Who We Are

Workforce Advantage Academy is an Orange County Public Charter School that has only 11th and 12th grade students. Its major focus is preparing students for graduation from high school and providing them with work experience through paid internship opportunities that prepare them for the world of work. Belinda Jones, principal of WAA, is, ultimately, responsible for the overall academic performance of the students at WAA.
She has instituted the academy’s instructional system, which combines academics and industry education that comply with the Florida Sunshine Standards and meet the needs of students, families, businesses and the Orange County School District. Ken Hartsaw often says “We offer a private school environment at public school price – free.”
Job development is an important part of the Workforce Academy model. WAA develops entry-level jobs that accommodate students ability to earn while you learn. Coordinating and facilitating the relationship between the business partners, students, faculty, families and the School District, is the Chief Operations Officer Carl Merrell.

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Workforce Partners

Workforce Advantage Academy Introduction Video

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Jharisha Blackman

A 2007 graduate, Jharisha Blackman has completed her political science degree at Florida State University in Tallahassee and has been...

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer

They are doing a marvelous job of uplifting students who haven’t been successful in their academic careers and pointing them...

Rick Roach – former school board member

I worked with Workforce Advantage Academy CEO Ken Hartsaw to obtain approval for the school 10 years ago and am...

Army Brigadier Gen. Henry L. Huntley

Workforce Academy offers advantages to students and staff members advocate for the young people attending the school. “You are a...

Eric Smith

Former Florida Commissioner of Education Eric Smith: “Connecting the class work to them and their lives and making it meaningful....

John Winn

Former Florida Commissioner of Education Mr. John Winn “we need to find ways to not only make their learning environment...

Student holistic development

Our students develop the academic, employment and social skills that they need to build rewarding lives and promote positive change in their communities.

Dedicated team of education professionals

Workforce Advantage Academy is operated by a dedicated team of education professionals, with no ties to a management company.

Experiential learning opportunities

Experiential learning opportunities allow students to achieve academic excellence, employment success and social responsibility.

Provides students with work experience

Workforce Advantage Academy provides students with work experience while remaining in school and learning more about business and careers.

Workforce Advantage Academy Charter School, an Orange County Public High School, offers juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn while they learn. Students spend half their time in a paid job, gaining valuable work experience while earning school credit as an elective for the internship.


Our mission at Workforce Advantage Academy Inc. is to create learning environments for high school students, particularly those rising juniors and seniors who desire a different approach to reach their potential. Through attendance at Workforce Academy, our students develop the academic, employment and social skills that they need to build rewarding lives and promote positive change in their communities.