Franklin Technology Center 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.
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