When you look at the photo below you probably see the beautiful courthouse building in downtown Orlando, but it is actually a picture of something else entirely.
Back in 1933, an incredible story began with the opening of the Orlando Vocational School. A part of Orange County Public Schools, this school provided vocational training for thousands of students for nearly 50 years
before being replaced by a new building on Amelia Street in 1981, now our current Orange Technical College – Orlando Campus. If you look closer at this picture you will see a concrete wall and slab in the forefront. That is all that remains of our humble beginnings.
This year, OTC celebrates 85 years of Changing Lives Through Education and what an incredible 85 years it has been!
We are no longer Orlando Vocational School – we are now Orange Technical College. We are no longer one building in downtown Orlando, but currently five campuses throughout Orange County with a sixth campus on the way (opening in the spring in Eatonville to provide short-term training programs in welding, building construction and computer applications to get local residents job ready). We are no longer an afterthought for those deciding on what to do after, or even during high school, but a school with waiting lists in program after program. We are no longer in the background of education options, but as you can hear in the campaign commercials of those running for governor, we are a top priority in this state.
Career and Technical Education in OCPS has come a long way in the past 85 years, all thanks to the thousands of educators, industry partners and community members who have always seen the value of what we do.
Throughout the next year we will be highlighting alumni who got their start through OTC and sharing their stories to inspire and recognize the value of career and technical education, not only for those alumni, but for our community as a whole.
If you, or someone you know got their career start at any one of our campuses, please let us know and we will work to share their story too! What we do makes a difference and has done so for 85 years! Happy 85th Birthday OTC!
Have a great CTE 85th Year! Mike.