From the Executive Directors Desk: Articulating Industry Credentials in Florida

This summer, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and the Florida Department of Education (FL DOE) added several NIMS (National Institute for Metalworking) credentials to the state’s secondary school funding list. We are excited to have these new additional acceleration pathways for students in manufacturing career programs. Anyone who holds these current NIMS credentials can get credit towards several 2-year degree programs including the A.S. degree in Engineering Technology that supports Florida’s manufacturing industry sector. This is great news for students in all the high school and post secondary machining programs that earn NIMS credentials in those programs. Ed Doherty, Precision Machining Lead Instructor at Suncoast Technical College in Sarasota says “This will provide a great pathway for some of my students considering an Associate’s degree. I can’t wait to share the opportunity with them this fall. There are always a couple grads from my program that want to continue their education.” Other credentials that validate knowledge and skills that have previously been approved for statewide articulation include credentials for 3D modeling and design, electronics, quality, sheet metal fabrication, composite materials, welding, aviation maintenance, and more.
FLATE and its partners proposed the very first statewide articulation with the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) Certified Production Technician (CPT) to the A.S. Engineering Technology in 2007. FLATE has worked closely with industry since then to be sure that Florida students and people in the workforce that wanted to continue their education in manufacturing could get credit for skills and knowledge they already had. In Florida, industry credentials articulate for up to 15 credits towards technical degrees, providing credit attained for prior learning based skills documented by credential-offering organizations. The long established robust system in Florida started with the Career and Professional Education Act (CAPE) in 2006 and has expanded to include workforce credentials for post secondary level. Additionally, the CAPE Act also brings performance funding to all participating institutions. You can learn more about the A.S. Engineering Technology Degree and its system of stackable credentials and certification alignments at

The State of Florida’s Office of Articulation at FL DOE has a mission to facilitate effective and efficient progression and transfer of students through Florida’s K-20 education system. Articulation processes provide acceleration opportunities for students to complete post-secondary degrees (A.A., A.S., or Bachelors level). There are basically two methods. First, students can earn credit by taking a test through which a student successfully shows mastery of the material by achieving the defined passing “cut score”.  These tests can be taken at any number of nationally and/or internationally recognized assessment centers for academic, or career courses and/or programs. The second acceleration method is Dual Enrollment. This process allows secondary students (including home school student sand students with disabilities) to take post-secondary coursework and simultaneously earn credit toward high school diploma, career certificate, an industry certification, or an Associate or Baccalaureate degree at a Florida public, or private institution. There are many resources including agreement templates, guidelines, approved credential lists, etc. on the FL DOE webpage:

Several other supporting policies support Florida’s educational pathways. Common course numbering in all postsecondary institutions, statewide articulation agreements, common prerequisites, and general education core all facilitate smooth transfers between secondary and post-secondary institutions. In the world of Career and Technical (CTE) Education, the State Board of Education has approved the listed statewide Career and Technical Education Articulation Agreements, which are based on industry certification. These articulation agreements provide a minimum guarantee of articulated credit an institution can elect to grant additional credit based on local agreements. The process of adding credentials to the statewide list is illustrated in the table below. 

Typical Date
Aug 15 - Sept 30
Submission of new credential applications to CareerSource Florida for following academic year.  Applications can be submitted by regional workforce boards or school principals with endorsements from each category: (1) Florida-based state or regional business/trade association; (2) • local workforce board; (3) economic development organization
Nov - Feb
CareerSource Florida, Florida Department of Education, Department of Economic Opportunity, Department of Economic Opportunity, industry associations, Florida businesses, and other pertinent groups reviews applications for eligibility and recommendations
Mar 1
CareerSource Florida Board approves a list of recommended industry certifications no later than this date.
Mar 5
Florida Department of Education releases the preliminary “CAPE Industry Certification Funding List.” 
Mar 5-April 1
Districts may submit requests for an addition to the “CAPE Industry Certification Funding List.” 
Aug 1
Florida Department of Education releases the final “CAPE Industry Certification Funding List.” 

 These FLDOE process are subject to current Florida statutes and rules.
I now invite you to read the rest of the articles in the July edition of the FLATE Focus. In this edition we have a story about the NEW A.S.ET degree in Alternative Energy at Florida Keys community college. We also have a round-up of the 2017 Robotics Summer Camps season, a spotlight on the 2017 FLATE Awardees as well as upcoming events like the Manufacturing Day 5K Run Walk Paddle for Education. We’d love to hear from you, so do reach out to us via email at and/or connect with us socially on @Made_InFlorida  on FacebookLinkedIn, or Tweet us using the hashtag of the month #2017FLATEAwardees that recognizes their valuable contributions to Florida's manufacturing education and training.  

Congratulations to the 2017 FLATE Award Winners!

FLATE and the Florida Association for Career and Technical Education (FACTE) are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 FLATE Awards! The Awards represent FLATE’s efforts to recognize leaders who have been at the forefront of manufacturing workforce education and training. This is the tenth year of the Awards program, and is one of FLATE’s many efforts to showcase and recognize the contributions of educators and industries in advancing technician education and training on a regional and statewide level.
The 2017 FLATE Award recipients are:

James Maynard, Teacher and Director of the Manufacturing Academy at Pine Ridge High School, will receive the Secondary Educator of the Year Award.


Sam Ajlani, Associate Professor and Program Manager for the Engineering Technology degree at the College of Central Florida will receive the Post-Secondary Educator of the Year Award.

Robert Adamiak, Executive Director of the Mid-Florida Regional Manufacturers Association will receive Distinguished Partner Manufacturing Service Award of the Year Award.

Maynard, Ajlani, and Adamiak will be honored and receive their awards later this month at FACTE’s Annual Conference and Trade Show in Orlando, FL.

Following the announcement of their prestigious win, FLATE reached out to this year's awardees for a Q & A. Their response is outlined below:

Why do you think manufacturing education is important?

SAM AJLANI: For over 30 years there has been a lack of training for manufacturing technicians and technologist.  This is because of the advent of computers in secondary schools across America in the mid 80’s and early 90’s.  It was a low cost venture as opposed to high cost consumables in the industrial trades.  That is where most of the technicians in manufacturing came in from, the industrial trades.  On top of this, educators tried to steer students away from those type jobs and recommended college degrees.  Today we are struggling to find qualified technicians and technologist.  Adding to this, the “Baby Boomers” are retiring and are the last generation until now that were trained in the industrial trades.  Naturally manufacturing is scrambling to fill positions with the skills needed to maintain and run complex systems.  This makes manufacturing education extremely important!

ROB ADAMIAK: Manufacturing is extremely important to the economy. Wealth is only created by growing, mining, or manufacturing something. All other industries just move that created wealth around. Manufacturing also has the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector—for every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, another $1.81 is added to the economy. The need to maintain and grow manufacturing is vital to maintaining or improving the standard of living that we have in this country.

The greatest challenge that we have in manufacturing is a supply of trained employees. This challenge is growing due to the growing number of employees retiring. Additionally technology is evolving at an exponential rather than at a linear pace. This requires not only new hirers to be trained but current employees to be trained in these new technologies. I cannot see a more important initiative to save our economy than to expand training in manufacturing and technology.

Automation and other technologies negate the low wage advantage that other countries like China and Mexico have. These technologies reduce the over-all number of employees needed but increase the level of training needed for the remaining employees to program and maintain this equipment.

The manufacturing industry in Florida is extremely fortunate to have an organization like FLATE to develop the statewide Engineering Technology programs in the state colleges as well as supporting programs in the high schools.

JAMES W. MAYNARD: The growing skills gap, retirement of the current knowledgeable workforce, preparing for reshoring of advanced manufacturing as increases in productivity offset low foreign labor costs, etc. And while all are true, to me its importance is the chance to ensure craftsmanship endures. Fewer and fewer of our kids actually know the value of being able to produce something tangible, the critical thinking involved, the benefit of failing well, and using what they learn to improve. Even if their ultimate path leads them away from a manufacturing career, these skill will serve them well and make them more valuable members of society.

As a Nominee, can you outline some of your contributions to manufacturing and/or engineering technology education and training at local, state and/or national level?

SAM AJLANI: For me, I have been teaching on and off for fifteen years.  I came out of manufacturing and have over 30 years of experience.  I was also a technician before obtaining my Engineering degrees and I recognized the value of hands-on practical application early in my career.  The issue was finding technicians to maintain equipment and keep production running at maximum efficiency.  The pool has been shrinking for years.  Once I started teaching, it was my goal to not only supply manufacturing with technicians and technologist, but to provide the highest competency possible.  Therefore I have strived to build programs that produce highly cross-functional individuals that can immediately make an impact.  Over the fifteen years I have built several programs from obscurity to local, state, and nationally recognized programs.  Students are immersed in practical applications and have competed and won or placed at state and national competitions.  Some of these students have reset the bar or standards in competition with the highest recorded scores and fastest times in those competitions.  Most importantly, these programs have placed hundreds in the manufacturing workforce to fill the gap for highly skilled technical positions.  Moving forward, the next phase is incorporating national certifications which will embrace the skills these students are currently learning.

ROB ADAMIAK: I sit on the industry advisory committees for the College of Central Florida (CF) President’s executive committee, the CF Engineering Technology program, the CF Logistics program, the manufacturing related programs at the Withlacoochee Technical College and the Marion Technical College, the Marion Technical Institute, the Marion County Superintendent of Schools Workforce Planning Committee and other committees supporting education in the region. I am also on the hiring committees for filling open faculty positions for all these programs.

One of the current programs that I am very excited about is one in which I convinced the owner of a local manufacturer to turn his warehouse operations over to a local high school to use as a logistics academy. The students will graduate with real world, on the job experience!

I approached Machining-Training-Simulation, MTS, and the representative from the FL DOE Apprenticeship department to use the MTS program as a basis for a three year registered apprenticeship program. In less than a year, the program with curriculum and competency benchmarks was completed and approved by the state. The FL DEO would like to see it expanded throughout the state and the US DOL Apprenticeship department would like to see it go national.

I convinced CF to open its credit classes which are part of their AS degree in Engineering Technology (ET) and certificate programs to students as non-credit classes. This allowed working employees to take classes in PLC programing, motor controls, blueprint reading, etc. without going through the process of registering as a student. It also eliminated the need for minimum size classes to hold training for these people outside the AS program. Many of these students who had previously not considered going for a college degree changed their mind after taking a class and now are registered students in the ET program with some moving on to their bachelor degree and PE certification.

JAMES W. MAYNARD:  Some of my career highlights:
·         I am one of the founding instructors of the NIMS program at Daytona State College
·         I have a twenty year career as a Florida business owner focusing in custom automotive design and fabrication
·         I founded the training Dept. at AO Precision MFG
·         I helped to design and implement the Manufacturing Program at Pine Ridge HS
·         First Year Teacher of the Year at Pine Ridge HS
·         I won the grant to be the first Greenpower USA race team in Florida
·         I also received several First and Second place finishes in Regional races and engineering competitions in our first full year as a program
·         Recognitions by the city of Deltona, Volusia County School Board, and a State Senator for innovation and leadership
·         Piloted the growth of the Manufacturing program into an Academy including partnerships with local industry to be a resource for R&D, prototyping, and small run production.

Award recipients are selected by the FLATE Industrial Advisory Committee members following a review process, and using a standard rubric to guide their selection from the information that nominees submit. Maynard, Ajlani, and Adamiak were selected from a pool of distinguished nominees who have each made a mark in manufacturing. The FLATE team recognizes the contributions of all the nominees and winners and would like to congratulate them for their role in advancing manufacturing education and training in Florida.

For more information about the FLATE Awards please visit our webpage here, or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at

Mark Your Calendar for #FLMfgMonth17

It’s that time of the year to adjust your lens and focus your attention on Manufacturing Day/Month—a nationwide event to celebrate American Manufacturing. In Florida Manufacturing Month, which is celebrated annually in October, has played a dominant role with the state leading the nation in the number of industry tours hosted for middle and high school students. This year FloridaMakes and its network of Regional Manufacturers Associations are taking the lead in organizing statewide industry tours and events that kick starts on MFG Day which is October 6!

There are several ways to participate and be part of this national phenomenon. Outlined below are a few priority

“TO DO” items to get the ball rolling on your regional efforts:
  • Industry Tours: Contact your local school district and/or regional manufacturers associations right away to plan your industry tours. 
  • Tour Resources: Review Educational/Tour Resources on the FLATE Wiki: FLATE has compiled an extensive portfolio of educational resources that educators can use to formulate lesson plans before and after the industry tours. These can be accessed on the FLATE Wiki ( and on the “Made in Florida” MFG Day site at
  • Surveys: Familiarize yourselves with the statewide student online and/or paper-based survey structure to determine strategies for implementation in your area. Ready-to-use templates for student, teacher, parents and industry host surveys are posted on the FLATE Wiki.
  • T Shirts: Order/Purchase statewide #FLMfgMonth17 t-shirts for student tours. The shirts are a tangible and long-term reminder for students and their families of the significance of manufacturing in Florida. And, it all helps put the “fun” in manufacturing! 
  • Proclamations: Contact your Regional Manufacturers Association and/or your local representative to issue
    a local and/or regional proclamation for MFG DAY and/or MFG Month.
  • MFG Day Graphics: Feel free to promote MFG Day/Month by using graphics (posters, web and email buttons) designed by FLATE and currently posted on the FLATE Wiki
  • Press/Social Media Outreach: Alert your local press about and/or to promote regional MFG Day/Month events. Align these with your social media marketing efforts to maximize the impact of your press and/or social outreach. 
  • MFG Day National Page: Post all your events at

....also important to remember is: To have fun and enjoy! 

Upcoming Manufacturing Day/Month Webinar

FLATE will be hosting two MFG Day Webinars in August. 
  • Webinar 1: For regional manufacturing day coordinators will be held on August 9 at 9 a.m.
  • Webinar 2: For schools districts and educators will be held on August 22 at 3 p.m. 
More information, log-in/dial-in info will be shared in the upcoming week(s), so stay tuned, and/or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger, Executive Director of FLATE at, and Janice Mukhia, project/outreach manager of FLATE at, or visit We look forward to making MFG Day/Month in Florida a grand success….. Let’s make this another banner year for Manufacturing.