Accelerated Skills Training Reaping Benefits for Pine Hills Residents

Community & Services

The Pine Hills Neighborhood Improvement District (PHNID) is engaged in a partnership with Valencia College and its Accelerated Skills Training programs, which provide hands-on training for students to develop skills in high-demand trade industries such as advanced manufacturing, construction and maintenance, health care, transportation and logistics, and information technology.

Valencia’s newest Center for Accelerated Training in Northwest Orlando is giving Pine Hills residents the opportunity to prepare for higher-wage careers in just weeks. The facility is Valencia’s largest yet, with 26,000 square feet of space, and its close proximity to Pine Hills is providing residents with the chance to earn industry-recognized credentials, train in essential workplace skills and receive job placement support.

Engaging in this beneficial partnership is just one of the ways in which PHNID is uplifting residents and local businesses to revitalize the Pine Hills area. It has implemented a long-range vision for redevelopment that focuses on bringing together local businesses, educational institutions, citizens and government to build a brighter future.

“We are working hand-in-hand with Valencia College to provide accelerated skills training to individuals  to help them improve skills and to secure great jobs with long-term potential,” said Michael Strayhorn, PHNID Board Chair. ”Building awareness of this initiative and getting Pine Hills residents enrolled in these programs is one of our top priorities.”

Keyron Senior, a Pine Hills resident and CAT student focusing on transportation and logistics, believes if you are looking for a better paying job or a job that can turn into a satisfying career, Valencia’s Accelerated Skills Training is the way to go.

“Most of us are working paycheck to paycheck, and it seems like we’re on this wheel not going anywhere, but you can get off that wheel,” he said. “There’s a whole ocean of opportunities at CAT, and its instructors and coordinators will lead you to where you want to go. And you’re not just learning how to drive a forklift or be forklift certified, but you’re also learning about the ins and outs of distribution and logistics.”

Eric Dunston, a CAT student focusing on becoming a distribution operations technician, asserted that the hands-on education he is getting on several different machines that are used in various kinds of operations  warehouses is of immeasurable value.

“It means I’m going to be more prepared for the positions these companies are looking to fill,” he said. “This kind of training usually takes 18 months to three years, but CAT is providing this education in eight weeks because it focuses on the important things you need to know. Companies are looking for Valencia students because they know we’re being taught the exact skills they’re looking for in employees.”

Dunston also realizes the significance of having Accelerated Skills Training on Pine Hills’ doorstep. “The fact we have something positive like this in our area brings in a different perception of what Pine Hills has to offer,” he said. “The partnership is home-grown, which is important.”

For more information on Valencia College’s Centers for Accelerated Training, go to Valencia College. For more on the Pine Hills Neighborhood Improvement District, go to Orange County Government.

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