In 1961, Huntsville State Vocational Technical School was one of a group of state, two-year technical institutions founded by Governor George Wallace to support the technical/vocational career education needs of African Americans. Huntsville State Vocational Technical School opened its doors in 1962 with four programs: auto mechanics, cosmetology, electronics, and masonry. In 1966, the school’s name was changed to J.F. Drake State Technical School in honor of the late Joseph Fanning Drake, long-time president of Alabama A&M University. Today, the school has made it possible for Drake State graduates with technical associate degrees in various business programs to transfer seamlessly to these other universities like Alabama A&M University, Oakwood University, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville. The school is both a community college and a technical college. Today, JFD courses provide industry-based training, non-credit short-term courses and continuing courses, and continuing education course.