FLATE’s MSSC Workshop a Huge Success!

Last week, Florida educators interested in manufacturing education attended a 1½ FLATE workshop about new aspects of the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council Certified Production Technician (MSSC-CPT) credential. A packed agenda was centered around the undated standards from the MSSC Panel of Experts for the CPT as well as a new hands-on tool to support MSSC student learning, “Skills Boss”.  The integrated small trainer was designed to provide hands on activities that support the MSSC workplace standards.  The Skills Boss will be especially helpful for those who have little or no experience in the manufacturing workplace, including high school students.

The workshop included six hours of hands on activities led by D.C. Jaeger and Amatrol personnel working at 4 stations on exercises that support each of the four MSSC assessments. An industry panel of employers at lunch on Friday detailed how some companies used MSSC CPT, their need for skilled, knowledgeable workforce, and how they partner with colleges and schools. Ken Jones from the Hillsborough County Manufacturing Alliance, James Moore from CardioCommand (medical devices) and Mercedes Heredia from Mitek (steel plates for construction) made up the diverse panel.  An opening panel of educators who have been using the MSSC CPT for a few years, discussed how they integrated the CPT into their program of study, what grade level students took each of the four assessments and the importance and challenges of including hands on activities particularly to support their high school students.  

Leo Reddy, MSSC Chairman and CEO, also attended the workshop and addressed the attendees on Friday giving some information about MSSC’s new pre-apprenticeship program and the upcoming CPT+ credential that will include hands on skills as part of the overall assessment. MSSC Implementation of this new credential will begin within the next six months. He also spent time listening to the high school MSSC educators to learn more about their working environment and the students they have in their classrooms.  Ted Norman, former State Supervisor of Manufacturing and currently FLDOE Director of Apprenticeship, Adult and Career Education, provided updates from the Florida Department of Education and how the state curriculum frameworks provide smooth pathways from middle school, through high school and into aligned post-secondary programs.

FLATE could not provide a workshop like this without help from various contributors and we want to thank them all for their participation and support: MSSC and D.C. Jaeger for meals; D.C. Jaeger, Amatrol and HCC for equipment, workshop materials and instruction; and FACTE (Florida Association of Career and Technical Education) for educator participant travel. Thanks also to our speakers, Leo Reddy, MSSC, Ted Norman, FLDOE, and our industry and educator panelists for taking time to share their experiences. Over thirty manufacturing educators from around the state participated and found the workshop to be of great professional development value. Over 95% of the attendees agreed that the all aspects of the works were very good or excellent. Comments included: “Excellent workshop!” and “We are looking at starting the CPT program. This was excellent information for us”. 

For more information about MSSC, visit their website or, locally in Florida, visit the D.C. Jaeger site.  To learn more about FLATE and our educational resources visit the FLATE website, sign up for our monthly FLATE Focus Newsletter, or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger, FLATE Executive Director at barger@fl-ate.org. Resources and presentations from the workshop will be posted on FLATE’s wiki.