WHITTIER – Rio Hondo College is launching an orthopedic technician program and a hospitality management course in 2017-18 as it continues to expand its popular career technical programs.

The hospitality management course will function as a regular class, while applications will be required for the orthopedic technician program.

“We have crafted these courses in response to community and industry demands, and we believe they will open up many new doors for our students,” Superintendent/President Teresa Dreyfuss said.

Hospitality management is a fast-growing industry that has expanded from restaurants and hotels to airlines, cruise lines, amusement parks and sports arenas, among other venues. Demand is expected to grow over 10 years by up to 30 percent for some food service and event planning posts.

Instructors will provide real-world experience in both local and international companies. By the end of the course, students will earn industry-recognized certifications. These job-ready students will also be prepared to transfer into hospitality management and related programs at nearby universities, including Cal Poly Pomona, CSU Long Beach and CSU Northridge.

Rio Hondo’s new orthopedic technician program will be the first of its kind in the Los Angeles region. Students will learn how to care for patients with musculoskeletal injuries. By the end of the course, students will have acquired the necessary skills for immobilization, casting, splinting, traction, and assisting physicians with orthopedic care.

Students who complete the orthopedic courses will qualify for certification by the National Board of Certified Orthopedic Technicians (NBCOT) and employment as an orthopedic technician.

The courses will also complement Rio Hondo’s pre-certification nursing assistant and home health aide courses, which prepare students for nursing assistant certification tests and to care for patients in the home environment.

“It’s great to be able to provide our students with these two sets of courses,” Rio Hondo College Board of Trustees President Norma Edith Garcia said. “Both the hospitality and orthopedic technician courses will give our students many fulfilling career opportunities for their immediate future and for the rest of their lives.”