Locklin Technical College graduates 190 skilled students ready for the workforce

Special to the Press Gazette/USA TODAY NETWORK

MILTON — Locklin Technical College’s faculty and staff were thrilled to gather June 1  for their annual graduation ceremony recognizing student achievements in their respective career and technical programs in preparing for the future workforce. 

Dr. Karen Barber addresses graduates of Locklin Technical College class of 2021 June 1 in Milton.

“In a year with so many challenges to distract students from their educational and career goals,190 students persevered and not only succeeded in completing their career and technical programs of study; even more impressive, they collectively earned 226 industry recognized credentials or professional licensures that immediately transfer into their chosen career path,” said Principal Maria LaDouceur.

School training

Professional Culinary Arts & Hospitality Instructor Wade Hall and students (left to right): Nathaniel Baker, Katilyn Ellis, and Walter (Trey) Mobley are pictured during the graduation ceremony at Locklin Technical College June 1 in Milton.

These students are prepared to enter the workforce with a certificate of program completion and/or credentials from state licensure boards and nationally recognized industry certification agencies. In addition, students were awarded an industry certification medallion by the Santa Rosa County School District, Department of Workforce Education, in recognition of their achievements.

Students work throughout the school year alongside highly qualified and talented instructors. The instructors come from a variety of workforce disciplines, bringing many years of expertise in their career fields to the educational experience at Locklin Technical College.

The merging of these two components is key to training and producing high quality students who are ready for the workforce.

“When I look at this group of graduates, I not only see our future workforce, I see our essential workers! Our essential nurses, pharmacy technicians and medical administrative assistants. Our essential industrial workforce including electricians, HVAC technicians, certified welders, automotive technicians, culinarians, and IT professionals,” LaDouceur said.

Kiera Maxey, who graduated from the Locklin Technical College Electrician Program, is pictured at the college's graduation ceremony June 1 in Milton.

The ceremony included a video message sent from the State of Florida Chancellor of Career and Technical Education, Henry Mack. As chancellor, he leads the Division of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, overseeing all workforce education programs and economic development initiatives for the department.

“On behalf of our governor, Governor Ron Desantis, and our Education Commissioner, Richard Corcoran, I want to wish everyone, especially students and faculty at Locklin Technical College, a heartfelt congratulations,” Mack said.

Those gathered to celebrate also received a special address by Dr. Karen Barber, Santa Rosa County Superintendent of Schools. As an advocate and strong supporter of the mission in Workforce Education, she is committed to ensuring Santa Rosa County is a leader in all areas, including career education.

Jeff Richardson, ASE Master Technician, accepted the Locklin Technical College Alumnus Award June 1 in Milton.

“So, graduates I want to tell you, I’m looking at your program and this is my family! Here’s what I mean by that.

“I have a son who got his degree in Culinary Arts and is a chef making his living right now. I have a brother who is in HVAC. My dad is a welder, my mom a nurse, and my husband, although right now is a physician, he started his work teaching industrial arts, HVAC, welding, and he was an electrical contractor. 

“So, what you all are doing is my family and I’m just so proud to serve with all of you and to support your career paths,” Barber said.

She also spoke about the largest resource the students had to be self-sufficient, "...  your support system. Your friends, your family, your instructors are all your cheerleaders sitting in your balcony. To surround yourself with positive encouragers and not to let anyone negative in your balcony,” she said.

Dr. Barber concluded by challenging graduates to, “go out into the world and do well, but more importantly, go out into the world and do good.”

Over $66K in scholarships

Locklin Technical College also awarded 22 scholarships to current Santa Rosa County School District seniors. These scholarships allow students to attend Locklin as an adult student to complete a specified program of study.

The total amount awarded for the 2021/22 school year is $66,660 and all students were recognized at their home high school senior awards ceremony.

The night concluded with the presentation of the Locklin Tech Alumnus Award.

Each year, instructors are invited to nominate a former program completer who has taken the skills and knowledge gained at Locklin Technical College and achieved success in their field.

This year’s Locklin Tech Alumnus award winner was from the class of 2020 Automotive Technology 1 and 2 programs. Jeff Richardson was selected for the Locklin Technical College Alumnus Award for his determination and perseverance in achieving his career goal as he represents the school motto, “Knowledge that Works!”