FLATE Ensures High School Career and Technical Programs Align With Relevant Industry Certifications

Industry certifications ensure relevance in academic curriculum, and facilitate creation of “high-tech, high-skilled” employees. In Florida the Career and Professional Education (CAPE) ACT of 2007 provides a statewide planning partnership between business and education communities to expand and retain high-value industry critical to sustaining a vibrant state economy.

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FLATE recognizes the importance of industry certifications and its value to manufacturing employers, and has played a leading role in ensuring high school career and technical programs align with relevant industry certifications. In September 2009, FLATE identified 96 certifications on the current approved list of industry certifications compiled by Workforce Florida Incorporated (WFI). FLATE developed a survey tool and the list was reviewed by the Center’s Industrial Advisory Committee, four engineering technology college program advisory boards (St. Petersburg College, State College of Florida, Brevard Community College and College of Central Florida) and two Banner Center for Manufacturing focus groups held in Jacksonville and Sarasota, FL between September 2009 and September 2010 for a total of 52 respondents. Ranking the 96 listed certifications by frequency resulted in 19 certifications obtaining 20 or more affirmative votes.

FLATE also partnered with WFI and its Banner Center for Advanced Manufacturing and the Manufacturer’s Association of Florida’s Workforce and Education Committee to engage industry earlier in the process as WFI releases new proposed certificates each fall. Through the Rapid Response Committee, FLATE sought feedback from manufacturers and related industries on the newly proposed certificates prior to final approval by WFI. This process was recently completed for the 2011-2012 Approved Certification List, and submitted to WFI by the Banner Center for Advanced Manufacturing.

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Eight major manufacturers (Armament, Marine, Chemical Processing and Mining, Medical Device Mfg, Metal Stamping, Food/Drink Production) and 2 regional manufacturing associations responded to this survey. Thirty five of the newly proposed certifications were endorsed, 17 of which were endorsed by a single respondent. None were rejected, most received a neutral or no comment response.

To view a more comprehensive report of both surveys visit: www.fl-ate.org/committees/IAC.html, or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at 813.259.6578/barger@fl-ate.org