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Central Florida

Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association partners with OCPS to engage  students, strengthen the future


The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA) today announced  “Building Brighter Futures,” a new strategic partnership between its Central Florida Chapter and Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) to help shape future hospitality leaders and strengthen  the industry.  

Earlier this week, FRLA convened with the Culinary Educators of OCPS at the Valencia  Downtown campus to unveil the collaborative initiative to enrich students’ educational journey  for the 2023-2024 school year.  

"We are thrilled to embark on this journey with Orange County Public Schools," said Dan Davis,  President of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association's Central Florida Chapter. "Our combined efforts will empower students with the tools they need to thrive in the hospitality  sector, ensuring a bright and promising future for the industry." 

Under the banner of this visionary partnership, both organizations are committed to providing  OCPS students with invaluable opportunities for growth and development within the hospitality  sector. The primary focus areas of this collaboration encompass internships, mentoring, and site  visits, all deliberately designed to inspire and cultivate the emerging hospitality leaders of  tomorrow. 

"This collaboration exemplifies our commitment to providing students with real-world learning  experiences,” shared Shannon Latimer, District Coordinator of Career and Technical  Education for Orange County Public Schools. “It's an incredible opportunity for our students  to learn from the best in the hospitality business." 

Key Highlights of the Building Brighter Futures Partnership Include the  Following: 

Internship Opportunities: OCPS students will gain access to hands-on, immersive internships  within the vibrant Central Florida hospitality industry, enabling them to apply classroom  knowledge in real-world scenarios and fostering a deeper understanding of the field. 

Mentorship Programs: Seasoned professionals from FRLA’s Central Florida Chapter will serve  as mentors, guiding students on their journey toward becoming accomplished hospitality  leaders. Mentors will share their expertise, insights, and experiences, offering invaluable career  guidance.

Educational Site Visits: Students will be welcomed at some of Central Florida's most esteemed  hospitality establishments. These visits will provide a firsthand look into the industry's inner  workings, sparking inspiration and passion for hospitality careers. 

With a steadfast commitment to nurturing talent, fostering growth, and preparing the next  generation of hospitality professionals, this partnership between the FRLA’s Central Florida  Chapter and Orange County Public Schools signifies a momentous step forward. The 2023- 2024 school year promises to be transformative for aspiring hospitality leaders as they gain the  skills, knowledge, and contacts necessary to excel in this dynamic industry. 

For more information on the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, please visit FRLA.org. For more information on Orange County Public Schools (OCPS), please visit  https://www.ocps.net/.  

About FRLA: The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) is Florida’s premier non profit hospitality industry trade association. Founded in 1946 as the Florida Restaurant  Association, FRLA merged with the Florida Hotel and Motel Association in 2006. FRLA’s more  than 10,000 members include independent hoteliers and restaurateurs, household name  franchises, theme parks and suppliers. The association’s mission is to protect, educate and  promote Florida’s nearly $112 billion hospitality industry which represents 1.5 million employees.  Dedicated to safeguarding the needs of the membership, FRLA provides legislative advocacy to  ensure the voices of its members are heard and their interests are protected. The association  offers regulatory compliance and food safety training through Safe Staff® and FRLA’s subsidiary,  RCS Training. The FRLA Educational Foundation provides industry-developed, career-building  high school programs throughout the state.

Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, Orange County Public Schools, Culinary Educators, Central Florida