From the Executive Director’s Desk: Submitting New Industry Certifications & Nuances of the CAPE Industry Certification Funding List

It’s not only the beginning of a new school year, it’s also that time of year when new industry certifications can be submitted for consideration by CareerSource Florida to be added to the Comprehensive Industry Certification list. There is a new process for submitting applications this fall. The window for submissions to CareerSource opened in mid-August and closes October 17, 2014. A new list will be published in spring 2015. The new process limits the submitting organizations to schools through a principal, or a local CareerSource office. A new application (a certification that has not been on the Comprehensive List) requires endorsing letters from a state-based industry, or trade association, a regional workforce board, and an economic development organization. If anyone has a certification you want added to the Comprehensive List, you must work with either a school or CareerSource office. Submission information and the online portal are found on the CareerSource website. (

In 2007, the Florida Legislature passed the Career and Professional Education (CAPE) Act with the intent to improve the state’s talent pipeline and to attract and retain targeted, high-value industries. The CAPE Act also requires that education, industry, workforce and economic development organizations work together to create meaningful opportunities for students. For educators, the annually updated CAPE funding list provides guidance in selecting rigorous and industry valued certifications for their local career academies. Students can earn these workforce credentials and schools can earn additional FTE (full time equivalent) funding based on the number of certifications awarded to its students.  

The CAPE funding list is defined by the Florida Department of Education (FL DOE) and is derived from CareerSource Florida’s Comprehensive Industry Certification List. Once a credential is reviewed and added to the Comprehensive List, it becomes eligible to be included on the FL DOE Certification Funding List. Currently new Comprehensive Lists are finalized by March 1, each year. Schools have until April 1 to make requests that a certification on the Comprehensive List be added to the FL DOE Funding List, which is published by July each summer for implementation in the upcoming school year.

To be on the CAPE Industry Certification Funding list, the certification must (1) be on the
Comprehensive List; (2) be achievable by a secondary student; and (3) require a minimum of 150 hours of instruction. Career and Professional academies have several requirements in addition to being aligned to an industry recognized certification: certifications must align with and be guided by local industry needs, articulate for credit in a post-secondary program, provide learning communities, and provide work experience for students.

The overarching objectives of Florida’s CAPE Act are:
·   To improve middle and high school academic performance by providing rigorous and relevant curriculum opportunities
·   To provide rigorous and relevant career-themed courses that articulate to postsecondary-level coursework and lead to industry certification
·   To support local and regional economic development
·   To respond to Florida's critical workforce needs
·   To provide residents with access to high-wage and high-demand careers

Over the years, there have been additional nuances and lists! The state continues to refine and improve the process to be more robust and meaningful. You can read about the successes of Florida’s CAPE academies in an annual report published online (

Next month, we will look at the manufacturing certifications currently on various “lists” and how they fit into Florida’s manufacturing education pathways. For now let’s turn to the rest of the stories in the September edition of the FLATE Focus. This is especially an important month as kick start our statewide effort to make Manufacturing Day in Florida a big success. We have many tours lined up for the month of October. You can read what’s brewing in the pipeline for Manufacturing Day in this edition and reach out to us if you would like to be part of this national phenomenon.

This month we also have stories contributed by two of our partners: Florida TRADE at Hillsborough Community College and Florida Association for Industrial and Technical Educators (FAITE) which is committed to the advancement and enhancement of technical/industrial education throughout Florida. Rounding up camp season we have our last story about a robotics camp FLATE supported at Palm Beach State College. With school back in session, we’ve also featured some of our own FLATE staff who are currently attending and/or teaching at school. Be sure to read about them and cheer them on as they race to the finish line. Last but not the least, take a stab at cracking the solution to our Olde but Goodie series of the sTEm puzzle!

FLATE’s 2014 Manufacturing Day Initiative Increases Industry Tours Statewide

Manufacturing Day in Florida is almost round the corner, and FLATE and its partners that include
Manufacturers Association of Florida, Regional Manufacturers Associations and Florida TRADE, are working to put Florida on the manufacturing map (once again) on a national level. FLATE’s Manufacturing Day strategy last year, both before, during after the event, served as an effective mechanism that enabled statewide participation. In that, FLATE’s statewide outreach last year successfully built in-roads for communities across Florida to create sustainable partnerships and outreach between Regional Manufacturers Associations, School Districts and manufacturers. As a result of those efforts and subsequent follow-up webinars that engaged statewide stakeholders, this year regional manufacturing teams are educated and better prepared to independently organize tours, proclamations, and sponsorship for t-shirts. 

This year as in last there are many ways for industry and educators across Florida to participate and celebrate manufacturing in Florida. These include:
  • Hosting a “Made in Florida” student tour 
  • Hosting an open house for Career Source Florida talent pool
  • Adopting a school as a Dream It! Do It!  manufacturing mentor
  •  Hosting a “Made in Florida” tour AND adopting a school
  • Assisting in getting a county commission proclamation for Manufacturing Day 
  • Contributing to Manufacturing Day student tours and tee-shirts designed and produced by FLATE
Given the success of tours last year and responses received from students, educators, manufacturers and regional organizations across the state through surveys, FLATE will once again be coordinating “Made in Florida” high-tech industry tours for students across the state on October 3, 2014 and any additional tours conducted between Oct. 1- 17, 2014. Manufacturers and stakeholders across the state are strongly urged to participate, organize regional team of manufacturers, schools, other community groups, and join in the celebrations in a number of ways. There are a number of ways to get involved and help with outreach:

  • Schools/Districts can provide transportation and chaperones for students
  •  Manufacturing companies can host tours and provide lunch for student groups
  • Manufacturing related professional organizations can support the costs for Manufacturing Day regional t-shirts for students and encourage companies to participate
  • Organize a regional team of manufacturers, schools, other community groups
  • Send any adopted school information to Dream !It Do !t. (email:

To date 78 industry tours that includes an open house at St. Petersburg College and at Florida Gateway College has been finalized in 34 counties across Florida with many more to be added between now and October 2014. Below is an in-depth look at tours that have been finalized so far in counties across Florida. We will be updating this list on our webpage ( continually as more tours get added, so stay tuned!

FLATE will work with regional “Manufacturing Day teams” to help connect schools with companies, arranging media publicity, designing and delivering t-shirts that students can wear as part of a 2014 manufacturing day industry tour. One of FLATE’s most important initiatives during manufacturing day is also successfully gathering data from students, educators and manufacturers across the state to assess the overall impact of the industry tours. In 2013, FLATE surveyed 1300 students across the state who mentioned their perception manufacturing careers were positively impacted as a result of the tours. The tours also impacted educators who expressed the tours gave them a better insight about integrating STEM into their curriculum. Manufacturers also stated industry tours served as an effective tool for them to educate and/or create a talent pool for a future workforce. “No other organization in the state has the data collection strategy that FLATE implemented during National Manufacturing Day in 2013” said Desh Bagley, outreach manager for FLATE. FLATE will once again implement a similar strategy this year to survey all tour participants with a bigger goal to increase participation of students, educators and manufacturers.

In addition to tours, FLATE has designed official Manufacturing Day in Florida T- shirts that will serve as a tangible and long-term reminder of the significance of manufacturing in Florida. Sponsorships for T-shirt students can wear while touring regional companies are pouring in. Sponsorship for T-shirts start at $200. To pledge support and send in a logo that will be printed on the official 2014 Manufacturing Day T-shirts contact Desh Bagley, FLATE’s outreach manager at by Sep. 11, 2014. Manufacturers that have taken a lead in sponsoring T-Shirts are outlined below include: 

New Made In Florida Curriculum for National Manufacturing Day in Florida
This year FLATE has also developed curriculum for elementary as well as 7th-10th grade students. FLATE will pilot these lesson plans as part of Manufacturing Day 2014. Elementary, middle and high schools are welcome to access these resources which are posted on FLATE’s Wiki and use it to raise awareness about high-tech manufacturing careers in Florida.

Visit our webpage ( on the “Made in Florida” site for more MFG DAY in FLORIDA information. This is also where we will recognize participating companies and organizations. If you would like to be connected with a regional manufacturers association in your area to discuss additional outreach activities for students in your community for this year, or next, please contact Desh Bagley, FLATE outreach manager at and Dr. Marilyn Barger, executive director at 813.259.6578.  Desh will follow up with all participants with additional information regarding the statewide Manufacturing Day information.

Please share this with your organizational members or anyone who may be interested. We look forward to everyone’s participation in Florida’s Manufacturing Day celebrations.

New MADE IN FLORIDA Lessons Integrate Comprehension Instructional Sequence Model with Industry Tours

Typically, to succeed in hi-tech careers, students have to develop strong skills in
STEM and develop critical thinking, explore and express new ideas to reach their goals. Given these basic requirements, FLATE has developed curriculum tools to help students prepare and succeed in Hi-Tech careers. The curriculum is also a handy tool for educators as it sheds light on new ways to tailor instruction. This new curriculum integrates common industry tour experiences and the new standards into a four-day lesson plan to build learners’ background knowledge in STEM areas, expand their vocabularies, and promote reading and writing success.

The new curriculum is aligned with common core/FL standards using the Comprehension Instructional Sequence (CIS) model. This model uses a multiple-strategy
instruction that promotes student development in reading, comprehension, vocabulary, content-area knowledge, and critical thinking about complex texts, and complements learning experience of students during industry tours. There are eight lesson plans that focus on different processes and/or aspects of manufacturing. Each lesson includes activities for four-day, 50 minute lesson plan. Topics covered include: Assembly, Automation, Electronics Assembly, Materials Selection, Product Design, Quality Measures: Metrology, Subtractive Machining, and Fabrication--Joining Welding.

First two days of the curriculum, center on reading and research whereby students will focus on reading and research about the manufacturing process topic, learn new technical vocabulary and research of company to be toured.  Day three is focused on industry tours when students get to experience the world of manufacturing by touring a Florida-based manufacturing industry, taking notes and categorizing observations based on previous reading and research. Final day of the lesson plan is geared on discussion and essay writing. Students are encouraged to use critical thinking skills to write an essay that uses evidence from previous research and observations they make while on the company.

The curriculum is geared for 7th to 10th grade students and is will be used as part of the
manufacturing day in Florida curriculum in October. FLATE also pre-tested the curriculum during a professional day workshop for technology and industrial teachers from the School District of Hillsborough County. According to the survey, the CIS workshop was deemed successful. Out of a total of 18 survey results, 66.67% stated the lessons are very good/excellent way for teaching literacy. Same percentage also stated the lessons plans were clear and understandable. More than 50% of the respondents also agreed the lesson plans would be a valuable addition to the classroom.

For more information on the new lesson plan, or to use it as part of the manufacturing day in Florida curriculum visit You can also contact Danielly Orozco, curriculum coordinator for FLATE at

Robotics Camp Unravels a World of Possibilities for Students in Palm Beach County

FLATE’s robotics camps have served as a best practice/guideline for those looking to offer
STEM based robotics camps, or launch a STEM focused program for middle and high school students. Since the inception of the robotics camps in 2007, the initiative has not only grown in the number of offerings, but expanded to other regions across Florida. This year, in addition to six onsite camps in Hillsborough County, FLATE also supported robotics camp initiatives in Citrus, Columbia, Levy, Marion, Sarasota and Palm Beach counties.

The robotics camp at Palm Beach was the first of its kind and held at Palm Beach State College (PBSC). “It’s all about giving the most we can to our kids…they are the future and we have to give them the best chance we possibly can” said Dr. Marilyn Barger, executive director for FLATE which served as the model for the camps at PBSC.  A total of 52 students attended four weeks of camp (two intro; two intermediate) which was part of PBSC’s summer youth camp—an initiative spearheaded by PBSC Foundation which provided scholarships for some campers in an attempt to attract them to STEM based careers.

The camp was lauded by hosts as well as campers. “We greatly appreciate the service FLATE is
providing to the region and look forward to producing even more extraordinary future events in collaboration with FLATE” said Dr. Jay Matteson, director of the Institute for Energy & Environmental Sustainability at PBSC. What has attributed to the success of FLATE’s camps has been the camp curriculum itself that was designed by FLATE. The PBSC camp implemented the curriculum and offered campers the unique opportunity to learn how to build and program the all new Lego® EV3 robots. The exercises were targeted in expand campers’ understanding of the everyday applications and integration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in high-tech operations as well as sharpen their teamwork skills. “The kids were fascinated with the possibilities of robotics and engineering. It was as if they tried a new flavor that they really enjoyed” said Joel Flores, program director for the camp.

During the intro camp students learned the basics of robotics that ranged from parts identification to programming the robot to using light and color sensors to complete the challenges.  “The campers didn’t want to stop and were astonished by how robots work” Flores said. In the intermediate camp students were introduced to more complex missions to create/design robots. Students also engaged in the “Green City Challenge” where they received points based on the number of successful missions they completed within a certain time frame. “Their creativity encouraged students to think, to ask questions and formulate answers” observed Flores.

To put what they were doing into a larger perspective, students learned about careers and educational opportunities in high-tech manufacturing. Students also watched videos showcasing manufacturing operations that expanded their knowledge about robots and programming. Post camp survey showed 99% would recommend the camp to others. “I have always loved science and the people at the camp made me love science even more said” James Jolicoeur, a 7th grade camper. Jolicoeur says the camp has inspired him to pursue a STEM related field in college.  Adan Azarte, another camper was appreciative of the opportunity provided by PBSC Foundation and stated the camp “changed what I wanted to do with my life and college major choice.”

Overall success of the camp was echoed by students. “What made me feel successful was the feeling I got when I built something and it worked” said Jolicoeur. Indeed it is students like Jolicoeur that has inspired PBSC to expand the program and look into the possibility of offering it regularly on Saturdays. Joel Flores hopes campers will continue to be engaged in STEM beyond their camp experience and that “this experience launches them forward to a world of possibilities.”

For more information about PBSC’s summer youth camps contact Dr. Jay Mattheson and Joel Flores at and respectively. For information on FLATE summer robotics camps and STEM outreach programs visit, or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at 813.259.6578/ and Desh Bagley, FLATE outreach manager at