From the Executive Director's Desk

FLATE’s Industrial Advisory Committee (IAC) meeting in January included a brainstorming session to map ideas for strategic directions for an additional round of funding from NSF. FLATE has been invited by NSF to submit a proposal for an additional three years of funding that begins in 2012, with a short preliminary proposal due by mid April 2011. The IAC broke into four groups which included a group for remote online participants, each focused on one of the three major FLATE goal areas of curriculum, outreach, and professional development. On February 3, FLATE’s National Visiting Committee (NVC) participated in the same activity during their annual face-to-face meeting, held at Pratt Whitney Rocketdyne in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. The NVC also divided into four groups, three for those attending the meeting in person, and one remote online group.

A couple of ideas suggested by both groups of stakeholders for outreach include a traveling manufacturing bus/van, and a symposium for academics and industry partners for Florida as an effort to help strengthen local school-industry partnerships. For curriculum, both groups mentioned the overlap of engineering and engineering technology in the first 2 years of college and strengthening the relationship so students understand these two options and how to better navigate their own career pathways. Also suggested were additional engineering technology specializations in aerospace related technologies; welding; biomedical nanotechnology, and facilities engineering support. New professional development ideas included new technologies such as supply chain management, RFID technologies, robotics and logistics as well as just-in-time professional development for college administrators about credential alignment to academic programs to maximize student opportunities and career pathways.

We are grateful for the ideas provided in the brainstorming sessions; all ideas contributed will require additional research and will be considered as the FLATE leadership team develops its new proposal. If you have additional ideas, please add them in the comment box below, or email myself (, Brad Jenkins (, or Richard Gilbert (

While you’re reading this edition of the FOCUS, please check out FLATE’s newly updated wiki at which includes our current offering of courses in alternative/renewable Energy, check out our new manufacturing student profiles on FLATE’s, reimagined Made in Florida website at, find out what’s happening in Florida’s ongoing manufacturing-related certification analysis, and join us in a heartfelt “welcome back” from maternity leave to our newsletter editor and communications specialist, Janice Mukhia, and a “welcome to the world” to her new baby boy.

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:, or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at 813.259.6578/

Spotlight on 2010 Manufacturers of the Year

The Manufacturers Association of Florida announced four winners in the 2010 Manufacturers of the Year competition at their annual November meeting in Orlando. Each company was judged on: leadership; strategic planning; customer and market focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; and process management. The 26 judge panel narrowed the candidate field to one winner in each of four fields. Here is the information on the first two winners.

Hunter Panels, LLC, Lake City (1-50 Employees)
Hunter Panels began in Portland Maine in 1977 and the Lake City operation started producing the energy saving ‘polyiso’ rigid roofing panels in the 250,000 square foot facility in 2004. The panel characteristics include high thermal resistance values, superior fire and wind ratings, and universal compatibility with all major roofing systems from flat to steep slope architecture. With the ‘green’ movement all around us, these products command 60% of the new construction market and 50% of all retrofit projects. The Lake City team of 30+ employees follows the “Whatever It Takes” motto in meeting customer specifications and producing a high quality insulating material.

Marine Concepts - JRL Ventures, Inc., Cape Coral (51-125 Employees)
Marine Concepts is an international company located in Cape Coral, principally engaged in marine design, engineering, composite tooling, and fiberglass part production for boat manufactures and government entities. Staffed with a team of designers, engineers, managers, master carpenters, and trade craftsman, working in over 60,000 square feet of facilities, Marine Concepts offers state of the art and advanced technology with 5 and 3-axis mills and even a Faro laser to verify the extremely tight tolerances on final parts.

In 2007, the company had the foresight to expand under the name JRL Ventures into the markets of aerospace, wind energy, and transportation. Marine Concepts and JRL Ventures have worked with companies all over the world to produce award winning products, have received numerous business awards, and is recognized for its commitment to marine manufacturers, its employees and the local community.

For more information visit Information on the second two winners will be published in next month’s newsletter. Stay tuned!

sTEm Educators' Corner: Back to School Resources for Middle and High School Educators

Want to give your students something to talk about? We're looking for high school and college students to appear in the brand new student profiles section of our Made in Florida website (

These profiles provide interest, encouragement in academic persistence, and real-life career examples to other high school and college students across Florida. We would love to share more success stories and profiles of students in Florida. If your institution offers college, or high school engineering technology focused programs (Automation and Production, Aerospace, Alternative Energy, Electronics, Engineering, etc) we are asking for photos and collecting information via a very short survey located at:

When students submit a photo to (this information is contained in the survey) they will receive a photo release form to complete. FLATE is here 24/7 providing online resources for you to share with your students as you share and integrate STEM curriculum. Our Challenge curriculum has been crafted for both middle and high school students, but teachers have shared they are applicable as learning objects for an even wider age range of students.

For information on these and other STEM-related resources visit the FLATE Wiki. You can also email Dr. Marilyn Barger at, or join MadeinFLorida on FACEBOOK.

sTEm–at-Work (Puzzle #15): Heat Exchanger Working Fluid Test

A U-Betch-Em Inc. technician is evaluating two new working fluids; UBetch-Em 205 and U-Betch-Em 210. The same mass of each fluid was tested in a test stand which was operated exactly the same way for both fluids. U-Betch-Em 205 has a heat capacity of 1200 calories/kg oC while U-Betch-Em 210 has a heat capacity of 1500 calories/kg oC. The heat capacity indicates the heat to be absorbed before 1 kg of fluid raises 1 degree centigrade.

Tests results for both working fluids are shown below. Plot (A) is the results of the test of U-Betch-Em 210. (Yes or No). Submit your answers at

Job Shadowing experience that lives beyond the final report!

Hello STEM Instructors:

An exciting new program is now available for your students participating in job shadowing in manufacturing to publish their experience on the website. We provide worksheet templates and instructions about this new program, as well as details about what deliverables students need to capture and create to be eligible to publish their report on the website. is an exploration web portal about advanced manufacturing careers and more. Go to to learn more about how you and your students can participate in this job shadow project (or you can get there from the homepage by clicking on the green “ME Job Shadowing Program” button at the top right of the page).

To contact a staff member directly with your questions or general interest, send an email to

(Contributed by Sandy Feola, customer engagement manager at the National Center for Manufacturing Education at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, OH) 
For more information on the Job Shadowing Program click on the image

Hillsborough Community College’s Strategic Plan for College-wide Reduction of Green House Gas Emissions

In December 2008, Hillsborough Community College (HCC) signed on to the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment announcing its effort to eliminate the college’s contribution to global warming. In doing so, HCC became the first, two-year institution in the state of Florida committed to establishing goals leading to climate neutral emissions. As a first step, HCC conducted a greenhouse gas emission study in 2010 to establish a baseline to monitor future changes in its carbon footprint. The study found that HCC emitted a total of 37,287 metric tons of CO2 equivalent across all its locations. Stratified data showed student and employee commuting to be the largest contributor to HCC’s carbon footprint accounting for a 76.7% of total emissions. Electricity usage accounted for 22.6%, and the remaining 0.7% came from fossil fuel combustion.

From this initial work, HCC through its Sustainability Council has worked with external consultants to establish a Climate Action Plan (CAP) that will form part of HCC’s strategic direction. The goal, as stated in the CAP, is to reduce HCC’s baseline carbon footprint by 11% by 2015, 34% by 2030, and 100% by 2050 to reach zero net emissions by 2050. The goals will be accomplished through a wide variety of education and outreach activities, new programs and carbon offset strategies. Several educational institutions have already been looking to HCC as a benchmark to aid in their implementation of carbon footprint studies.

For more information on the CAP report visit's-climate-action-plan.aspx, or contact Dr. Sudeep Vyapari at