FACTE Annual Conference & Trade Show Continuous Excellence Supporting CTE Professional Development

Every year FLATE joins efforts with key partners to continue supporting Career and Technical Education professional opportunities in Florida.

The 57th FACTE annual conference and trade show, held July 17-19, 2023 in Orlando, Florida, was a success, hosting 600+ participants, 40 vendors, and more than 130 parallel sessions representing all areas of CTE education. The Florida Association for Career and Technical Education (FACTE), the Florida Association for Industrial and Technical Educators (FAITE), and the Florida Career Pathways Network (FCPN) partnered with FLATE to provide a pre-conference and a full multi-session day. The Trade Show and sessions were filled with opportunities to see the latest materials, equipment, and services, share best practices, and build relationships among the CTE community around the state.

The pre-conference activities with FAITE included a tour of the National Center for Simulation (NCS), SIMETRI a hi-tec simulation company delivering innovative products and services, and the Modeling Simulation Production Program at the Orange Technical College in Orlando.

The well-attended conference sessions, presented in partnership with FAITE, included Advisory Committee Best Practices, Which CTSO is right for your students (DECA, SkillsUSA, TSA, FBLA), Dual Enrollment-Three Schools Strategies, the 2023 FLATE Best Practices Award Winners Panel, and Department of Education engineering and technology education cluster updates (manufacturing; transportation, distribution, and logistics).

In addition, FLATE presented a session, under the FCPN session strand, about Visualizing Data Trends for CTE Grads and Occupations.   

At FACTE one of the most popular and well-attended presentations is the FLATE 2023 Best Practice Award Winners Panel. This year's panel had the honor of a visit from Chancellor Kevin O’Farrell, Division of Career & Adult Education, Florida Department of Education, who used the opportunity to congratulate the winners for their outstanding best practices and significant contributions in support of STEM, engineering technology, and industrial/manufacturing education in Florida. 

Thank you so much to the FACTE team for such a great event and for hosting FLATE Awards. FLATE will continue to partner with FACTE, FAITE, and FCPN to provide professional development and support CTE education for Florida students, teachers, and business partners.

Professional development opportunities are posted on our FLATE wiki site. You can always check there for additional updates by clicking on the Professional Development icon as well as explore any previous workshops and PD events offered by FLATE and its partners.

2023 FLATE Award Winners Recognized at the FACTE Annual Awards Brunch

From left to right:
  • Ernie Friend, Executive Director for FLATE
  • Orville L. Dothage, 2023 Distinguished Manufacturing Partner
  • Kevin M. Davenport, 2023 Distinguished Manufacturing Secondary Educator-of-the-Year
  • Greg Lewis, Distinguished Manufacturing Post-Secondary Educator-of-the-Year
  • Kevin O’Farrell, Chancellor for the Division of Career & Adult Education, Florida Department of Education

Special thanks to the awards sponsor DC Jaeger for its generous contribution. 

Orville Dothage III Wins FLATE 2023 Distinguished Manufacturing Partner-of-the-Year

Congratulations to Orville Dothage III, Senior Manager at Northrop Grumman in St. Augustine, FL for his outstanding contributions to promote technology education and career awareness in support of manufacturing!  Orville has worked in the aerospace industry for more than 35 years. Throughout his career, he has enjoyed the opportunity to connect and collaborate with innovative thinkers working with cutting-edge technology. Orville’s contributions have driven program success for the betterment of our warfighters.  He has been successful at multi-tasking millions of dollars cost and schedule commitments.

Orville believes "Manufacturing is a critical component of our economy. Through reliable and responsible manufacturing, we become poised for future growth". Highlights of his career include leading teams in performance improvement analysis, ensuring supplier quality assurance, maintaining ISO 9000 certifications and interfacing with internal and external customers. Orville has developed Quality Assurance programs that have been replicated across numerous sites.

He is committed to supporting colleagues and mentoring the next generation workforce. Key contributions in this area include:
  • the development of continuing education partnership programs with Goodwill Industries of California and Florida
  • High School Involvement partnership programs and
  • STEM events tied to National Manufacturing Day.
His most recent endeavor involves creating, for the first time, a high school paid internship to produce the next generation of aircraft builders. The St Johns County Chamber of Commerce recognizes his relentless, hard work impacting technical education in St Johns County, "we are proud of you and of Northrop Grumman for the great partnership with our educational institutions".

The Manufacturers Association of Central Florida wins FLATE 2023 Most Innovative Manufacturing Month Student Event Award

The Manufacturers Association of Central Florida (MACF) won the 2023 Most Innovative Manufacturing Month Student Event Award for their 3rd Annual Made in Central Florida Expo and Student Design & Build Competition held at the Orlando Rosen Center in October 2022. The event featured over 100 employees from 27 local manufacturers in the Expo and a design and build student competition impacting over 250 students. Thirty-five (35) Middle and High Schools competed in the Design and Build Competition from Orange, Osceola, Lake, and Seminole school districts. 

The FLATE Speed Networking event held at the Expo connected educators to industry representatives in order to build long-term relationships to promote manufacturing careers and support students and to connect manufacturers to the student pipeline. Forty-eight (48) school counselors from Orange, Lake and Sumter County School Districts, as well as educators from middle schools, high schools and tech schools, met with representatives from the manufacturing company participants listed below to discuss career opportunities for their students.
The Expo and Competition was a day-long event with multiple agenda items. The expo provided an opportunity for manufacturing companies to set up exhibits for students, teachers, counselors, and other industry partners to learn more about career opportunities. Middle and high school students had the opportunity to participate in a Design and Build Competition, designing and executing a mechanical pump to move water from one bucket to another. There were also presentations by industry partners to students and counselors about the manufacturing industry, and a manufacturing panel discussion for students to ask questions of industry leaders about career opportunities.

To gain insight into the impact of the day, a survey was conducted at the end of the event. 100% of the student respondents felt that visiting and learning from industry helped them better understand the concepts needed to apply and gave them a better understanding of the careers and opportunities that exist in the manufacturing industry.

Here are some of the student comments, when asked what they liked most:
  • “I loved how well informed the employees were about any and all questions we had, which really shows how well versed they are in their line of work, company, and industry they work in overall.”
  • ” Learning new things about the manufacturing industry.”
  • “I really enjoyed the interactive demos and walking through the process in order to really gets the idea of how the process works.”
  • “I thought it was incredibly cool to see how something I use everyday is made. It really made me appreciate water on the second floor of my house more.”
A Mechatronics instructor at Orange Technical College-South Campus had this to say: “We are happy to have participated in the MACF hydro-pump event at the Rosen Hotel. Our mechatronics students had a great time showing off their skills, visiting the trade show, and making connections with vendors, and were happy to have brought home a win for the Orange Technical College - South Campus!"

Congratulations to the Manufacturing Association of Central Florida (MACF) for a successful event and being awarded the FLATE 2023 Most Innovative Manufacturing Student Event Award! The Award will be recognized at the FACTE Annual Conference and Trade Show in Orlando, FL July 18, 2023, at the FLATE Educator Best Practice Award Winners Panel. The Manufacturing Student Event award will also be recognized at the 2023 FloridaMakes Make More Summit – October 25-26, 2023, in Orlando, FL!

For information on the FLATE Awards visit: http://fl-ate.org/programs/flate-awards , or contact Executive Director of FLATE, Ernie Friend at Ernie.Friend@flate.org.

Kevin Davenport wins FLATE 2023 Distinguished Manufacturing Secondary Educator-of-the-Year

Kevin Davenport, Instructor of Engineering & Manufacturing at The Academy of Engineering & Environmental Science at Creekside High School in St. Johns, FL is the recipient of the 2023 Distinguished Manufacturing Secondary Educator-of-the-Year Award. The Award represents a joint effort between FLATE (Florida Advanced Technological Education Center), FloridaMakes and FAITE (Florida Association for Industrial and Technical Educators) to recognize contributions of educators and industries in advancing technician education and training on a regional and statewide level. Kevin will be recognized at the Florida Association for Career and Technical Education (FACTE) Annual Conference & Trade Show that will be held July 17-19, 2023 at the SeaWorld Renaissance in Orlando, FL where the winners will also serve as panelists for the Best Practice Award Winners Panel.

Kevin Davenport is a 13-year veteran teaching in St. Johns County School District’s Career and Technical Education department. He is a licensed engineer and has over 30 years of industry experience including founding, acquiring, selling, and transitioning multiple engineering consulting firms.

Mr. Davenport’s true passion is training students for, and aligning them with, powerful opportunities for their future. Specifically, his interests are creating business partnerships, student mentoring opportunities and internships to supercharge student growth and interest in the STEM and manufacturing fields.

The Creekside High School students (where Mr. Davenport teaches) learn foundational engineering, manufacturing, design, and innovation skills in a 4-year program in the Academy of Engineering and Environmental Science – a Florida Career Academy designed to teach a sequence of courses around a specific career choice or theme. Students in the Engineering Tract at the Academy can earn Industry certifications while in the program and include Manufacturing Skills Standards Council Certified Production Technician (MSSC-CPT) certification; Autodesk’s AutoCAD, Inventor, and Revit certifications; OSHA 10; Intuit’s Entrepreneurship and Small Business certificate; and PIM’s Project Management Ready certification.

Mr. Davenport is the sponsor and lead mentor for Creekside’s FIRST Robotics Team 8775. In addition to robotics, he leads several extracurricular activities including Engineering Club, Society of Women Engineers, National Technical Honor Society and ACE Mentoring.

The culmination of many of Creekside’s student’s high school careers is obtaining one of approximately 25 summer internships in the industry. These opportunities exist because Mr. Davenport has maintained and curated relationships with the sponsoring companies and organizations.

Mr. Davenport believes that “Manufacturing and STEM education are foundational to the future economic success of this country. In the words of Lee Iacocca, “A country’s competitiveness starts not on the factory floor or in the engineering lab. It starts in the classroom.” Overcoming the potential stigma of manufacturing as mundane or repetitive is important, as advanced manufacturing today is anything but. Manufacturing and STEM education can function as a catalyst for students, igniting a passion which may have gone undiscovered. These classes give students the opportunity to establish a relationship between what they’re learning in their core classes and real-world applications.”

Along with teaching and mentoring his students, Mr. Davenport has contributed to manufacturing education in a host of other ways. These include:
  • Host and Organizer of “Introduce a Girl to Engineering” 2023
  • Society of Manufacturing Engineers scholarship reviewer 2022
  • Founder and President of education non-profit 2022-current
  • National Defense Industry SOAR STEM Trade and Career Symposium Planning Committee 2022
  • National ACE Mentoring Champion Award 2021-2022
  • Department Head for CTE at Creekside High School 2021-present
  • Engineering Coordinator for St. Johns County Schools 2021-present
  • Adjunct Professor - St. Johns River State College - Advanced Manufacturing 2020-2021
  • FIRST Robotics team sponsor 2019-current
  • National Technical Honor Society sponsor 2019-present
  • ACE Mentoring Teacher of the Year 2018-2019
  • MSSC Certified Instructor 2018-present
  • Society of Women Engineers sponsor 2017-present
  • Northeast Florida Engineering Teacher of the Year 2016-2017
  • Creekside High School Rookie Teacher of the Year 2011-2012
  • Engineering Club sponsor 2010-present
Mr. Davenport holds fast to the belief that most of the “good stuff” happens outside the confines of the traditional school day. His students are frequently found in his classroom before the first bell and after the last, engaging in skill sessions with the Florida Civil Educators Foundation, listening to guest speakers present STEM topics, developing patents, fine-tuning projects and building/programming robots. A newer project has taken the students back in time. They’re designing and fabricating parts for “Lucky 13” – an international effort to restore a WWII B-17 bomber. The fact that many of these activities run simultaneously is a testament to Kevin’s ability to lead and to the students’ respect for him. Students from other high schools and from home-schools also benefit from his knowledge!

Join us in congratulating Kevin Davenport as the recipient of the 2023 Distinguished Manufacturing Secondary Educator-of-the-Year!

For information on the FLATE Awards visit http://fl-ate.org/programs/flate-awards, or contact Executive Director of FLATE, Mr. Ernie Friend or Senior Education Advisor, Dr. Marilyn Barger.