Orange Technical College: Changing Lives Through Education

As the associate superintendent for career and technical education at Orange County Public Schools, I get to see the impact technical education has on students across our school district. The increase in work-based learning taking place on our Orange Technical College campuses and in our OCPS secondary school classrooms gives me great hope for the future of our skilled workforce here in Central Florida. In the past five years, we have grown 75 percent in career technical education (CTE) student enrollment and now serve more than 51,000 students by preparing them for careers.

As we plan for an exciting future that includes transforming our OTC campuses into specialty institutes focusing on health sciences, information technology, hospitality, construction, transportation, industrial trades and others, it’s important to take a look back at how we got here.

OTC’s history began in the heart of Central Florida as the Orlando Vocational School. We opened our doors in 1933 on the corner of Rosalind Avenue and Livingston Street in downtown Orlando. Although our name may be different now, our foundation and guiding principles remain the same — changing lives through education and ensuring career success for all students.

As the local demand for a technically minded workforce grew, we opened our second campus location, the Mid Florida Technical Institute, in 1963 — now known as the OTC – Mid Florida Campus. In 1974, OTC’s footprint grew once again as we opened the Webster Adult Education Center in Winter Park and the Westside Technical Vocational Center in Winter Garden, now known as the OTC – Winter Park Campus and Westside Campus, respectively.

The Orlando Vocational School moved in 1981, becoming Orlando Tech and now the OTC – Orlando Campus. That campus cemented our presence in downtown Orlando, where we are now excited to welcome our new neighbors, UCF and Valencia College, and look forward to expanding our great partnerships even further to benefit this community. In 2007, we opened our fifth campus, the OTC – Avalon Campus in Avalon Park. But we are not done. We are currently building a small training center in the heart of Eatonville and another in South Apopka to meet the training needs in those communities as well.

OTC has long served as one of the leading and most impactful technical colleges in the state. Throughout our history, the mission has always been to provide business and industry with the talent they need to be successful by putting students first. Since the beginning, OTC’s accredited, affordable, career-focused programs have been helping to provide our economy with a highly trained workforce. We work in collaboration with our partners, integrating the input of local business and industry leaders to get our students job-ready, and we are proud to be an essential component of Central Florida’s unique educational ecosystem that allows students to get from where they are to wherever they want to be, without barriers.

Eighty-five years of changing lives through education, and we are just getting warmed up. It’s a beautiful thing!

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