Given its benefits to industry as well as educators, Teacher Quest has experienced significant growth over the course of two years. According to Matthews, the number of teachers engaged in the program has risen from seven in the first year to 19 in 2011. In years two and three the program also expanded its outreach to Polk, Manatee and Sarasota counties, and remains committed to expand and maintain strategic relations with existing industry partners like Raytheon, Alliant Tech Systems, Sun Hydraulics to name a few.
Tampa Bay Teacher Quest’s partnership with FLATE continues to play a major role in helping industry placement for teachers. Matthews says “FLATE has been a poster child of the Teacher Quest Tampa bay program.” To date, the Center has helped placed approximately 35 teachers in local industries for the Tampa Bay as well as the statewide Teacher Quest program. Furthermore, FLATE’s role in creating awareness of the program among local industry has been a leading factor in getting them engaged, and getting teachers onboard. As a result of FLATE’s efforts, several teachers have been hired to work in some of Florida’s prestigious high-tech facilities like Southern Manufacturing Technologies, Sun Hydraulics, .decimal, Conmed Linvatec etc. Indeed, FLATE was named “Business Partner of the Year” consecutively in 2010 and 2011. “Without the support of FLATE and its help with promotion, we would not have been able to take advantage of several industry liaisons that we currently enjoy” Matthews said.
For information on Teacher Quest contact Diane Matthews at firstname.lastname@example.org , or visit www.trda.org. For information on FLATE and its professional development initiatives contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at email@example.com, or visit www.fl-ate.org and http://www.madeinflorida.org/.