Orange Technical College aims to beef up skilled labor workforce in Central Florida

February is Career and Technical Education Month.

It’s a time to recognize the value that CTE programs offer to students, the workforce, and the overall economy.

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Orange Technical College is training its students to help fill a skilled labor shortage in Central Florida.

From surgical technology, to cosmetology, to construction, OTC offers dozens of programs for students in a unique setting.

“I prepare for my future for looking for a new career,” Sylvia Gonzalez, an ESOL student at OTC said. “In the real world I’m an immigrant so I’m thankful for this opportunity.”

The programs help students learn skills and take part in hands-on training for their chosen field.

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“They’re moving into our work force, they’re providing industry with what we need,” Felecia Boyd, Senior Director for OTC’s main campus, said.

OTC’s main campus focuses on health services.

Boyd said that field has been struggling to hire since the Covid-19 pandemic.

With nearly 3,000 students enrolled on that campus, they’re looking to fill the void.

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“We want the students to have real world experience,” Boyd said. “Having the opportunity in the clinical setting to get those skills and to apply those skills that they’re learning.

Wayne Manhertz is just one of the dental assisting students.

“We’ve done a lot of radiographs, impressions, we’ve done crown preps,” he told Channel 9′s Sam Martello.

With just three months left to complete the ten-month program, Manhertz said he is ready to make an impact on the Central Florida work force.

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“Dentistry was a field that I thought could really make an impact on people, smiles, and things like that.”

OTC is accepting applications for enrollment on all four campuses. There are more than 60 programs to choose from.

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