By Tom Waring

Orleans Technical College last week honored 311 graduates in its building trades programs.

The Nov. 29 ceremony took place at the Philadelphia Ballroom, 2014 Hornig Road, and recognized students who successfully completed programs in carpentry, residential and commercial electricity, plumbing, building maintenance and air conditioning, refrigeration and heating, including 34 property maintenance and repair graduates in the JEVS Human Services Project WOW program.

Longtime director of admissions and student services Debbie Bello read the names of graduates, who accepted their diplomas and posed for pictures with Cynthia Figueroa, JEVS president and CEO, and Orleans Tech campus president Rodney Brutton. Some graduates earned tradesperson awards, while others were recognized for perfect attendance or “outstanding” attendance.

Figueroa said she enjoys watching classes at Orleans, 2770 Red Lion Road.

“It’s usually the highlight of my day,” she said.

Shaquille McFadden, a graduate of the residential and commercial electricity program who was hired by SEPTA, addressed the crowd, saying, “After a long battle, we finally made it.”

Jamell Joyner, a 2021 graduate of the residential and commercial electricity program, encouraged new grads to follow the 3 H’s: be humble, honest and have a hunger for knowledge. 

Waleska Maldonado, JEVS chief program officer, urged the grads to push the boundaries, dream big and work hard.

“We celebrate not the end but the beginning of your new chapter,” Maldonado said. 

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