FLATE’s ET Degree: A model in “Tooling up for future careers in manufacturing” in Wisconsin


FLATE continues to be a leading resource for review and reform of manufacturing and advanced technical education. FLATE-led initiatives such as the statewide engineering technology degree, the “Made in Florida” learning challenges, the Toothpick Factory simulation game for soft skills have generated tremendous momentum, and resonated positively within the engineering and technical education communities on the state and national realm.

More recently, FLATE’s ET degree framework, with the MSSC skills standards embedded into its technical core, served as a model for developing a new training and certification program in Milwaukee, WI. “Tooling up for future careers ” was developed through a partnership between Milwaukee Area Technical College, Harley-Davidson Foundation, Snap-on Incorporated, and the Johnson Controls Foundation. The program is poised to provide MSSC training to eight Milwaukee area high school teachers, who upon successful completion of the MSSC instructor certification will deliver the MSSC Certified Production Technician courses to approximately 100 MPS students over a period of two years.

"Tooling Up for Future Careers" is highly targeted towards workforce education, in that students not only earn high school and MATC credits, but will be ready to enter the manufacturing workforce. Results from CPT course assessments are also expected to help local manufacturers gauge skills-set of incumbent workers, and develop relevant future training priorities. Since the debut of the program in 2007, Milwaukee Business Journal states MATC has provided training to 350 individuals, administered 600 certification assessments, issued 400 certifications and produced 40certified production technicians. It is also one of 19 certified MSSC centers in Wisconsin, and the only one in Milwaukee.

Despite the close parallels with the FLATE curriculum framework, the MATC program has a more localized approach. John Stilp, vice president of MATC—Oak Creek campus and Chairman of FLATE National Visiting Committee said currently “every district develops its own articulation agreements and links those agreements to its own one-year diploma or two-year associate degree." On the other hand, FLATE's curriculum framework with the MSSC Skills Standards embedded in the engineering technology A.S. /A.A.S. technical core boasts of a statewide reach. The core consists of 18 credit hours and covers the following 6 areas: CADD, Electronics, Measurements, Processes, Quality, and Safety. The ET Core coupled with a second year degree specialization provides students with the oppotunity to earn an 18 credit hour college certificate, prepares them to take the MSSC skills test and earn a national certification, and prepares students for jobs in high-tech manufacturing. Stilp added "I like better what FLATE has done".

For details about “Tooling up for Future Careers” training, certification program at MATC visit www.matc.edu. For more information on FLATE's engineering technology degree, contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at barger@fl-ate.org/813.259.6578, or visit www. madeinflorida.org/ET_Degree.