Franklin Technology Center (FTC, Franklin Tech) is an area technical school under the supervision of the Joplin School District. Franklin Tech offers occupational fields relevant to today’s needs. The mission of Franklin Tech is to provide outstanding career and technical educational programs that offer students the opportunity to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes essential for employment in increasingly complex work settings.
Franklin Tech is rich with tradition. Secondary training in vocational education began in Joplin in 1937 with about 24 students enrolled in auto mechanics and cabinet making.
The first classes were held at 4th and Byers. During WWII, an additional building was constructed at the Lafayette School site to provide war production training programs for workers in defense plants. Programs in machine tooling, welding, and sheet metal were started. Students in the Auto Mechanics Program were bussed to Fort Crowder daily where they repaired jeeps and trucks bound for overseas deployment.
In 1946, a large maintenance building at Fort Crowder Neosho was donated by the U.S. Government. It was moved to 1301 Pearl, the site of the former Franklin Elementary School. In 1965, a new building was constructed at 2020 Iowa. In 1979, an addition was built that doubled the size of the existing structure. Further expansion was made in 1995 with the relocation of the Allied Health Programs to the campus of Missouri Southern State College. In 1996, Franklin Technical School’s name was changed to Franklin Technology Center. In 1998 the Natural Resources Technology facility was built on the main campus and the Business & Office Technology, Medical Office Assistant and Machine Tool Technology Programs were relocated to Missouri Southern State College. The Surgical Technology Program was started in 1999. Construction Technology was added with yet another building being built on the main campus in 2007.
On May 22, 2011 an EF-5 tornado destroyed the 2020 Iowa campus. Sixty days later a remodeled warehouse at 420 Grand became the temporary home for Franklin Tech until a brand new school could be built. The new Franklin Tech opened September 2014 at 2220 Indiana near the location of the destroyed site. The new Franklin Tech campus has the most advance technology to-date for an area tech school.
After being on the campus of MSSU for over 20 years, FTC Adult Education needed to relocate. Three full-time health care programs, along with faculty and staff, had two options: move to a different location or close the doors. With Joplin School’s strong commitment to education for students of all ages, there was only one option: relocate.
The question then was, where. And the choice was made to occupy empty space in one of the district’s most historically significant buildings; Memorial Education Center.
The building was constructed in 1918 as Joplin High School and recently celebrated its centennial. It houses the district’s administrative offices, IT Department, the Board Room, and gifted program. Much of the vacant first floor classrooms were transformed with LED lighting and new finishes to become high-tech medical labs and classrooms for FTC’s Surgical Technology, Practical Nursing, and Medical Assistant programs. Additional classrooms have been renovated for future program growth. The corridors were redesigned to provide vibrant study spots and break-out spaces for students while promoting FTC Adult Education brand and school pride. FTC Faculty and staff offices, along with a welcoming and secure entrance for students and visitors, will be utilized at 810 S. Wall Avenue.
The Center’s primary goal is to offer technical programs that cultivate each student for rewarding careers by developing a harmonizing relationship between students and professional educators to prepare individuals for success careers and a lifelong learning in Health, Business, Computer Technologies, and the Trades with hands-on experience to meet the community’s needs.
Franklin Tech is committed to comprehensive programs of vocational education for all students to ensure that they have a span of educational experiences, which will enable them to develop communication and critical thinking skills and acquire technical skills to better themselves and the surrounding community.