DATE: August 4, 2017
Vero Beach, FL, August 4, 2017– On July 25th, 2017, the School Board of Indian River County approved advancing forward with expansion of the Technical Center for Career & Adult Education (TCCAE). The expansion of the TCCAE will include relocating to a location currently owned in the school district with a larger amount of property to accommodate the expansion. The projected opening date for the expanded TCCAE is August 1, 2018.
Christi Shields, Principal of the (TCCAE) stated, “As Principal, I am extremely excited about the expansion of the Technical Center. This project is the result of great teamwork by district personnel and input from the community. This is a win for Indian River County, as it will provide more educational opportunities for everyone and further support the School District’s vision to Educate and inspire every student to be successful.”
The new location for the TCCAE will be at 4680 28th Court, Vero Beach, Florida 32967. This location is currently being shared by the Alternative Center of Education, TCCAE, and Indian River State College.
The Alternative Center of Education (ACE) will relocate to 1426 19th Street, Vero Beach, Florida 32960 where it will not have to share the facility with adult learners.
The relocation and expansion of the Technical Center is a tremendous opportunity to expand both secondary and post-secondary career education offerings for high school students and residents of Indian River County. By relocating the school to a larger campus, new programs for both high school students and adults will be offered, and roughly 800 to 1,000 students will be served. The campus will be centrally located in the county providing ease of access to students at both high schools and all residents. This will also allow for all career programs to be offered at the same location resulting in administration, teachers, and staff all housed on the same campus. Funding for the relocation and expansion is possible, due to the fund balance of workforce education funds accrued by the Technical Center. These funds per Florida Statue 1011.80 (7)(a) & (7)(b) are specific to the operation and benefit of workforce education programs.
The TCCAE currently has the following programs:
- Medical Assisting
- Medical Coder/Biller
- Certified Nursing Assistant
- Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
- Pharmacy Technician
With the expansion, the following programs will be added:
- Commercial and Culinary Arts – Adult
- Early Childhood Education – Dual Enrollment
- Building Construction Technologies – Dual Enrollment
- Phlebotomy – Dual Enrollment
- Welding Technologies – Dual Enrollment
Dr. Michael Arnett, Director of Career and Technical Education explained that the expansion of the TCCAE will complement current technical course offerings at Sebastian River High School and Vero Beach High School. Both campuses already have technical programs that will serve as springboards to courses at the TCCAE and offer dual enrollment with Indian River State College. These are the courses currently offered at the high schools:
- Accounting (Vero Beach High School)
- Aeronautical Studies (both high schools)
- Automotive Technology (both high schools)
- Biotechnology (both high schools)
- Business Management (Vero Beach High School)
- Carpentry (Vero Beach High School)
- Culinary Arts (both high schools)
- Certified Nursing Assistant (both high schools)
- Digital Design (both high schools)
- Digital Video (Vero Beach High School)
- Drafting (Vero Beach High School)
- Entrepreneurship (Sebastian River High School)
- Geospatial Information Systems (Sebastian River High School)
- Welding (Sebastian River High School)
The relocation and expansion of the TCCAE has the strong support of a group of community members. A Career and Technical Education Steering Committee comprised of local business owners, local officials, and school personnel have been working together since July of 2016, to form partnerships between the school district and local businesses. The expansion of the TCCAE was endorsed by the committee to address the lack of career and technical education training that was locally available in Indian River County to both the adults and the students of Indian River County.
Dr. Arnett stated, “This expansion of the TCCAE provides an increase of Career Pathways for the students in the School District of Indian River County to prepare to become productive citizens. This model is successfully utilized in many of the school districts in Florida, where it provides Post-Secondary Adult Vocational training targeted, specifically, to the workforce needs of the local workforce. This expansion, utilizing Dual Enrollment, provides enrollment opportunities for high school students to complete post-secondary educational opportunities.”
Superintendent, Mark Rendell, indicated that the expansion of the TCCAE is a direct reflection of the school district responding to the needs of the students and the community. He said, “The coursework that is offered in our technical programs, in high school, and at the TCCAE lead directly to certification and employment. The current mantra is to ensure that students are college and career ready. Relocating the TCCAE to a central location and expanding the course offerings will allow us to offer technical training to more students, in more fields, than ever before.”
As stated earlier, the expansion of the TCCAE will require relocation of the Alternative Center for Education. Mr. Denny Hart, principal of the Alternative Center welcomes the move. He believes the new location will provide opportunities for the students in his program.
Mr. Hart stated, “The Alternative Center for Education is a great place for students to get a second chance at learning. No matter where it’s located we practice the same principles of success: Respect, Responsibility, and Role Models. We can provide those attributes anywhere. I am happy the new location will afford students the opportunity to study near the downtown epicenter, which is located near Vero Beach High School and area businesses. We can utilize the proximity to other resources our current location doesn’t have. For example, we will now have access to the public library, Chamber of Commerce, and other valuable resources all within walking distance of our location. The Gifford area needs more positive news. The idea of a Vocational Center, a leader in producing a highly-skilled workforce, is paramount to changing the trajectory for so many who are looking to change their lives. I’m especially grateful to see my Dad’s vision also being fulfilled. He dreamed of a day when people in this community could study and learn trades and make a living for themselves right in their backyard. It’s long overdue. The community needed this and supports the change one hundred percent.”
School Board Member, Tiffany Justice, echoed the importance of technical training and its value in our community. She stated, “I am so excited to be a part of this decision. The new facility will allow us to expand the opportunities offered to ALL students to earn the skills and certifications they need to be successful beyond our classrooms. In taking the steps to ensure vocational education is highly valued, well-funded, and effectively implemented, we are truly preparing our students to be productive and successful members of the Indian River County workforce and the United States of America. Vocational education should be highly valued, and effectively implemented, and we are doing just that.”
TCCAE Conceptual Site Plan – Phase 1
The School District of Indian River County is a CommUNITY partnership striving for educational excellence and inspiring every student to be successful.