primary fundraising event for the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits. Proceeds from the ONE Awards enable OKCNP to serve communities throughout Oklahoma.

To learn more about the 2020 ONE Awards or to purchase tickets, visit



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