From the Desk of Dr. Michael Armbruster – Orange Technical College
You may not know it, but February 1 marks the beginning of Career and Technical Education Month®, or CTE Month®, a public awareness campaign celebrating the value of CTE and the achievements and accomplishments of CTE programs across the country.
For us, however, every month is CTE Month at Orange Technical College. The work of educating students, and helping guide them to a prosperous future and career, is a responsibility we are honored to have.
As the demand increases for highly skilled, highly trained employees in the region, our role in the area’s unique educational ecosystem is more important than ever. And while we are proud of our more-than-85-year history of changing lives through education, it is time to take the next step in our evolution.
That step is what we call vision 2024
VISION 2024 is a comprehensive restructuring and rebuilding plan for OTC’s five technical college campuses in an effort to more strategically align campus programs with regional workforce demands by the year 2024.
The plan is built around an “anchor tenant” model with individual campuses representing schools of specialty in key high-growth industries as identified by the State of Florida and regional workforce partners like CareerSource Central Florida. Those include construction; health care; hospitality and tourism; manufacturing; transportation; and IT/modeling, simulation and training (MS&T).
Design is currently underway for the new Orange Technical College – West Campus in Ocoee, and the first shovel will enter the dirt in the coming months. This will begin the transition that will sweep across our campuses as we enter the new decade. It is truly an exciting time!
Of course, this plan would not be possible without the tremendous support we have garnered throughout the business and industry community, philanthropic partners and neighboring educational institutions.
Continuous collaboration is already underway, engaging with industry through workforce councils, advisory boards, industry showcases, and more — all designed to bring awareness to the skilled trades and shatter decades-old perceptions of what career and technical education “looks like.”
Throughout my 30-plus years in education, I saw a focus on traditional college as the destination and decided we needed to shift that focus to a career as the destination and college as just one way to get there.
The truth is…..there’s more than one way to a great career.
The path to prosperity through industry certifications and licensures is bright in the new economy. At OTC, we are equipping students with the skills and work-based learning experiences to succeed in this new, more connected world.
Our students are prepared to enter the workforce immediately after graduating and, better yet, with little to no student debt. Many are heading to college after completing a career certificate program as well, taking articulated credit with them — proving higher education is no longer an either/or proposition.
We invite you to join us in celebrating CTE Month and encourage you to get involved with OTC as we prepare for an exciting future.
Have a great CTE year!