Made in Florida Industry Tours: Making students a part of "the action" since 2004

The “Made in Florida” industry tours for 7-12 graders are designed to stir student interest in today’s modern manufacturing careers. The tours serve a multi-dimensional purpose. They provide students with the opportunity to see high-technology, modern manufacturing facilities “in action”, and are targeted to encourage enrollment in the essential technology programs available throughout the state.

Since 2004, FLATE has taken more than 2000 students and 228 educators on the MIF tours. This year alone, 184 students from six high schools in the greater Tampa bay area visited eight industrial settings. Upcoming tours scheduled for November and December include Braden River Middle School to PGT industries; Sleepy Hill Middle School to Cellynne Corporation, and Robinson High School to Lockheed Martin. Through the tours students have gained a better understanding of the importance of science and mathematics and its application in high technology careers; enjoyed the opportunity to talk to employees; experienced robotics and automation in action, and witnessed manufacturing of real products that are “Made in Florida”.

The tours have also been a catalyst in changing perceptions about manufacturing. Approximately, 83% of students responding to a post-visit survey said they would recommend the tour to other students. There was also a 15% spike in the number of students who stated they would consider a career in manufacturing following a tour. Jim Lewis, a student at Dixie Hollins High School articulated the response of most students about the tour as “cool”. He added, “When I turn 18, I am going to come back here and apply for a job. They have so many opportunities.”

For more information on the “Made in Florida” industry tours, or to arrange a tour for your students, contact David Gula at 813.259.6581/gula@fl-ate.org, or visit www.fl-ate.org.