Florida Technical College continues to invest in Central Florida, following its commitment to educational excellence in our region. This Thursday, FTC celebrated its Lakeland campus expansion and renovation with a community reception and ribbon cutting ceremony. Campus President, John Buck, said the improved facilities are a testament to the college’s dedication to make education accessible to all and commitment to sink deeper roots in this community. “FTC is committed to Central Florida because we recognize that a well-trained workforce is the key to keeping the area’s economy bustling,” Buck said. “Central Florida truly is an important economic engine to the state and we are proud to be doing our part to keep it that way.” The expansion adds nearly 1800-square-foot to the campus, which is home to more than 300 students pursuing two and four year degrees, as well as diploma programs, in areas like criminal justice, business and marketing, and allied health care. Florida Technical College has three more campuses in Central Florida and two others in South Florida.
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Join us this Sunday for a fun day at the 13th Annual Festival Independencia Dominicana! Look for Florida Technical College booth for fun activities and giveaways. We will have an HVAC simulator for interested attendees to experience what it’s like to study HVAC at Florida Technical College. Find out about other programs offered at FTC. When: Sunday, February 26, 2017, at 11:00 am. Where: Lee Vista Park 7499 T G Lee Blvd Orlando, FL 32822 General entry: $15 FREE parking Artist Line Up: Hector Acosta “El Torito”, Toño Rosario, Fefita la Grande, Joe Vera, Ruby Perez, Don Miguelo, Chiquito Band and more! For more information, contact Tony Lima Productions at 407-709-2500 To see this event on Facebook, click here.
FTC and its sister institutions work together to empower minds and to offer accessible education. Sometimes in life, it takes a partner to help you accomplish your goal. Florida Technical College has a mission to make education accessible to students with busy lives, and its sister institutions in Puerto Rico — Instituto de Banca y Comercio (IBC), National University College (NUC) and Ponce Paramedical College (POPAC) — are helping it fulfill that mission. “We are one big, tightknit family,” said FTC President David Ruggieri. “Our students benefit from the wealth of information and expertise that we have in our very own education family. We collaborate with each other in everything we can for the bene t of our students.” The colleges are part of the EduK Group, Inc., organized in 2004 in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico as the advisory entity for its member institutions. The post-secondary colleges have diverse course offerings, leading to certificate and diploma programs, associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The colleges’ combined experience in education and their stability and sustained growth have led them to an overall annual enrollment of more than 27,000 students. “If you are from Puerto Rico, chances are you know one of our sisters,” Ruggieri said. “FTC is like the one sibling in the Sunshine State that just about every Puerto Rican family has.” MANY SIMILARITIES Before coming to FTC Kissimmee in 2011 to chair its barbering program, Pablo Rodriguez taught at Instituto de Banca y Comercio for seven years. The transition, he said, was seamless. “Teaching here is very similar to teaching at Instituto de Banca,” Rodriguez said. “The curriculum has only a few small differences, mainly addressing Florida-specific legal matters.” “The student culture in our Kissimmee campus is very similar,as well,” he added. “We love school events with food and music, as a majority of our students are of Hispanic heritage and those things are synonymous with celebration for us.” Rodriguez stays in touch with his Puerto Rico colleagues and many of his students and frequently collaborates with them. “I get asked a lot of questions about the requirements to practice in Florida,” he said. Many of the courses taken at EduK institutions in the island transfer to Florida Technical College. A WARM WELCOME FOR NEWCOMERS Florida is the number one destination for Puerto Ricans leaving the island who seek respite from the current fiscal crisis. There are now more than one million Boricuas in Florida (1,006,542 to be exact), with 1,000 families moving here every month, according to the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration. “Many of our students are newcomers from Puerto Rico,” said Gabriel Garcés, executive director of FTC Kissimmee. “That’s indicative of the fact that we’re a true reflection of this community. We’re committed to make that transition into a new place, a new city, easier for our students.” To help ease that transition, FTC offers classes in English, but the staff and many instructors are bilingual. The son of Colombian immigrants, Garcés says he connects with students who have emigrated to the country, because he knows firsthand what it’s like to start from zero. “It’s never easy,” he said. “But giving up isn’t an option. Get educated, embrace a career path that fulfills you and allows you to provide for your family. Do those things and there will be no limit to what you can achieve.” By Jeannette Rivera-Lyles
From the Florida Panhandle to Miami-Dade and across the I-4 corridor, hospitals in the Sunshine State continue to expand. By Jeannette River-Lyles Construction Market Data, an organization that tracks the construction industry, reports that 126 new hospital construction projects have been completed in the last five years, with many more coming through the pipeline. These hospitals need workers, as do the many medical offices, labs and radiology facilities that cluster around them. Florida Technical College is responding to that demand with the addition of a new Associate of Science Medical Assistant Program with a Basic Machine Operator (BMO) track that will enable students to get a limited X-ray license in Florida. “There’s never been a better time to work in the health care industry,” said Diane Jasper, academic chair of FTC’s Allied Health program. “The demand for skilled, specialized medical assistants has grown exponentially with no signs of slowing down in sight. Graduates of this program will be able to work in a hospital setting, urgent care facilities, orthopedic clinics and radiology centers, to mention a few.” The 18-month program launched in March at the Kissimmee campus. Its graduates will be able to work directly under a physician, registered nurse, registered technologist, office manager or a radiology administrator. They will assist in a limited manner with patients who require chest, extremity and torso x-rays. Responsibilities may include positioning or maintaining X-ray equipment, adjusting controls, positioning patients on the exam table and setting up and adjusting equipment to obtain a better view of specific c bodily areas. The program expands on FTC’s already ample offerings for medical career training, which include diploma programs for medical assistant technicians, patient care technicians and medical coding and billing specialists. The college also offers an associate degree for medical assistants and a bachelor’s degree in allied health management. To qualify for direct enrollment in the Associate of Science Medical Assistant Program with BMO specialization, students must have a medical assistant diploma. Interested students without this prerequisite may enroll in the diploma program and move into the BMO track once they’ve completed the basic courses. “Our partners in the healthcare industry have expressed a need for medical assistants with a specialty in X-ray and we have stepped up to the plate,” said FTC President and CEO David Ruggieri. ‘’Our partners trust us because we foster job readiness in each and every single one of our students with externships and hands-on training to ensure a smooth transition into the job market.” By Jose Luis Dieppa
Before Elizabeth Izquierdo could reach the kitchen counter, she was measuring sugar and our and baking cakes with her grandmother. The then-5-year-old understood the joy of cooking after concocting a Dominican sweet bean dessert called habichuelas con dulce. Years later, Izquierdo entered college to become a special education teacher like her mother, but decided to switch careers in 2014 and enroll in Florida Technical College’s Culinary Arts program to “pursue something I could wake up happy and joyful doing, and do every day,” she said. She now creates key lime pies, flans and lava cakes as the pastry chef at Mango’s Tropical Café in Orlando. “I followed my passion,” said the 23-year-old, who spent 13 months in the culinary program, available only in the Kissimmee campus. “I learned so many different techniques and how to prepare foods from different cultures. I didn’t just learn to cook, but also learned how the industry works.” FTC’s Culinary Arts program doesn’t resemble your grandma’s home economics class. Students aren’t just cooking pot roast and decorating cupcakes. They’re making pancetta, creamy custards and elegant sushi that rival menu items at five-star restaurants. Eight instructors guide students through culinary classes, which include hands- on labs where students practice their cooking skills. Students learn cooking techniques and as they become more advanced, they move on to creating their own recipes and meal plans. Classes are small with an average of 20 students per class and 12 to 14 in each lab. They learn an array of skills that include baking, food production, creating nutritional meals and cooking international cuisine. They serve meals to the public at FTC’s in-house restaurant, “Zazon Café,” to practice and perfect every step of the dining experience. The American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF), the most prestigious professional organization for chefs and cooks, accredits FTC’s Culinary Arts program. The accreditation means graduates are experts in their eld and can land highly coveted culinary jobs in high- end kitchens. The ACFEF’s accreditation process is as rigorous as it is comprehensive. It recognizes the top culinary programs that meet or exceed industry standards for education and training. The ACFEF’s seal of approval is given to programs with clearly de ned objectives, experienced instructors and facilities that develop superb culinary skills. “This accreditation is a testament to the quality of our culinary programs, our faculty and students,” said FTC President and CEO David Ruggieri. “We’re developing top-notch professionals, ready to leave their mark on the hospitality industry and compete with the very best in the business in creativity and technique.” FTC’s Culinary Arts graduates receive an ACFEF-certi ed culinarian certificate in addition to their diplomas. They acquire cooking skills and learn how to plan nutritional meals, budget funds and manage kitchens. “Employers everywhere recognize ACFEF as the culinary industry leader for educational resources, training and accreditation because it enhances professional growth,” said Alex Martínez, lead instructor in the Culinary Arts program. ‘’An FTC diploma coupled with an ACFEF certi cate gives our students the winning edge in today’s competitive job market.” More than 400 students have graduated from FTC’s Culinary Arts program since it began in 2011. The college has helped many graduates successfully land jobs. Its current placement rate is 90 percent. For more information, visit FTC’s Culinary Arts Program, By Terry Roen
At 21, Carlos Mota Has Two Game Apps in The Market and $30,000 award from Facebook to Keep Going. “I couldn’t believe it,” Mota said of the award from Facebook, granted through its FbStart program that provides winners with mentorship and access to technical resources. “People from all over the world compete. I never thought I had a chance. In fact, I had totally forgotten about it when I got the email,” he added. Mota is a senior in FTC’s Information Technology Networking, Web Design and Programming bachelor’s degree program. His latest game, HeroHopp, is available for free on iTunes and Google Play for Apple and Android devices. In it, players have 80 characters to choose from, each with different skills and personality traits. The objective is to make one’s way through the game, hopping from one elevated area to another to pursue the game’s prize: the granting of a wish. It follows the path of Box King, Mota’s first game about a whimsical king wearing an oversized crown whose gold fortune is stolen. He sets out to recover his wealth, but in the process he must dodge dozens of falling boxes to stay alive. HeroHopp improves on Box King by making the game more “one touch” and enabling the player to play faster. Mota began designing games in the third grade when his dad gave him his first computer, but that wouldn’t have been enough to create these successful apps. He credits the education he’s received at FTC as key to his success. “They have taught me a lot of different languages that I didn’t know when I came to the school,” he said. “Right now we’re learning a lot of C++, which is a language that lots of online games use. You can do an infinite amount of things with a language. It’s up to you and your imagination.” FTC Information Technology programs also teach HTML, CSS3, Java, Visual Basic and Python, among other programming languages. The Information Technology Networking, Web Design and Programming bachelor’s program includes courses in all three of the subject disciplines. Students acquire specific skills in Networking, Web Design and Programming, all of which are necessary in supervisory or managerial roles within the IT industry. The programs are designed to give students practical industry expertise to complement theoretical knowledge, while making graduates highly competitive in today’s labor market. “This is a great program, and the learning is intense,” said Rigoberto Maximo, an instructor. “You’re looking at something similar to a computer science program.” Many employers are impressed with the level of experience and hands-on practical training that students get at FTC. Maximo said many of his students have gotten jobs in hospitals, theme parks and Internet security. “It is a rigorous program and the school makes sure that graduates are capable of getting a job in a very competitive market,” Maximo said. The college also offers an Associate of Science Degree in network administration/hardware with wireless technology. It provides entry-level skills in areas like network design, network administration and network configuration. Coursework emphasizes Windows and A+ training. The program is designed to prepare a graduate for entry-level employment in network administration in as little as 18 months. By Ivette Leyva Martinez By Jeannette Rivera-Lyles
Testament to Perseverance FTC 2016 SM FTC New Years 2017 v1 from Eleven 11 Communications on Vimeo. Florida Technical College commemorated Hispanic Heritage Month by making the gift of knowledge more attainable for two of its students. The college worked together with Orlando’s Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando to identify two deserving students who were recently awarded $15K each towards their education. FTC fully underwrote these two awards. FTC students Carmen López and Zulma Echevarría were the well-deserving and proud recipients of the award. López is majoring in Criminal Justice, while Echevarría is pursuing a degree in Business. “This takes a big weight off my shoulders,” said López, a mother of three kids who struggles to make ends meet as a Walmart clerk. “The only thing I have to worry about now is making good grades.” When López received the award, she was going through a hard time emotionally after losing a baby at birth. Her spirit was down, she was tired and struggling to pay medical bills and considered dropping out. Her FTC family stood by her side, with instructors and fellow students helping her get caught up with school work at a pace she could keep. “This scholarship was the cherry on top,” López said. “It was like a sign from heaven that I was in the right place and should continue pursuing my degree for me and my family.” Upon graduation, López wants to be a juvenile probation officer. “I want to make a difference,” she said. “There are many teenagers out there who get into trouble because there’s no one guiding them. I want to help them turn their lives around before it is too late. I know it can be done if we had more people in the system who cared.” Lopez’s determination comes from her desire to give her children a better life and make them proud. “I have no time for myself,” she said. “When I’m not working or studying, I am in the backyard playing with my kids. Their laughter is music to my ears. It’s all worth it.” FTC President and CEO, David Ruggieri, said López’s story was inspiring and a good example of FTC’s student body as a whole. “Our students have busy, sometimes complicated lives,” Ruggieri said. “We feel honored that they have selected our schools to empower themselves through education. That’s why we go out of our way to help them stay on track and be flexible when it comes to schedules. Ultimately, we want to see them all walking across the graduation stage.” FTC has long supported the Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando because of the organization’s solid track record helping area Latinos achieve. “We are proud to be associated with the Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando because it really makes a difference in our community,” Ruggieri said. “Since its inception in 2000, HHSF has provided more than $1 million in scholarships to students seeking to improve their lives through a college degree. There’s no greater agent of positive change than education.” HHSF is the largest nonprofit organization in Central Florida dedicated to providing scholarships to Hispanic students pursuing a college or university degree. This year, it awarded scholarships to 31 students who met the criteria, which requires a minimum of a 3.0 GPA and are enrolled or plan to enroll full-time at an accredited college or university in Orange, Seminole, Osceola or Lake County. Latinos are the fastest growing population group of Metro Orlando,” said Maritza Martinez, chairperson of the scholarship fund. “The economy of our region will heavily depend on us in just a few years. We’re working hard to make sure our community is prepared, academically and otherwise, to step up to the challenge.” Martinez said FTC’s support was pivotal to the organization’s efforts. “We are grateful of FTC’s support through the years,” said Maritza Martinez, chairperson of the scholarship fund. “’Hispanics are the youngest population group in Central Florida and also the fastest growing. Access to education enables us to be positive contributors to the economy, to our community and to society.” This year’s scholarship winners were recognized at a luncheon in late October. For more information about the scholarship fund, visit www.hhsfmo.org . For information of Florida Technical College diploma, associate and bachelor’s degree programs, visit www.ftccollege.edu. THE HISPANIC HERITAGE SCHOLARSHIP FUND OF METRO ORLANDO (HHSFMO) originated with a series of activities organized by the Hispanic Heritage Celebration Committee of Orange County, an employee group whose main purpose was to plan and organize activities for Hispanic Heritage month. The first Hispanic Heritage Scholar- ship Gala was hosted by this group in October 2000 to raise the organization’s initial funds. In 2003, as a result of this effort to support the local Hispanic community, a partnership with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando was developed and the HHSFMO was established as a separate and independent organization. HHSFMO was incorporated in August 2003 as a non-pro t organization under the State of Florida. To date, HHSFMO along with the support of our partners, has been able to provide more than $1 million in scholarships to help 271 students pursue a college education. By Jeannette Rivera-Lyles
October 27, 2016 Contact: Maria Isabel Sanquírico FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Mobile: 813-420-2922 FTC Kissimmee Opens Doors of New Construction Trade and Technology Education Center Kissimmee, FL – Florida Technical College Kissimmee Campus officially opened its new Construction Trade and Technology Education Center. The facilities are a modern training ground for a myriad of construction disciplines, including welding, electrical and HVAC. The construction industry is currently generating almost as many jobs in Central Florida as the hospitality industry. During the last year alone, more than 12,000 jobs related to the construction sector have been created in the region, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. “We strive to create programs that respond to the needs in our community’s labor force,” said FTC President and CEO, David Ruggieri. “We’re developing the work force that will step up to the plate and continue to build and improve Central Florida’s skyline. The jobs are out there. Construction is neck to neck with the hospitality industry. We want for our students to be able to seize on that opportunity.” Ruggieri added that today’s construction sites are more high-tech and sophisticated than before and to be successful, workers need to be knowledgeable about much more than brick and mortar. “We’ve paid careful attention to equipping our Center with the best there is when it comes to tools, machinery and virtual reality simulators,” Ruggieri said. “We can’t overlook the fact that 21st century workers need to be technology savvy in order to be successful.” FTC Kissimmee Campus Executive Director Gabriel Garcés explained that learning at the school’s new center will be hands on and interactive. “Students will learn by doing,” Garcés said. “They will develop skills as they go, in a real-life learning environment. We have a superb group of instructors with decades of combined experience in the construction industry ready to share their knowledge and mentor.” Enrollment is now open for classes starting the fourth week of November. About Florida Technical College: FTC offers associate and bachelor’s degrees and diploma programs in a range of professions, including healthcare, computer networking, graphic design, criminal justice, culinary arts and cosmetology. FTC’s campuses are located in Orlando, Lakeland, DeLand, Kissimmee, Cutler Bay and Pembroke Pines. Founded in 1982 to provide private, post-secondary education in specialized fields, FTC is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.