ARMI On the Move

The Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI),,held its grand opening at its headquarters in Manchester, NH last month. This nonprofit organization will sustain a Manufacturing USA Institute, the Advanced Tissue Biofabrication Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ATB-MII). As a public-private supported institute, ATB-MII will use its Department of Defense (DoD) resources to support state-of-the-art manufacturing capability that strengthens DoD defense essential mission.      

ATB-MII will bring together a proactive collation of research institutions, for-profit and nonprofit organizations, federal, and state agencies to accelerate innovation relative to the Tissue Biofabrication Ecosystem to develop technologies, protocols, and procedures that result in biofabrication full scale manufacturing operations. This effort will provide support to help bridge the gap between basic/early research and product development by advancing and scaling critical technologies in the manufacturing readiness level (MRL) between the 4 to 7 range. As indicated by Dean K. Kamen, founder of ARMI: ARMI will make practical the large-scale manufacturing of engineered tissues and tissue related technologies, to benefit existing industries and grow new ones; and ATB MII's website states: The ATB-MII will provide shared assets to help entities – particularly small manufacturers – access cutting-edge capabilities and equipment, creating an unparalleled environment to educate and train students and workers in Advanced Tissue Biofabrication skills.

The cell phone photo shown above and snapped during Dean Kamen's presentation at ARMI's inaugural,, event captures ATB-MII's overall intent.  The presentation side's title ("ARMI Has Solid Backing to Turn a Fragmented Field Into a Robust Industry") focused the audience of ATB-MII partners to a large extent on the impressive group of research universities that will tackle the bioscience, bioengineering, and manufacturing issues involved in completing ATB MII's goals. However, the triad of logos as arranged in the slide's lower right corner also highlights ATB-MII’s intent: "to create an unparalleled environment to educate and train students and workers in Advanced Tissue Biofabrication skills."

As long-time FLATE supporters and FLATE Focus readers, we hope that you noticed our logo on Dean Kamen's slide as soon as you saw the photo of his partner display slide!! However, for Florida's role in developing technicians and skilled operators to support bio-related manufacturing in our state, it is the MEP, FloridaMakes, FLATE cluster that is important. What curriculum content and/or course of study should be installed in the Florida College System A.S. degree programs to produce the new technicians with the knowledge and skillset Florida manufacturers will need?  What training programs and content should be created that can be delivered directly to the current technician and operator workforce that supports this Florida manufacturing sector?  How will what Florida learns about developing this ATB-MII supportive workforce be interconnected with bio-manufacturer's across the country? 

These are three important questions with answers yet to come but NIST's Manufacturing Extension Partnership, FloridaMakes, and FLATE are federal and state agencies in Florida that will ultimately provide the answer to those questions. As a first step, FLATE and FloridaMakes are developing a joint operational strategy which will produce an effective mechanism to efficiently meet the high-tech manufacturing workforce Florida needs from both the new student and current workforce talent pool.  "Stay tuned" to future FLATE Focus issues for exciting developments and details.

Northwest Florida Manufacturing Council (NWFMC) hosted its annual Education Advisory Committee

On Friday August 4, the Northwest Florida Manufacturing Council (NWFMC) hosted its annual Education Advisory Committee for manufacturing programs in middle school, high school and college programs in the 10 counties of  Florida’s great Northwest region. With a mission to develop their own talent pipeline, the membership of NWFMC initiated and continues to support eight middle school and 10 high school manufacturing related programs and academies in 10 counties. The NWFMC also supports the four Engineering Technology Associate of Science (A.S.) degree programs in the region: Chipola College, Gulf Coast State College, Northwest Florida State College and Pensacola State College.  High school students in the manufacturing programs can articulate with credit to any Engineering Technology degree program at these colleges. The University of West Florida (UWF) located in Pensacola, is also an important partner, supporting all the educational initiatives of the Council including training for the current manufacturing workforce. 
To put money where its mouth is, the Manufacturing Council has acquired funding to support the development of the new programs, purchase needed equipment, recruit students, provide educator professional development and training, offer scholarships, and support MFG DAY tours for students in these program every October.  For example, educators from across the panhandle attended training at Northwest Florida State College supported by NWFMC earlier in the week before the August 4th meeting.  To help market the programs to the community, students, parents, and industry,  NWFMC developed individual county-focused career pathway handouts available to download from their website ( The documents promote the manufacturing educational pathways as well as the great high-wage, high-tech manufacturing careers available in their regions.
The advisory committee meeting helps educators learn what the manufacturing industries in their area need with respect to workforce, what the council and regional workforce agencies report on hiring in the industry, and also get to share what they need.  These regional Council Advisory meetings can also fill the requirement of the school programs to have an Industry Advisory Committee meeting each semester.  Al Jenkins, new Engineering Technology faculty at Gulf Coast State College said that these regional meetings were extremely valuable.  He not only learns how the education system in Florida “works,” but hears directly from industry what their needs are.  “Its important to hear directly from those companies who hire our students about the skills they need as well as new technologies they are implementing” Jenkins said. He also mentioned that educators worked together to better understand what the pathway options are for their students, and how they might share equipment, expertise and experiences.  Steve Harrell, CTE director in Pensacola schools, commented that it was important for him and his manufacturing teachers to participate in these meetings, network with their colleagues, and listen to industry partners.
Dr. Barger, Executive Director of FLATE (Florida Advanced Technological Education Center of Excellence) shared a number of resources with the attendees including DVDs of the “Made in Florida” and “Women in Manufacturing” videos and their accompanying teacher guides, classroom posters for MFG DAY and folders with more information about FLATE resources and the statewide manufacturing education pathways.  Dr. Barger also provided a brief overview of  FLATE and its work supporting manufacturing education in our state.

NWFMC student recruiting video

U.S. 2012 Economic Census: Manufacturing

The US Census Bureau has compiled information from the manufacturing industry and created a manufacturing data wheel.  This contains data for all sectors and includes total value of shipments and receipts, costs of material, number of establishments, production workers annual wage and hourly wage and a total number of production workers.  The data wheel contains a high level of data for all subsectors, and provides a snapshot of domestic manufacturing as well as specific values for anyone who is interested in a particular subject/sector. 

For example if we look at the wheel and turn to the section for “Computer and electronic product manufacturing,” the total value of shipments and receipts for services is $313,588,636; number of establishments is 13,282; Production workers average for a year is $407,268; production workers average annual wage is $50,395, and production worker hourly wage is $25.65. 

This Manufacturing Data wheel is a great source of information for educator to use during Manufacturing Day on October 6, 2017.  As educators start to speak to their classes about the tours, they can also look over this information to see how this correlates to the manufactures they will be visiting.

For more information on the stats on the data wheel contact Elaine Anderson.  To get a copy of the data wheel contact FLATE at and we can send you a copy.  The data wheel also serves as an excellent point of reference for anyone who is looking for data and/or conducting research on manufacturing   
Here is a link to the Industry Statistics Portal.  This link shows the data for all the sectors, but also shows the data for subsectors.

Below are some graphs from the Department of Commerce showing the percentage of college graduate men and women in the manufacturing industry and Women’s earnings compared to men in the same Industry.


For more information about the U.S. 2012 Economic Census: Manufacturing wheel or to order some,
you can contact Elaine Anderson at