Orange County, UCF & Rosen Hotels team up to provide ESOL classes for I-Drive employees

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — With nearly 75,000 workers, the International Drive Resort Area is the heart of economic activity for Orange County’s tourism industry.

Thanks to a new pilot program, Orange County, Rosen Hotels, and the University of Central Florida are looking to secure better employment opportunities and strengthen the talent force in Florida’s tourism hub.


The English for Speakers of Other Languages Program offers language instruction in the I-Drive corridor.

Students from different countries can learn English to advance their careers.

The partnership means people no longer have to choose between learning and making a living.

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Jennifer Haddad with UCF Global said that flexibility removes the barriers to career advancement.

“Language is just the conduit to that upward mobility, and so I think we see that already,” Haddad said.

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Kimberly Carson with Rosen Hotels and Resorts says they have about 70 students participating in the classes.

“We’re seeing huge strides, and the more we can do it for all of our associates, whether it be English as a second language or other upscaling. That’s really our goal. We want to see our associates succeed,” Carson said

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The pilot program runs through June with the hope of adding more I-Drive employers and creating a permanent program.

More information about the English for Speakers of Other Languages Program can be found here.

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Matt Reeser

Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.