valencia college receives grant to train workers for high-skill jobs


The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded Valencia College and a consortium of Florida community colleges $15 million to develop training programs to help fill the shortage of skilled workers needed by the state’s manufacturing industry.

The Florida consortium project, which is being led by officials at St. Petersburg College, is called Florida TRADE (Transforming Resources for Accelerated Degrees & Employment) in Advanced Manufacturing.

For its role, Valencia will receive $683,412 in funding to create a program that will be aimed at veterans and the unemployed. In partnership with Workforce Central Florida, Valencia officials will create a series of online classes and certifications to provide workers with the basic skills they need to work in high-end manufacturing.

“The grant is about closing the gap – getting skilled manufacturing workers to employers,” said Carolyn McMorran of Valencia’s Continuing Education program. “We want to take these people, especially veterans, and train them in manufacturing. The kind of work that they’ll be doing is not your grandfather’s factory job. It’s automation; it’s simulation. It’s very high tech.”

One of the certification programs being developed is a new credential created by the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council. After completing that certificate program, a student will be considered a “certified production technician” and Valencia and Workforce Central Florida will help connect the graduates with local employers.

Local manufacturers looking for high-skilled workers include a global medical-device manufacturer that uses computerized machines to create radiation therapy equipment.

Valencia plans to hire a grant coordinator in June 2013 and college officials plan to start training classes in fall 2013. Workforce Central Florida, as a central partner in the project, will recruit participants and serve as case managers during the program, while Valencia will provide the training. Over the course of the three-year grant, Valencia plans to train about 200 workers.

The grants are part of a $2 billion, four-year initiative that the federal government kicked off last year. The Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative focuses on training workers in fields such as advanced manufacturing, transportation, health care, as well as science, technology, engineering and math careers. The grants are being administered by the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Education.

Nationally, 297 colleges are receiving grants as part of the program.

“The beauty of this program is that all of our grantees have formed strategic partnerships with local employers,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, in announcing the grant. “With these moneys, schools can develop training programs that will help grow the most promising local industries. They can invest in staff and education resources and provide students with access to free, digital learning materials. All of the course materials developed through these grants will be available for use by other education providers through a Creative Commons license.”

St. Petersburg College will serve as the lead college and grant administrator. Other participating state colleges are: Broward College, Daytona State College, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Gulf Coast College, Hillsborough Community College, Polk State College and Tallahassee Community College.

Statewide, the consortium has lined up partnerships with more than 35 employers , including Florida Power & Light, Jabil Circuit, ConMed Livatec, AO Precision Manufacturing, Belcan Engineering Group and Rybovich Yachts.

Source: Linda Shrieves Beaty, Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia College; Valencia News;

valencia foundation student feature opportunity!

The Valencia Foundation, in partnership with our generous donors, offer and award scholarship funding throughout the academic year. If you are a 2012-13 Valencia Foundation scholarship recipient, we would love to hear from you! Please email Jen Bhagirath at for a chance to be featured on our blog, Facebook and Twitter sites!

Please feel free to share the following in your email submission:

  • Your story
  • Educational goals
  • Career goals
  • Academic progress
  • Volunteer experiences
  • Scholarship information
  • Donor recognition / gratitude
  • Photographs

If you haven’t already, that’s ok! There is still time to APPLY by visiting: and completing the 2012-13 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application.

We look forward to sharing your inspiring stories!

valencia students benefit from a taste for learning

More than 800 people came together on Sept. 15 to support education in our local community. A Taste for Learning, an international wine sampling and auction, was held at Rosen Shingle Creek to benefit Valencia Foundation and Orlando Health Foundation.

Making this event unique, 100 percent of all sponsorships, tickets and auction receipts are given directly to student health care scholarships at Valencia and medical education at Orlando Health. The Valencia portion of the funds will be matched by a challenge grant.

For this year’s tasting and auction, ABC Fine Wine and Spirits invited vintners from around the world to donate hundreds of bottles of their finest wines, as well as providing exceptional auction items. Nearly 100 come to Orlando from throughout the country, as well as Australia, France, Italy, Germany and Spain.

Proceeds for this year’s event total $290,000 (including match). In all, six Taste events have raised $2.26 million for student support and education.

The numbers reflect the successful partnership between the two organizations, Valencia Foundation and Orlando Health Foundation, but also reflect the lives transformed for those receiving a scholarship at Valencia.

Every dollar raised makes a difference in a student’s life. It offers opportunity to students like Edinson. Edinson was raised in a country where education was a luxury. Those who could afford the expensive tuition were able to increase their knowledge, while low income families like his were denied access.

Edinson was a student speaker at a recent foundation event.

He came to America and quickly overcame the language barrier, knowing this knowledge would provide new opportunities. Once he was able to communicate, he felt he was a part of his new country. But alone in this country, with no friends or family to guide him, Edinson still struggled and spent months with no place to sleep. Often he would escape to the safety of the public library, and he soon met people at a local homeless shelter who encouraged him to pursue his dream of becoming an elementary school teacher.

Edinson found a mentor, and eventually secured a job washing dishes. He is still grateful to the employees of the small diner in Philadelphia for instilling a strong American work ethic.

Next on his list was an education. He enrolled but soon found himself overwhelmed juggling his work and school schedules. Additionally, he was supporting his mother, back in her native Peru. Edinson faced a heartbreaking decision: should he stay in college continuing his dream while his mother suffers? After three months of trying to do it all, the economic responsibility overcame Edinson and he gave up his dream of an education – temporarily, because he knew he would always go back to college one day.

Summer 2010, Edinson came to Valencia and resurrected his dream of a higher education. Since arriving at Valencia, he has been in the honors program and has maintained a 3.5 GPA. Almost finished with his associate degree at Valencia, he plans to continue on at UCF with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

Of his dream and his journey, Edinson shares, “I hope that our present and future generations realize that education is the only way to be successful. I plan to teach not only basic education to my elementary students, but also that diligence to your dream will make it come true.”

This year’s generous sponsors for A Taste for Learning were ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, Rosen Shingle Creek, McCree General Contractors and Architects, Freeman Co., Orlando Magic, Walt Disney World Resort, Bright House Networks, Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services of Orlando Inc., Orlando Health, Valencia College, Betsy and Jess Bailes, Baker Hostetler, Charles Perry Partners Inc., Clancy and Theys Construction Company, Dr. Jay and Mrs. Randye Falk, Jack Holloway Foundation, Old Florida National Bank, SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando, Signature Systems of Florida, Skanska USA Building, Terra Firma Construction Management Inc., UCF – Regional Campuses, Universal Orlando Resort and Wolverine Anesthesia Consultants.

valencia college homecoming 2012 kicks off

ImageSpina Bifida Walk-N-Roll – This year’s Valencia Homecoming begins with the Spina Bifida Walk-N-Roll on Saturday, October 27th at 10:00 a.m. at Blue Jacket Park in Orlando.  Join the Valencia Team, or one of the many others, or start your own!  Valencia College is a sponsor of this event this year.

Urinetown: The Musical will continue playing in nightly 7:30 p.m. performances, October 26, 27 and 28th, at the East Campus Performing Arts Center with discounts for Valencia alumni and students.  The 2:00 p.m. matinee on Sunday, October 28th will be the final performance.  In this Tony Award-winning musical, the 1% (headed by a rich and greedy corporate CEO) force the 99% (the poor) to pay to pee! And if they don’t pay, there are dire consequences in this silly, smart and relevant musical.  Music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann; Book and lyrics by Greg Koti.

Lake Nona Campus Reception and ToursDrop in to network and to learn more about Valencia’s newest campus on Monday, October 29. The networking reception will begin at 6:00 p.m.   Valencia students will conduct campus tours 6:30 – 7:00 p.m.  Valencia’s fifth campus—and the first built in 15 years—features 18 smart classrooms, 6 science labs, a library, campus store, small café and student services offices. The Lake Nona Campus offers classes toward an Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree for transfer to a baccalaureate program, and will train students for careers in the life sciences. See Video: Valencia’s Lake Nona Campus Opens in Medical City

Tomatoland – Join us at Rollins College in the Bush Executive Center of Crummer Hall on Tuesday, October 30th, 7:00 – 9:30 p.m. for a presentation by author Barry Estabrook, an investigative food journalist who writes for The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Atlantic. He will discuss his recent book Tomatoland, which details the human and environmental costs of Florida’s tomato industry as well as local and national efforts to grow a tastier and more sustainable tomato.

Family Fun at Trick or Treat on Matador Street– Bring the kids out to enjoy free games, prizes, entertainment and food on Wednesday, October 31st between 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. in room 105 of the Health Sciences Building at Valencia’s West Campus.

More Family Fun at the Enzian Theatre’s Free Popcom Flicks in the ParkShow up with a blanket and snacks to enjoy the featured family-friendly Chicken Run on Thursday, November 1st at 8:00 p.m. at 251 Park Avenue South (Central Park) in Winter Park.

Latin Night 2012This year’s exciting Latin Night will take place on Friday, November 2nd and is hosted by the Latin American Student Organization at the Osceola Campus.  Come prepared to enjoy a live DJ, Latin music, food & dancing between 7:00 – 11:00 p.m.The cost is $5 and free for Valencia students with ID.

Valencia- Orlando Magic Night – Enjoy the season’s Opening Game with the Orlando MAGIC vs. the Denver NUGGETS on Friday, November 2nd at 7:00 p.m. in the Amway Arena.   Discounted Valencia tickets sold out.  Our next Valencia Orlando Magic Night will be during Spring Break in March, 2013.

Valencia Homecoming 2012 Wraps Up with UCF Homecoming GameUCF Knights vs. Southern Methodist University Mustangs, Saturday, November 3rd, 7:00 p.m. at Bright House Networks Stadium.   Discounted $20 tickets for Valencia alumni, employees and students are available through UCF’s Athletics.

Please visit the Valencia Alumni Association’s website or call 407-582-3426 for more information about Valencia Homecoming 2012.

register now for the 2012 UCREW event


WHO: College students interested in or pursuing career opportunities in commercial real estate.

WHEN: Saturday, November 3, 2012
Check-in: 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
Program: 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

WHERE: TLC Engineering for Architecture
Magic Room – 11th Floor
255 South Orange Ave, Ste 1600
Orlando, FL 32801

WHY: Have you ever considered a career as one of the following: interior designer, attorney, banker, broker, marketing consultant, architect, engineer, property manager, operations supervisor, business manager or environmental consultant? If so, join us for this year’s 2012 UCREW interactive program as we introduce young women in Central Florida to the exciting career possibilities surrounding commercial real estate. This event will allow participants to hear first-hand from working professionals as they detail their roles in this cutting edge industry and learn from their experience on how to take the first steps towards a successful career. Guests will be able to network with CREW professionals, learn about internship opportunities with various companies and take a tour of the construction of the new Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Orlando.

COST: FREE! Continental breakfast and snacks will be provided.

HOW: If you are interested in participating, please click here:

Sign up as a sponsor online here:

Questions, please contact:

Christyne Albury


alumni spotlight: richard crotty

Richard Crotty, Toni Jennings, Pam Crotty

Mayor Richard Crotty at A Taste for Learning with Toni Jennings and his wife Pam Crotty.

Alumni Spotlight – Richard Crotty

Like many Central Floridians, Richard Crotty’s parents moved to Orange County to seek a better life for their family. His dad took a job with defense contractor Martin Marietta in 1960 when Richard was in sixth grade, and Richard and his four brothers were raised in South Orlando.

Richard Crotty is a product of Orange County Public Schools, where he graduated from Oak Ridge High. Upon graduation, he took a job on the assembly line at Martin Marietta. He aspired to obtain a college education, so, after working a few years, he began taking classes at Valencia. He put himself through school working two different jobs driving delivery trucks.

Richard is a living example of the success individuals can achieve through flexible educational opportunities provided at two-year colleges. His own words best demonstrate the opportunity he realized through Valencia: “A four-year college simply was not practical at the time that I enrolled in Valencia. I was working two jobs, but managed to squeeze in enough time for classes. The college gave me the academic foundation I needed to move on and graduate from University of Central Florida. Later, as a state legislator, my interest in being prime sponsor of Florida’s pre-paid tuition plan came, in large part, as a result of my experience at Valencia. Valencia was there for me when I needed it. Without the learning and growing experience of Valencia, I seriously doubt that I would be where I am today.”

One of Valencia’s early graduates in 1970, he graduated from Florida Technological University (FTU), a member of the charter class, in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in public administration and communication. The next year, Richard was selected to the Florida Legislative Staff Internship Program, where he completed a graduate executive program in public administration. He worked on the Senate staff and completed his service as a member of the U. S. Army Reserve, serving in a military police unit. Upon his return to Orlando, Richard launched a successful career in sales and management consulting. For the next three years, he consulted for cities across the country under a grant from the U. S. EPA. He is credited with saving cities millions of tax dollars by improving the efficiency of their solid waste collection systems. Recognized as an up-and-coming leader for his work in our community, Richard was selected for the first Leadership Orlando class at the age of 27. By age 30, he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives.

He served in the Florida House for 12 years. His accomplishments were many, but the ones he is most proud of involve his passion for education and his love for the community that provided him and his family a better way of life.

In 1990, Richard ran for Florida Senate and was elected overwhelmingly. During his years in the House and Senate, Richard was known as a reformer and consensus builder. His first legislation changed the name of FTU to UCF. Rep. Crotty was prime sponsor of a bill creating the first U. S. prepaid college tuition program in America, which allows parents to purchase a college education for their children well before they go to college. The Florida Prepaid College Tuition Program gives families hope of a college education and the financial ability to make it a reality. He also sponsored the Rios-Martinez Act, which guaranteed that sexual predators of children would not get early prison release.

In 1992, he won election as Orange County’s Property Appraiser and was re-elected in 1996 and 2000. As property appraiser, he is credited with using state-of-the-art technology to maximize efficiency and provide higher levels of service to the citizens of Orange County. He managed 127 staff and a budget of $8 million and was responsible for assessing the value of approximately 320,000 pieces of property, valued at $43 billion. And while property appraiser, Richard attended the executive program for state and local government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

On January 8, 2001, Florida Governor Jeb Bush appointed Richard to succeed Mel Martinez as Orange County Chairman – he took the official oath of office on January 24, 2001.

Richard T. Crotty served as Orange County Mayor from 2001 to 2010. (The title changed from county chairman to county mayor in 2004.) While mayor, he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the county government, overseeing nearly 7,300 employees with an annual budget of $3.4 billion.

During his tenure, he focused on transportation, schools and the economy. He helped drive the plan to fund the new Amway Center, the Dr. P. Phillips Performing Arts Center and the renovation of the Citrus Bowl. In spite of many large-scale accomplishments, Mayor Crotty considers his most significant achievement to have stewarded Orange County through the preparation for, response to, and recovery from three major hurricanes in six weeks during the summer of 2004. And in spite of those many large-scale achievements, he remains humble and was quoted as saying that he wanted “to leave the place better than I found it” as he transitions from public service to private life.

Richard’s awards include the Distinguished Alumnus and Distinguished Service Award from UCF and the Leroy Collins Distinguished Alumnus award from the entire Florida Community College System. Richard is most proud of the Allen Morris Award, bestowed on him by a secret vote of House colleagues as the most effective member of his party. During his tenure as Orange County property appraiser, he was ranked the No. 1 property appraiser in the nation with the Distinguished Assessment Jurisdiction Award. He also received the Public Information Award.

Mayor Crotty takes every opportunity to promote Valencia and his relationship as one of the first graduates. It is prominently listed in his bio and emerges frequently in public speeches and personal conversations. He is also a donor, having funded an endowed scholarship in honor of his parents. He also expanded a Valencia / UCF Two-Plus-Two scholarship with a major gift to Valencia Foundation. Richard has also pledged to help increase available transfer resources for Valencia graduates.

Through it all, Mayor Crotty has shown himself to be a true public servant, caring about and serving those in his community. And even now, education remains an important objective. He was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees for UCF. And his commitment to education is as strong today as it ever was. In an interview, he shared that he is concerned that qualified students are being shut out of educational opportunities because of rising tuition prices. “I think it is important to keep our eye on the ball. We have to strike that appropriate balance to strive for excellence but make sure that access is there.”

And Richard Crotty himself stands as a perfect example of that balance: someone who achieved greatness, because of the access and opportunities afforded him at a community college.

2012-13 scholarships

2012-13 Valencia Foundation Scholarships are still available! Apply TODAY by visiting: