From the Executive Director's Desk

Recently the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (the NGA Center) published a report entitled: “A Sharper Focus on Technical Workers: How to Educate and Train for a Global Economy.” The report is based on one of the NSF ATE Centers, AMTEC (Automotive Manufacturing Technical Education Collaborative) as a model of how academic institutions, industry, and state governments can work together to provide skills training for workers, and help secure the country’s economic security and prosperity. “The global economy demands highly skilled workers, and states are in a position to help foster the types of education and training partnerships that can fill jobs in economic sectors that are growing at a rapid pace” reports John Thomasian, director of the NGA Center. Thomasian suggests collaboration may be the key to building competitive, highly skilled workforce. AMTEC, like all NSF ATE Centers, is built on and thrives on academic and industry partnerships. It is a national center with 30 college partners, and 34 auto-related facilities in 12 states working to implement improvements in technical education focused on advanced automotive manufacturing.

In addition to its reference to AMTEC, the report also shares actions that states can take to shape the future of technical training that will support large and fast-growing industries. These include championing the importance of technical education and its global nature; focusing on industry with the highest potential for economic growth; considering financial support for college faculty; growing multi-state partners that provide high-quality, industry-valued training; requiring comprehensive outcome data to assess skills and credentials gained, informing policy makers and holding educational institutions accountable. Congratulations! to AMTEC for their accomplishments, and, kudos to all the other centers and projects in the NSF ATE community that work in education-industry partnerships throughout the country and across the many facets of technical education to reach the same goal of improving technical education in innovative and creative ways to strengthen our American technician workforce. The NGA report is posted at: www.nga.org/center/ehsw.

In this issue of the FLATE Focus, you can read about FLATE-sponsored summer educator professional development workshops, robotics camps and outreach activities at the HCC Brandon Campus, MSSC credentials alignment with the engineering technology degree technical core courses, the Florida “Ready to Work” program which aligns with the NAM-endorsed Stackable Certificate System (SCS), and of course sTEm puzzle # 9. Also don’t forget HI-TEC conference the last week of this month in Orlando (www.highimpact-tec.org), and send in your nominations (http://www.fl-ate.org/projects/awards.html) for FLATE’s educator and industry partner awards before August 30 .