Valencia College, OUC Announce New Training
Program for Utility Line Technicians

Launched in June as a pilot project, Valencia College partnered with Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) on a new program to train electrical powerline technicians, as utilities in Florida and around the country are facing a growing shortage of utility workers. The 15-week training program is being held at OUC’s training facility in southeast Orlando.

To develop the program, Valencia College combined OUC’s existing curriculum with the power line worker curriculum produced by the National Center for Construction Education & Research. In addition, students receive financial literacy training, as well as help with interview skills and resumé preparation.

“We see this training program as a valuable resource for OUC’s line technician recruiting efforts,” said Latisha Thompson, OUC’s chief employee experience officer. “Their skills are in high demand and by partnering with Valencia College on this program, we can ensure students are trained to meet OUC’s high standards.”

Energy from the Excess:
West Campus Launches Food Waste Recycling

Food Waste

This past fall, Valencia College developed a partnership with the city of Orlando and the college’s food-service provider, Valley Foods, to set up food recycling bins inside the West Campus cafeteria. The scraps collected in the cafeteria will be transported by the city to Harvest Power’s anaerobic digestion facility, which converts the food waste into electricity.

Through this pilot recycling program that turns food waste into energy, Valencia College and the city of Orlando are hoping to lend a hand in curbing the staggering $180 billion worth of food waste that occurs within America annually.

New Building on Osceola Campus Set to Open in January 2020

CIT Building at Osceola Campus

The newest addition to Valencia College Osceola Campus, the Careers in Industry and Technology Building (CIT), is scheduled to open in January 2020.

The 53,000-square-foot, $13 million building will house several workforce-oriented degree programs, including a new Associate in Science in Engineering Technology degree program, with specializations in advanced manufacturing and supply chain automation.

The CIT building will also have classes for Osceola Campus degree programs in residential property management, criminal justice technology, hospitality and tourism management, and short-term training programs.

CareerSource Central Florida will move their Osceola location into the new CIT building upon opening as well. CareerSouce Central Florida partners with Valencia College’s Accelerated Skills Training programs to provide retraining for unemployed and underemployed workers.

For Valencia College president Sandy Shugart, the new building symbolizes the college’s commitment to helping everyone in the community improve their standards of living— and climb the ladder of success. But he noted, “you can’t climb the ladder when the next rung up is two body lengths above you.”

DirectConnect to UCF Award Recognizes Collaboration Between Institutions

Joyce Romano at Commencement
UCF DirectConnect Center at West Campus

In April 2019, DirectConnect to UCF was awarded the first Joyce Romano Partnership Excellence Award thanks to the innovative collaboration between the Valencia College Learning Support Division and the University of Central Florida’s Transfer and Transition Services.

The award recognizes an individual, institution or team that exudes the spirit of collaboration in leading and serving others toward supporting transfer-student success. The award is in honor of the college’s Dr. Joyce Romano, who cultivated relationships that helped build the partnership program that includes working groups, data systems and communication plans which keep the DirectConnect to UCF program thriving.

DirectConnect to UCF is a nationally recognized access program that guarantees admission to the University of Central Florida for A.A. or articulated A.S. graduates from six partner state colleges across Central Florida.

The program itself is noteworthy, allowing students enrolled at a state college to take courses that they can then transfer directly to their intended transfer school. It also takes an innovative approach in helping students overcome “transfer shock,” a temporary drop in grade point average commonly associated with the transition to a new institution. Recognizing student needs and helping them create a bridge between their initial institution and transfer institution emphasizes the commitment towards putting student success and achievement at the forefront of their education.