Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Central Florida Chapter Announces Partnership with Orange County Public Schools to Engage Students, Strengthen the Future of Central Florida’s Hospitality Industry

TALLAHASSEE – 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.