Spotlight on:
James Michael Burkett, President, Florida Technical College

Spotlight on:
James Michael Burkett, President, Florida Technical College

2022-07-13T07:28:25-04:00December 15th, 2019|Education, Environment, Insights, Orlando|

By: Yolanda Rivas

Since 1982, Florida Technical College (FTC) has been meeting the needs of students and the job marketplace. At times of low unemployment rates across the nation, educational institutions like FTC play a significant role in providing students the necessary skills businesses are looking for. In an interview with Invest: Orlando, FTC’s President James Michael Burkett discussed the most in-demand programs and how they support the local workforce.

What differentiates Florida Technical College from other educational institutions in the area?

We support people who want to acquire technical job skills that can get them into the job market more quickly. That is one of our main advantages. Our locations in Central Florida have seen unprecedented growth, particularly in our hospitality program because many of the positions in these fields require the technical skills we help students acquire, rather than a traditional four-year degree. Another big advantage for the school is our Spanish language vocational and technical programs. These programs have allowed us to assist the Spanish-speaking population that has migrated to Central Florida over the last few years.

What are some of your efforts to attract and retain talent in Orlando?

We partner with several chambers to make sure that employers in the area understand what we have to offer. That has been a great advantage to both students and employers. We are seeing unprecedentedly low unemployment rates and one of the main challenges employers are facing is finding qualified talent. We communicate with local businesses from different industries to ensure our students have the skills they need. 

Which Florida Technical College programs are seeing the most growth?

Electrical has been one of the fastest-growing programs at Florida Technical College. We have been able to scale that program quickly to meet demand and by the beginning of next year it will be available at most of our campuses. Construction trades and the Spanish language vocational programs also have been areas of growth for us and we expect that to continue in 2020. There is also a big need for culinary skills and we are expanding our capacity for that program as well. With numerous restaurants and hotels opening in the region, we are looking to provide the talent pipeline they need.

To learn more about our interviewee, visit:

Florida Technical College: