Orlando — On Nov. 12, Valencia College will officially open the doors of its largest workforce training center – where the college is expected to train more than 500 adults each year, teaching them new skills in fields such as construction, manufacturing, logistics, IT and healthcare.
The new 26,400-square-foot Center for Accelerated Training — Northwest Orlando is located in the Princeton Oaks industrial park near the intersection of John Young Parkway and West Colonial Drive.
The classes, which range from four to 20 weeks in length, feature a hands-on approach and quick job placement through the strong relationships that Valencia has built with employers and partners including CareerSource Central Florida, Jobs Partnership, Community Action of Orange County, Community Vision, Parramore Engagement Council and others.
“We’re excited to bring these life-changing programs to communities in Orange County where there’s a real need. We know that these programs change lives because we see it every day,” said Joe Battista, vice president of global, professional and continuing education at Valencia College.
Designed to serve residents in west and northwest Orange County, from Holden Heights to Pine Hills to Apopka, the new facility will house a variety of short-term skills training programs, ranging from welding to carpentry to clinical medical assisting. Based on feedback from employers, Valencia has added two new programs at the Northwest Orlando facility: classes for forklift maintenance technicians and finish carpenters.
Students graduate with nationally recognized certifications – and, often, job offers. “When our students go into an interview, they walk in with credentials that are recognized not just here but anywhere in the country,” said Carolyn McMorran, Valencia College assistant vice president of continuing and professional education. “Eighty percent of what we do is hands-on training, which provides students with the ability to immediately apply what they learn in a classroom. That gives the students both confidence and competence.
Thanks to funding from CareerSource Central Florida, along with grants from private donors, including the Metallica Scholars Initiative, most students in the program are eligible for financial aid to pay their tuition.
In the past five years, Valencia College’s AST programs have trained more than 2,000 individuals with a 89% completion rate and an 81% job placement rate. Average starting wages range from $15 to $20 an hour. (Data is current through June 30, 2021.)
The college is exploring adding a new Center for Accelerated Training near Valencia’s East Campus, on Econlockhatchee Road.
To learn more about Valencia College’s Accelerated Skills Training programs or to sign up for a tour of the new facility, please visit: https://net1.valenciacollege.edu/continuing-education/accelerated-skills-training-programs