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MIAMI, May 6, 2020 — CBT Technology Institute announced the appointment of its new senior management team, composed by Luis Llerena, incoming President/C.E.O., Monica Llerena, designated as Corporate Communications Officer, and Maricel Spezzacatena assigned as Chief Operating Officer.

Founded in 1988 by Gladys Llerena and Fernando Llerena, CBT Technology Institute is an accredited trade school located in South Florida that prepares students for technical careers that fulfill the employment and economic development needs within the local, national, and international markets. According to Mrs. Gladys Llerena, Chairperson, and co-founder of CBT Technology Institute, “we pride ourselves on being able to serve the community, especially immigrants, as well as being able to give jobs to members of our community. With our leadership, we hope to continue growing and building the educational legacy that we set ourselves when we founded the organization.”

Luis Llerena, the incoming President/CEO, is a US Army veteran, former CBT Technology Institute’s Director of Business Development, and co-owner of the organization where he has built a career spanning over 25 years. In this new capacity as President/CEO, Mr. Llerena will oversee the organization’s corporate growth, maintaining and growing the mission and vision. He will also be working alongside marketing and operations to develop clear cross-channel messaging and to create awareness for the organization.

“One of our primary goals is to continue engaging with the community at large by strengthening our brand and creating trust through credibility and positive outcomes. Internally, we aim to promote our in-house talent and to create growth opportunities for the organization. This team effort will lead to new programs, new students’ experiences, and new locations, which will then allow our CBT members to see growth in their career pathway,” Mr. Llerena said.

To fulfill the corporate goal of responding better to the challenges that the adult student population faces when going back to school, and help enroll more students, Mr. Llerena highlighted that the new management plans to implement hybrid online/in-person programs. “We do understand that to be competitive in our industry, we do and should provide some level of online services through a hybrid approach from which our students can benefit due to their busy schedules.”

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, CBT Technology Institute converted its residential programs to remote instruction to secure the health and safety of the community while also being able to continue offering its distinctive educational programs. “CBT Technology Institute has received temporary authorization to provide online courses during these difficult times,” Llerena said. “When the temporary approval ends, the remainder of the programs will return to in-person teaching on campus, while we get the pending authorizations for the hybrid programs.” This temporary authorization covers the current programs, as well as programs starting on May 11 and June 8.

Mr. Llerena also mentioned that CBT Technology Institute would continue to develop and engage the professional community through its continuing education courses. Also, they will introduce new non-degree-seeking programs, and keep offering the construction, allied health, network, and business certifications preparation courses.


To streamline and improve its external communications and internal processes, CBT Technology Institute introduced the Corporate Communications Officer and reintroduced the Chief Operating Officer positions to their organizational chart. These additions will facilitate leadership and improve both areas that are critical to the entire operation.

During the past five years, under the leadership of Monica Llerena, co-owner and former President/CEO of the organization, CBT Technology Institute partnered with small businesses, corporations, non-profit organizations, appointed and elected officials, and several players of the college industry, to advocate for trade education and find job placement opportunities for their students and alumni.

Throughout Ms. Llerena’s term, the organization also addressed the shortage of qualified, skilled workers with the South Florida legislative community and local employers. Likewise, the organization actively participated in industry events to expand the organization’s business and institutional network. Ms. Llerena also spearheaded and launched the “Begin. Belong. Be More” Campaign, which has engaged the College toward different levels of accountability among the administration and students, to gain better results in student learning outcomes. As well as the most recent slogan, “Where There’s a Skill There’s a Way” which was launched to create an awareness of practical skills that would encourage confidence to achieve a better outcome for student development and job placement.

“I was fortunate enough to be able to have various leadership roles within the organization, to have made a strong network of connections within our industry, and to be able to see that their challenges are similar to ours. This has made me able to get a great perspective on who and what we truly are and how we need to serve our sector, our students, and our employers,” stated Ms. Llerena.

This personal and professional commitment, coupled with her recent appointment as President of the “Association of Private Colleges and Schools of South Florida,” and the visibility that she gained in her 20+ years career at CBT Technology Institute, made Ms. Llerena become the perfect fit for the newly created Corporate Communications Officer’s position.

“In this new role, I’m going to assist the College in communication, corporate social responsibility and advocacy strategies to ensure the proper management of the organization’s reputation (as seen and understood by the public, policymakers, industry representatives, and essential government staff), in alignment with our shareholders’ goals and objectives. ”

During the coming months, CBT Technology Institute will endure a technology upgrade that will demand training and commitment at all levels. According to Maricel Spezzacatena, CBT Technology Institute’s new Chief Operating Officer, the IT department is evaluating different software, “Which will allow us to improve many of our day-to-day productivity in several departments. With this in mind, we will put in place training for the users (our students, our staff members, our employees, and the leadership) to be able to take advantage of these new resources and to introduce new efficiencies”.

Mrs. Spezzacatena, a finance expert with over 16 years of experience at CBT Technology Institute, points out that her division will also focus on enhancing students’ experience by improving processes, updating the labs, and bringing in new software.

“Our curriculum has a high percentage of practices in the lab environment – 70% hands-on training and 30% lecture. This learning approach is why we are constantly improving our labs by creating new simulations and using different resources to update them with the latest technology [equipment, tools, and software] available. Another key element in our hands-on training is that our faculty members have experience in the field, so when they come here, they’re able to give examples and teach our students the professional approach to real situations that they will face in their jobs. Our bottom line is that our students get to feel better coming to class, using new technology, being able to complete the program successfully, and thus, advance in their careers”.

Under the leadership of the new management team, CBT Technology Institute will continue to honor its “Begin. Belong. Be more” campaign by supporting their students, alumni, employees, and related communities in their academic, professional, and personal growth.

Related links: www.cbt.edu

About CBT Technology Institute:
CBT Technology Institute provides career training through a hands-on learning approach within the construction, technology, and allied health fields at its three locations across Miami-Dade County (Cutler Bay, Flagler, and Hialeah.) Over the past 31 years, the organization has graduated thousands of students into the Miami-Dade County workforce throughout more than 70 graduation ceremonies. The College’s involvement with employers, local organizations, and strategic business initiatives has opened up plenty of opportunities for our current students and graduates.

CBT Technology Institute is also listed as a Military-friendly school and participates in the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program, as well as is approved by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to participate in the Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to enroll International F-1 Visa students. The College is nationally accredited by ACICS, licensed by the Commission of Independent Education (CIE), and certified by the US Department of Education to receive Title IV funding.