New Year, New Gear: Boots on the Ground Program Provides for Meridian’s Construction Trades Students

The North Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association and Atwoods Ranch and Home provided students in Meridian’s construction trades programs new work boots, gloves and a hat as part of their Boots on the Ground program.

Story provided by Meridian Technology Center

 Students in Meridian’s Construction Trades programs will be starting the new year off with new gear.

Through the Boots on the Ground program, the North Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association (NCOHBA) and Atwoods Ranch and Home are ensuring students in the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, Carpentry, Electrical Technology, Facilities Management and Masonry programs have the equipment they need to safely go from the classroom to the construction site.  

Nearly 90 students recently received a pair of steel-toed work boots, gloves and a hat.

Garret Knutson

Carpentry student Garrett Knutson is studying at Meridian to make a career change and said the steel-toed boots will help protect his feet at the work site. His goal is to begin flipping houses when he graduates. “They’re extremely expensive so it saves me money, especially this time of year. They’re something quality that will endure,” he said.

Supporting Future Home Builders 

NCOHBA board president Desiree Jenkins said the association wants students to feel encouraged in their career in the construction trades. The boots are one way to make that possible. “Our hope is students know that we support them and would love for them to consider working locally first,” she said. 

“The Boots on the Ground program makes a direct impact to the future of the construction industry. The students in the construction trades programs at Meridian Technology Center are the next generation of home building. The boots are donated by North Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association located right here in Stillwater for every student as the next ‘step’ and a ‘foot’ in the door as they begin their career.” 

The North Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association, previously known as Stillwater Home Builders Association, is a professional organization representing individuals and companies dedicated to providing quality housing and industry services in Stillwater and the surrounding areas. 

Often students don’t realize how important it is to have the proper work boots for a job Carpentry instructor Cy Boles said. “We will see students come to class in shoes that aren’t ideal for working around the tools and equipment that are used on a job site. Boots on the Ground ensures that every student has proper footwear for the work they will be doing.” 

William Edmond, Assistant Manager at Atwoods, noted the smiles on students’ faces. “It’s a win-win for the students, for us as a company and for Meridian. It’s a way to give back,” he said.

For more information about Meridian’s full-time career training programs, visit or call (405) 377-3333 or toll-free at (888) 607-2509. 

Meridian Technology Center has been a driver of economic development since 1975. With a mission to educate, enrich lives and secure economic futures, Meridian offers full-time career training programs, short courses, workforce and economic development assistance and entrepreneurial support to residents from the Agra, Carney, Glencoe, Guthrie, Morrison, Mulhall-Orlando, Pawnee, Perkins-Tryon, Perry and Stillwater school districts. Meridian is one of 29 schools within Oklahoma’s CareerTech system.