FLATE & FloridaMakes Collaborate to Advance Education & Workforce Development to Support Growth of Florida’s Manufacturing Sector

FLATE and FloridaMakes, two nationally recognized Florida organizations – one that works
directly with manufacturers and one that develops manufacturing and advanced technical education frameworks and curricula -- are developing a concerted partnership to help support the current and next generation of skilled workers for the state’s growing high-tech manufacturing sector. In a signed Memorandum of Understanding, FloridaMakes, part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and the Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE) outlined actions aimed at furthering the market knowledge of current and future skills needed by Florida manufacturers, and using that knowledge to enhance educational curricula, as well as further the understanding by educators, students and parents of the career opportunities provided by the manufacturing sector.

“FloridaMakes is a very important partner for FLATE,” said Richard Gilbert, Principal Investigator of FLATE and Professor at the College of Engineering at the University of South Florida. “Their network of business advisors are working directly with manufacturers and the regional manufacturing associations throughout Florida. This unique insight into the current and future skills needed by Florida manufacturers will help FLATE bring the Florida College System’s manufacturing curriculum more closely aligned with manufacturers’ needs.”

As part of the Memorandum of Understanding, FloridaMakes and FLATE will also work together
to design and deliver informational webinars for manufacturers and the educational community statewide, support student opportunities to connect with and learn about manufacturing through plant tours and other events during MFG Day and month, provide access to FLATE’s Advanced Manufacturing Production e-book, an interactive tool with videos and hyperlinks designed for students, and collaborate on bringing additional resources to Florida’s State and Community College network statewide.

Florida ranks 5th in the nation for high-tech employment and is home to close to 19,000 manufacturers developing products ranging from aerospace products to semiconductors, boats and more. “In order for our manufacturing sector to prosper, it is critical to cultivate and engage a technically skilled workforce for Florida’s present and future,” said Kevin Carr, FloridaMakes CEO. “As a National Science Foundation Center of Excellence, FLATE is a nationally recognized leader in technical education. This collaboration between FLATE and FloridaMakes will support individual manufacturers, lead to high paying careers for students, and contribute to the state’s overall manufacturing and economic ecosystem.”

FLATE and FloridaMakes expect to launch their first collaborative webinars later this year. For information about FloridaMakes visit www.floridamakes.com or call (407) 450-7206. For information on FLATE visit www.fl-ate.org or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger, Principal Investigator and Executive Director of FLATE at barger@fl-ate.org, (813) 259-6578 or Dr. Richard Gilbert, Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at the University of South Florida at gilbert@usf.edu, (813) 974-2139.