FLATE’s Partnership with Able Trust Continues to Expand and Make an Impact

FLATE’s mission to create a statewide outreach campaign has enabled K-14 students to explore
STEM based education and career opportunities in high-tech manufacturing. This outreach initiative not only encompasses students in traditional schools and colleges, but FLATE has reached out to special student and educator populace in an effort to provide a 360 degree perspective on manufacturing. Over the years FLATE has developed a special partnership with the Able Trust Florida High School High Tech (HSHT). The Able Trust HSHT program provides students with disabilities an opportunity to explore jobs, or postsecondary education through internships, leadership opportunities and/or job shadowing, leading to technology-related careers. (Source: Able Trust).

FLATE’s alliance with Able Trust HSHT program has proved to be a win-win partnership on many levels. The partnership has culminated into several Made in Florida industry tours to local

high-tech manufacturing facilities for Able Trust students, administrators and coordinators, arranged by FLATE during the regular academic year and during manufacturing day/month. Additionally, it has given FLATE an opportunity to showcase and share some of its expertise in STEM-based resources for manufacturing to local stakeholders. You can read about FLATE-Able Trust joint events/initiatives in the June 2015 edition and October 2014 edition of the FLATE Focus.

Most recently FLATE played a significant role during the 2105 Able Trust HSHT Annual Conference held in October in Orlando. FLATE facilitated an industry tour for HSHT program coordinators to Seminole State College’s Academic Innovation School of Engineering, Design
and Construction. Conference attendees visited the automotive lab with its impressive infrastructure for hands-on learning for understanding electrical/mechanical issues in different brands of vehicles. FLATE also hosted a general session featuring FLATE’s newly released “Teachers’ Guide” that compliments the 2015 “Made in Florida: What’s Made in Your Backyard?” video. The Teachers’ Guide, which was provided to all coordinators, contains five lessons with a number of teaching aids plus student activity sheets. Dr. Marilyn Barger introduced FLATE’s Engineering Technology program with multiple career pathways for high school students. FLATE also hosted a Toothpick Factory for high school educators, where a complete Toothpick Factory kit and a Made in Florida mouse pad was donated to an educator. HSHT Able Trust students also participated in the 2015 Made in Florida industry tours for Manufacturing Day where they were part of 197 students who toured ASO & OCTEX in Sarasota County.

Indeed the partnership with FLATE and Able Trust is poised for strategic growth and

expansion. In 2015 FLATE was bestowed the “2015 Public Partner of the Year” Award by Able Trust Florida High School High Tech. Plans for programs at colleges during the regular school year and possibly including summer camp program for HSHT Able Trust students are underway. Made in Florida industry tours for Manufacturing Day/Month for 2016 is also expected continue and/or expand to include students from additional counties across Florida. 

For more information on Able Trust HSHT program visit http://www.abletrust.org/, or contact Allison Chase, Vice President for Youth Program at allison@abletrust.org. For information on FLATE’s outreach program for students and educators and Made in Florida industry tours visit www.madeinflorida.org and www.fl-ate.org, or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger, Executive Director of FLATE at barger@fl-ate.org.