Impressive Survey Data from SAMA-Sponsored “Made in Florida” Tours

FLATE’s partnership with the Sarasota Manatee Area Manufacturers Association (SAMA) grows stronger each year. With leadership from Peter Straw, executive director, Jennifer Behrens-Schmidt, president, and SAMA’s extremely active board members, four “Made In Florida” tours were held this Spring for 141 students. To analyze the impact of the industry tours, FLATE surveys all students after the completion of tours.  This ensures tours to the advanced manufacturing facilities are effectively meeting needs.

Below are cumulative results for 141 students from Northport and Bayshore high schools and Woodland Middle School. As evidenced in the results, a tremendous amount of learning about advanced manufacturing and manufactured products took place. We ascertain impact by comparing two opinion questions about consideration of a career in manufacturing (shown in bold in the table below). The 38% positive change in opinion is above our cumulative norm of 36% for 3,386 students. The positive promotion of advanced manufacturing in your area through efforts such as tours is reinforced by both high school academies and college programs at State College of Florida-Manatee. These partnerships are crucial to building a pipeline for an educated workforce in Florida. As a student from Bayshore High School shared regarding the tour: “Our tour guide, Matt was very good. I learned a lot from him about manufacturing and my now potential future.” 

FLATE looks forward to a continued partnership with SAMA members. Additionally, FLATE always 
seeks to strengthen our relationships with Regional Manufacturing Associations (RMA) in our state with the goal of helping Florida’s students become increasingly aware of the career opportunities that exist in advanced manufacturing industries and the educational pathways needed to pursue those careers. Organizational leaders can visit to access FLATE’s Best Practice Guide for offering effective industry tours. If your RMA, or manufacturing company would like to discuss the “Made in Florida” tours, please contact FLATE’s Outreach Manager, Desh Bagley, at (813) 253-7838, or  

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