Orange County school district forms new partnership to help students prepare for trade jobs

Randall Academy is a partnership between OCPS, Randall Construction Holdings, Inc.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A new partnership is preparing Orange County Public School students for high-paying jobs in the construction industry.

Randall Academy is a partnership between OCPS School-to-Work program and Randall Construction Holdings, Inc. Randall Academy opened during the 2020 school year and is piloting the program with 12 students.

The new facility is on the main campus of Randall Construction, which allows students to learn in the classroom for half of the day, and then work a paid job the other half.

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“It gives kids the practical experience of playing the ball where it’s going to be. Going out into life being productive on the job,” said Bill Tovine, Principal of Alternative Education for OCPS. “Here we have mentors for every student which is a big success for our kids. It kind of gives them someone to talk to.”

Tovine said school-to-work programs teach students skills that can easily transfer into a career or higher education after graduation.

High school senior Brianna Wilson earned hear forklift certification from Randal Academy (Orange County Public Schools)

“A lot of times people have that brick and mortar concept in their mind of when it comes to elementary, middle and high school. It’s hard to wrap their mind around what we can do in the school-to-work world,” Tovine said. “This is the unique opportunity for students to come and learn many different things they can do other than going into the military or college, and many times that’s the springboard that will get them into college as well. We’re the best-kept secret in Orange County without a doubt. Without a doubt.”

OCPS offers several Alternative Education programs and students can enroll at any time. To look at options for your student, visit the district page online, click here.

About the Author:

Julie Broughton's career in Central Florida has spanned more than 14 years, starting with News 6 as a meteorologist and now anchoring newscasts.