ORT History

The Institute’s mission is to meet the educational and academic/vocational needs of diverse students in a supportive caring environment.  Further, the mission is to provide technical skills and knowledge necessary for employment and career advancement.

In Russian, the letters O-R-T form the acronym “Obshestvo Remeslenovo i ZemledelcheskovoTrouda”, translated as “The Society for Handicraft and Agricultural Labor”. When ORT was created, farming and manual competencies were the keys to steady work. ORT is now known in the United States and other English speaking countries as the ”Organization for Educational Resources and Technological Training”.

By 1970 ORT had grown into the largest non-governmental, privately-financed vocational training school system on the planet. Now World ORT operates a worldwide network of over 800 schools and training centers with an enrollment of more than 300,000 students in 60 countries. Over two million people have participated in and benefited from ORT programs all over the globe.

Through the years, the skills taught by ORT have been continuously evolving with technology. Today, we are still in the business of bringing economic self-sufficiency to people and communities in need. In addition to providing instruction in the trades and other manual labor jobs that require expertise, ORT teaches its students how to become computer technology proficient as well as start entry level careers in business accounting and medical support.

The Institute History

Chicago ORT Technical Institute was founded in Chicago in 1991 to support the large influx of immigrants from the former Soviet Union in their transition to a new home in America. The Institute is affiliated with ORT America, a volunteer organization that is the umbrella organization of ORT in the United States. ORT is a non-profit organization offering men and women from all backgrounds the opportunity to gain an education that will prepare them for the workplace in business, industry and technology in the spirit of ORT’s original mandate. We consider ourselves to be “A Welcoming Community of Practical Learning.”

ORT Affiliates

US ORT Operations, Inc. in New York oversees Chicago ORT Technical Institute in the Chicago area, Los Angeles ORT College. All three are post-secondary technical vocational schools dedicated to providing affordable technology based education and English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction in the ORT tradition. US ORT Operations also has an affiliated Resource Center in Detroit. The Chicago ORT Technical Institute was established in Chicago in 1991. The Institute is accredited by the Accrediting Council of Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), approved by the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), the Veterans Administration, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and the Department of Homeland Security to enroll non-immigrant alien students.