(Bradenton, FL—July 3, 2020) Manatee Technical College graduated 501 students in three virtual ceremonies on July 2, 2020. MTC held its graduation virtually for the first time in 57 years due to the continued need to take precautions because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The virtual format gave the college the opportunity to include celebrity Mike Rowe’s “commencement speech delivered at the height of the plague” to congratulate “all those in pursuit of a useful skill.”
“When this country gets back to normal, this country is going to enter a new age of work…your skills will be in demand as never before,” said Rowe in his May 20 YouTube speech. Rowe is also the creator of the Mike Rowe Works Foundation whose primary focus is to campaign for the skilled trades. He thanked the graduates for “learning a skill that’s in demand.”
This year’s student speaker was Yuritzel Luviano, who grew up in a hardworking farmworker family and is now graduating from the Dental Assistant program. Luviano has already passed her national boards and has obtained employment with a local dentist. She said, “The most important thing I learned at MTC was to never give up. Challenges turn into achievements when faced head-on.” Referring to the pandemic she said, “Nothing can stop us from realizing our dreams.”
The Class of 2020 also heard from Manatee Schools superintendent Cynthia Saunders, deputy superintendent Doug Wagner, and MTC director Dr. Valerie Viands who congratulated all as essential workers.
The ceremonies honored graduates from over 50 programs. They were streamed at 7:00, 7:30, and 8:00 p.m. on MTC’s website and Facebook page.
About Manatee Technical College
Manatee Technical College is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. MTC has three campuses within the School District of Manatee County and offers over 50 career preparation programs, continuing education, adult general education. The mission of MTC is to produce highly skilled individuals and resourceful leaders through collaborative education to meet the ever-changing needs of our communities and the workforce.