El Capitan Honors Vocational Special Education Students
Students enrolled in the Merced County Office of Education (MCOE) and El Capitan Hotel Vocational Education Housekeeping Program were honored with in a recognition event organized by the hotel. The event, held in the El Capitan Hotel Courtyard, celebrated 18 young adults from the MCOE Special Education Transition Center who participated in the yearlong program.
The program, which completed its first year, offers students with special needs the opportunity to develop valuable skills in the housekeeping and hospitality industry and is only one of a few across the United States.
The MCOE/El Capitan Hotel Vocational Education Housekeeping Program was designed to help students enrolled in the MCOE Special Education Transition Program develop valuable life and employment skills through hands-on training at the El Capitan Hotel. The hotel is one of several locations across Merced County where students gain vocational skills.
The partnership and program is part of El Capitan’s community promise, which is focused on positively impacting the Merced community, particularly in education, employment and economic development and highlights the significance role vocational programs play in fostering inclusive work environments.
The recognition event served as a platform for the hotel to acknowledge the achievements of students and staff, applaud their determination and express gratitude for their contribution to the program’s success. Guests included representatives from MCOE, El Capitan Hotel, housekeeping staff, students, their families and community members.
The event kicked off with an introduction from El Capitan Hotel Managing Director Robin Donovan, who thanked the hotel housekeeping team and commended the students for their 1,400 hours of vocational training, followed by an address from MCOE Special Education Assistant Superintendent Dr. Laura Fong, who spoke on the impact of the program and the importance of the partnership in empowering individuals with special needs.
The ceremony concluded with a presentation of certificates for each student to commemorate their accomplishments and acknowledge their commitment to vocational training.