We'll Be Back

We'll Be Back

2019 FLATE Awardees to Receive Special Recognition at the Annual FACTE Conference


Educators and manufacturers play an integral role in educating and training the next generation of manufacturers. To acknowledge their contributions to manufacturing, FLATE has developed a prolific awards program that recognizes “Rockstars of Manufacturing” who have and continue to make a significant impact in support of technology education and training across Florida. This year's nominees for the 2019 FLATE Awards include a distinguished panel of individuals who for a number of years have made significant strides in promoting manufacturing and technology education and training across the state.

At the secondary education level, Michael J. Sargent, an engineering instructor at Lake Wales Charter School will receive the 2019 FLATE Manufacturing Secondary Educator-of-the-Year Award. Originally from upstate New York, Sargent started his foray into the world of manufacturing as a mathematics and engineering teacher for Polk County Schools (PCS). While working for PCS he became the first authorized MSSC instructor for Polk County high schools. At the time Sargent was tasked with creating Florida's first nationally accredited manufacturing engineering high school program and related outreach initiatives through the National Career Academy Coalition. As a result of his efforts 44 high school students earned the MSSC CPT certification. Sargent believes “education at the high school level is important as it exposes students to the diversity of jobs and skills needed to succeed.” As a  proponent of increasing female awareness and presence in the world of engineering, in 2018 Sargent partnered with the Society of Women Engineers at the University of Central Florida to create a mentoring program for female high school students to receive guidance and connections from female engineering students at the University of Central Florida.

Most recently Sargent is working on establishing a dual-enrollment program between Lake Wales Charter High School and Polk State College's Advanced Manufacturing Training Center. This partnership is set to enable high school students at Lake Wales Charter High School to earn MSSC certification as well as an Associates in Applied Engineering Technology. Sargent is working with a coalition of local manufacturing partners to provide the next generation of skilled workers. When not teaching, he spends time with his wife and two children. He can also be found teaching scuba diving courses and/or participating in reef restoration programs.

At the post-secondary level, Ronald D. Eaglin, Ph.D., has been selected for the Distinguished Manufacturing Post-Secondary Educator-of-the-Year Award. Dr. Eaglin currently serves as the professor and Chair of the Department of Engineering and Information Technology at Daytona State College in Daytona, FL. Eaglin has enjoyed a long and illustrious career both as a distinguished educator and an entrepreneur. His academic credentials include a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of South Carolina where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. He holds an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Central Florida. He also holds a special Honors Degree from South Carolina College. In the academic sphere, Dr. Eaglin has held several esteemed positions serving as the Associate Vice President for the College of Technology and Chair of the Engineering Technology program at Daytona State College (DSC). Prior to joining DSC, Dr. Eaglin was the Chair of the Engineering Technology program and the Assistant Dean for Distributed Learning College of Engineering at the University of Central Florida.

Dr. Eaglin is credited with establishing many academic programs both at DSC and at UCF. He played a leading role in formulating the curriculum frameworks for the A.S.E.T specializations in mechatronics and additive manufacturing at DSC. He has also worked on the ABET accreditation of the BSET and BSIT degrees at DSC. In addition to his ongoing offices and responsibilities, Eaglin serves as the coordinator of all engineering technology class assignment as the statewide course number representative and is an active member of the Florida Engineering Technology Forum, a statewide entity responsible for coordination of engineering technology programs across Florida.

Given his years in academia and the corporate world, Dr. Eaglin has many accolades under his belt. Dr. Eaglin is a renowned author of several professional publications, journals and presentations. He is a recipient of the Christopher Columbus Foundation Award for Innovation in Homeland Security. He is also among the “Who's Who” of students in American Universities and College, and has been a long-term member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society.  Outside his professional commitments, Eaglin serves as the President of the Central Florida Adventure Racing club that promotes outdoor activity, health and fitness for all ages. He is a Central Florida United soccer coach and is a past president and current member of the Central Florida Orienteering Club.

When it comes to manufacturing education and training, Michael D. Brewster has occupied a commanding presence and held formidable roles in promoting excellence in the corporate world of manufacturing. Early last month, the FLATE Awards committee selected Brewster for the FLATE Distinguished Partner-of-the-Year award that recognizes key industry personnel for outstanding contributions to promoted technology education and career awareness in support of manufacturing across Florida.

Brewster's leadership in the manufacturing arena is rooted in his longstanding commitment to world-class talent development in the manufacturing workforce. For Brewster it is all about the people, the faces and forces behind the world of manufacturing. He believes “a manufacturing company will only go as far as its employee talent pool will carry it.” Brewster states job satisfaction in manufacturing comes from leadership commitment to learning and opportunities for formal training for all employees to reach their full potential.

Brewster's commitment to excellence in manufacturing and related careers started decades ago. He has been engaged in food manufacturing since 1996 developing his career at Perry's Ice Cream, Jasper Products, Winn-Dixie Manufacturing, Dunkin Brands and Tampa Bay CoPack. His food and beverage experience includes developing aseptic products like soy, milk, rice, protein drinks, juices, donuts, teas and sports drinks. Brewster joined Monin in 2014 as the Vice President of Plant Operations and currently serves as the Chief Production Officer at Monin Americas.

Community outreach is a cornerstone of Brewster's contributions to manufacturing.  Key contributions include engagement in diverse initiatives across the state. He was nominated as a key participant in the Talent Pipeline Management Manufacturing Collaborative. He was the speaker at the American Manufacturing Summit in Chicago, IL. He is a member of the Pinellas County Coalition to Tallahassee and sponsored the Clearwater High School robotics team. Brewster has been a leading proponent of Manufacturing Day events and has partnered with FLATE on various MFG Day activities in the Tampa Bay region. Through Monin Americas, he served as a sponsor for the Manufacturing Day 5K Run-Walk-Paddle for Education. Since 2015 he has hosted several Manufacturing Day tours for Pinellas County School District. He is also member of several regional Manufacturers Associations serving as the Vice President for Bay Area Manufacturers Association (BAMA), member of the Board of Directors for BAMA and the Upper Tampa Bay Manufacturers Association and Chair of the BAMA Scholarship Committee. He is an avid advocate for hiring people with special needs and co-founded BAMA's veterans support committee.


FLATE extends its heartiest congratulations on this top honor to all the 2019 FLATE Awards recipients.
The Awards represent FLATE's commitment to recognize colleagues who have made significant contributions to the outreach, education and training of today's advanced manufacturing workforce. Awards will be presented during the 53rd Annual FACTE Conference & Trade Show from July 15-17, at the Renaissance Orlando Sea World Resort in Orlando, FL. For more information about the FLATE Awards program, or to submit a nomination for 2020 FLATE Awards visit www.fl-ate.org/projects/flate-awards. You can also contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at 813.25.6578, or at barger@fl-ate.org.

Sustainability Superheroes Features Industry Panel Discussing Sustainable Business Practices with Educators



Sustainable manufacturing is an objective that many companies are adopting as an essential part of their operations, which is making an impactful difference for the environment. Design, production, shipping and all other aspects within the manufacturing process must be examined from a sustainable perspective. This also improves the safety of employees, products and communities as a whole. Everyone is affected in some way, which is why the Sustainability Superheroes project brought manufacturing to the classroom for the May 7th workshop.
Dr. Deborah Kozdras, Chief Creative Officer of the USF Stavros Center, partnered with Dr. Marilyn Barger, Executive Director of the Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE), to host a panel of business and industry professionals with experience in the manufacturing industry for the workshop. Educators were able to learn how companies integrate habits and practices that are environmentally friendly into the core of their operations. “It’s so important for educators to hear directly from industry.  Educators are really hungry to know more about industry, how and where other non-educator people work, and what skills they need “, says Dr. Barger. FLATE and the USF Stavros Center have a long-standing partnership focused on providing professional development workshops for secondary educators in all disciplines that specifically highlight manufacturing professionals in the greater Tampa Bay area.
Below are highlights from the panelists. This project plans to recapture the comments of the panelists as well as other industry representatives in a series of audio clips that will be posted on both FLATE’s and Stavros Center’s websites.  Be on the lookout for these videos starting this fall!
*Pictured from left to right: Dr. Marilyn Barger, Patti Gander, Jerrika Rice, Suzanne Alverez, Peter Cirak

Patti Gander - Executive Director for the Manufacturing and Supply Chain Alliance
Patti demonstrated a great example of design thinking and an open mindset. Using traditional business analysis practices, like Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing, Patti illustrated how businesses can profit from sustainable practices, which ultimately have positive impacts on the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit.

Jerrika Rice - Senior Manager, Phosphates Quality for The Mosaic Company
Jerrika provided the educators with a deeper understanding of the challenges The Mosaic Company faces and the ways in which they are working toward more sustainable practices. By describing the complexities of the issues, Jerrika provided some excellent problem-solution examples.

Suzanne Alverez - Sales for C&D Printing & Packaging
Suzanne described the sustainability challenges and solutions within C&D Printing and Packaging. Beginning with one employee’s question about the toxicity of the processes, the company is continually evolving to more environmentally safe products and procedures.

Peter Cirak - Director of Quality Assurance for Seal Dynamics
Peter illustrated his passion for creating solutions in the workplace at Seal Dynamics. During Tuesday evening’s session, he described the recycling programs he initiated and stood as a model for how one person can work toward changing the ways in which things have always been done. 

​Sustainability Superheroes is a project that helps K-12 educators teaching all subjects and grade levels to incorporate sustainability into their lesson plans. The Gus A. Stavros Center for Free Enterprise and Economic Education partnered with the University of South Florida’s Patel College for Global Sustainability to provide workshops, new training and guest lectures to teachers across Tampa Bay. The goal of this project is to educate students about sustainability problems that need to be fixed and inspire them to act and make a positive impact on the world.  The USF Stavros Center received a grant from the Coca-Cola Foundation for this project. Sustainability Superheroes will provide related resources to the Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota school districts, which together serve over 550,000 students annually.

FLATE’s Linked In Engineering Technology Community Group


FLATE welcomes Engineering Technology alumni, teachers, and industry personnel to the new Linked In Group: Engineering Technology Community! Linked-in is a professional platform made for companies and individuals, it’s essentially the business version of Facebook. With LinkedIn you can follow other companies, find jobs by uploading your resume, have a place to share your projects, share events, create job postings, and create a professional profile.  By joining the Engineering Technology Community, you can get notified when connected companies have open positions, professional development opportunities, stay informed on industry news, share your experiences with current Engineering Technology students, and more! Join the group today by following this link or scanning the QR code below! You can also follow FLATE’s company page for the Engineering Technology Community at this link: click me!

Follow us on our other social networking platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter  @Made_InFlorida using #IndustryEducationPartnerships.


For more information contact FLATE at 813-259-6578 or barger@fl-ate.org. For assistance with signing up contact Elizabeth Duran at eduran3@hccfl.edu.


Manufacturing Day/Month in Florida 2019 - It's Time to Start Planning!

FLATE is interested in helping companies, manufacturing associations, and everyone else in offering student tours in celebration of Manufacturing Day. Tours are an excellent way to introduce students to the world of work, expose them to the exciting world of manufacturing, and educate them on the great skill, high wage careers that the industry offers. Teachers love the tours as well since they often have little exposure to the world of manufacturing. The tours give teachers an opportunity to gain knowledge of the cool, high tech equipment and tools they see when visiting manufacturing facilities, which will inspire them to pass on their Manufacturing Day experience to the next generation.
Summer has just begun, but here are some early updates for Manufacturing Day/Month 2019 in Florida from two of our partners: First Coast Manufacturers Association (FCMA) and South Florida Manufacturers Association (SFMA). First Coast Manufacturers Association (FCMA) has 30 companies in the Jacksonville area already signed up to host tours in October. Hoerbiger Corporation, a member of the South Florida Manufacturers Association (SFMA) reported that they will host ten tours for ten schools during the month of October. It's definitely time to start planning student tours. 
Check out our website and wiki sites for resources for MFG DAY 2019 student tours.  New resources for 2019 will be available by July 1st. In the meantime, you can see what was available in 2018 and read about the impact these tours had on students, teachers, and parents.  Don't hesitate to contact us for more information!