BAMA’s “STEM Goes to Work” Program Offers Students Insights About Careers in Manufacturing

Bay Area Manufacturers Association (BAMA) has served as an effective voice for manufacturers, advocating issues that impact local manufacturers across the greater Tampa Bay region. “STEM Goes to Work,” a new initiative sponsored by the BAMA, recently gave local students an insider perspective on careers in manufacturing, and a chance to meet with local business leaders. The event was held in February and brought together both sides of the continuum by giving students in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties the opportunity to visit local manufacturing plants. This initiative supported ongoing efforts to raise awareness about the critical role that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) plays in ensuring that the U.S. remains the economic and technological leader in today’s global marketplace.

Given its goal to educate and showcase educational/career pathways in STEM-related fields, STEM Goes to Work” is scheduled to take place each quarter with the next one scheduled for March 31, 2012. Students from Greco School in Hillsborough County will tour Southern Manufacturing Technologies, Inc.—a high-tech manufacturing located in Tampa, and featured in the September 2011 edition of the FLATE Focus. During the tour executive manufacturing leaders will be available to meet with students to highlight the benefits of pursuing one of the many available positions in the manufacturing field. “Manufacturing in the U.S. is alive and well and has enjoyed 29 straight months of growth” said Roy Sweatman, president of Southern Manufacturing Technologies, Inc... He added “STEM Goes to Work is designed to teach students that and there are tens of thousands of great, well paying manufacturing jobs right here in Florida.”

In keeping with BAMA’s goal to promote STEM/manufacturing in Florida, FLATE also offers a similar program for middle and high school students throughout Tampa Bay. The Made in Florida Industry tours have been an effective vehicle in providing students a first-hand view of high-tech manufacturing. They are designed to stimulate student interest in today’s modern manufacturing careers and encourage the enrollment in the essential technology programs available throughout the state.

FLATE IAC Members at SMT
Sep. 2011
Since the culmination of the program in 2007, more than 3000 students and approximately 350 educators have toured 54 high-tech manufacturing facilities throughout Florida. As per a 2011 post tour survey, approximately 94% ‘Agreed’ or ‘Strongly Agreed’ that they wanted a high-skill, high-wage position. Dr. Marie Boyette, associate director of FLATE who attended the inaugural STEM Goes to Work event says “Effectiveness measures are key in student tour endeavors.” To that effect Boyette says “FLATE has developed student perception measures which will be used to evaluate the impact on students participating in BAMA’s STEM Goes to Work tour model.”

For information on BAMA visit www.bama-fl.org. For information on FLATE’s quality educational and training programs, or the “Made in Florida” industry tours contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at barger@fl-ate.org, and Dr. Marie Boyette at boyette@fl-ate.org, or visit www.madeinflorida.org.