Valencia College’s robotics program looking to fill job needs in Central Florida

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — A new state of the art robotics lab is open in Osceola County.


Monday morning, Channel 9 took a closer look at Valencia College’s Advanced Robotics Factory. The school’s Robotics and Semiconductor Training Program is looking to provide students with the skills to be successful in the industry. An industry they say has a lot of job openings to fill.

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In a world of new technology, many companies are in need of technicians to fix high-tech machines when there’s a breakdown.

“The engineers come and design it, the funds get approved, but there’s a huge shortage of technicians to work on the systems,” Colm O’Driscoll, the programs professor, said.

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Many of those systems are now automated.

O’Driscoll says right now, they are training students to fill the need.

Skills he says will make them employable to companies across Central Florida like Universal Studios and Lockheed Martin.

“Any company that has existing automation,” O’Driscoll said. “Whether that is a manufacturing facility with a number of automated machine centers. Or a theme park where the rides are fully automated.

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Mykel Gatson is a recent graduate of the program and was hired at SkyWater; a local company that makes microchips.

“We take our customers ideas and turn that into a realization,” Gatson said.

SkyWater’s Vice President Dale Miller says the skills they learn at Valencia are skills they will use every day in the industry in Central Florida and beyond as technology continues to evolve.

“All the equipment that we use in the making of a microchip is advanced manufacturing equipment,” Miller said. “They all have robotics in them and software in them. The skills that they’re getting in only 22 weeks are very relevant.”

The 22-week program is looking to train up to 60 students each year.

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