300+ Graduate from Our Building Trades Programs
Hollis Thomas, former Philadelphia Eagle, was the keynote speaker. This was a first post-secondary graduation for many families.
Orleans Technical College held its annual graduation ceremony on Tuesday, November 15, 2022. The ceremony marked new beginnings for more than 300 graduates who are pursuing careers in the region’s growing building and construction trades field. Most have already secured jobs with Orleans Tech’s employer partners.
Former football pro Hollis Thomas was guest speaker. Thomas spoke about his journey to the NFL as an undrafted free agent. He signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in the mid-1990s and played for 10 years. His message of determination and second chances was one that JEVS Orleans Tech students could relate to.
“Don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do,” he said. “Take advantage of an opportunity when presented.”
Orleans Tech students represent from all backgrounds, abilities, and ages from across the city. Most were recent high school graduates, unemployed or wanted a new career. They graduated with credentials in various disciplines, including electricity, HVAC, plumbing and carpentry.
According to Campus President Rodney Brutton, the mix of classroom instruction and hands-on learning are “the skills employers look for. At Orleans Tech we align with industry standards so that graduates here tonight leave with recognized credentials. And can get a well-paying job.”
For many in attendance, this was the first time a family member graduated from a post-secondary school. As student debt from 4-year colleges soars, many look to post-secondary career and technical education schools to prepare them up for jobs in growing industries.