More Leaders Partner with Forney ISD to Bring Learning and Business Together at The OC
Three new partner businesses and a number of additional student-operated edutainment concepts are slated to open to the community this spring at The Opportunity Central. The OC partially opened to accommodate students and some retail in August. Now, phase two of construction is set to be complete for the grand opening in February with an array of retail shops, service providers and eateries open to the public.
Numerous businesses have committed to this new educational initiative with Forney ISD offering high school students hands-on, real world experiences by operating locations within The OC. Three additional business partners have been announced:
Stay Golden Gifts & Artisan Market - Owned by Brandon and Emily Golden, this market will feature personalized gifts and locally sourced vendor products. In addition, this shop will work with Forney students to offer select student-made products in their location.
PrinterTX - Owners Jess Tello and Jose Wagner will be moving their existing store from Dallas to The OC and rebranding their business as PrinterTX. This creative duo specializes in all formats and sizes of print and design services and can be utilized as a “one-stop” shop for all printing, design and marketing needs.
Haute Salon - Owner Carolina Herrera has an established salon business in Heath, Texas. The OC will be a second location to offer services and training for current and future staff. Services will include men’s, women’s and children’s hair care including cut, color and style. In addition, both manicures and pedicures will be offered at The OC.
Huckabee, The OC architecture firm, announced plans to sponsor “The Mix,” a collaborative space for students, teachers, and community offering comfortable and flexible seating as well as wifi access for guests.
In addition to the newest business partners, The OC includes a wide range of student-operated businesses. Several new student-operated concepts were announced where students will learn and have the opportunity to be employed. The community edutainment offerings include:
Code Ninjas - Code Ninjas will offer coding classes and camps to kids ages 5-15. Through coding education students will gain creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, and STEM skills in a fun, safe and inspiring environment. In addition, select junior and senior high school students with interests in STEM will be given an opportunity to train and work as a “sensei” (or coach) to guide students through each level of the program.
Novus Escape Room - Students from various programs of study will assist in the design/build of themed escape rooms that will be open to the community for entertainment and team building adventures.
Cosmetology - Cosmetology students will open studio hours for haircuts, styling, blowouts, facials. Princess parties will also be available for kids.
Esports Lab - An esports lab will open for team practices and tournaments. The esports Lab will be available to rent for groups and parties on weekends.
The OC Junior - Education and training students will host kids’ parties and parent nights out at The OC Junior.
Assembly Required - This innovative makerspace will allow students, community and staff access to specialized equipment and materials to create.
The OC is an extension of the traditional classroom where business professionals and instructors will offer students practical experiences to gain industry knowledge, training and mentorship to be successful in their chosen program of study and insight to future careers.
“We are excited to announce our next business partners, sponsor, and student-operated businesses,” said Dr. Justin Terry, superintendent of Forney ISD. “The opportunities our students are receiving provide them with numerous possibilities to get hands-on, real-world experience that is invaluable for their future.”
A community-wide celebration will kick-off a series of The OC opening events on Friday, Feb. 2 at 6pm. For more information, visit www.theOC.net.
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The Opportunity Central (The OC) partially opened in Fall 2023 to Forney ISD high school students with an anticipated campus opening to the community in February 2024. The career, college and community center will operate seven days a week. In addition to community engagement activities, The OC provides career-focused programs, college courses from Dallas College and Texas Tech University, and a variety of businesses and eateries open to the community for high school students to gain real-world experiences and employment opportunities. The OC includes a 600-seat theater, a 7,500-seat arena space for tournaments, concerts and events, and so much more. For more information, visit www.theOC.net.