A Tour That Makes a Difference: Middleton High School Students Visit the ET Lab

In keeping with our theme for this month—outreach to students and teachers—FLATE in partnership with the School District of Hillsborough County recently hosted a tour for students enrolled in the robotics program at Middleton High School in Tampa. The tour was part of Middleton’s five day MSSC (Manufacturing Skill Standards Council) camp targeted to prepare students to take the MSSC CPT test. As part of the camp, students also toured Heat Pipe Technology, Southern Manufacturing Technologies, Tampa Brass and Aluminum and Sypris Electronics in Tampa.

At Hillsborough Community College, students got an up-close look at FLATE’s state-of-the-art engineering
technology lab. During the tour students learned about careers in manufacturing that were available to them in Tampa bay and across Florida. “I was very pleased with the tour” said Scott Mead, lead teacher and robotics club sponsor at Middleton High School.” Students also got an overview of the engineering technology degree program offered at Hillsborough Community College and 13 other state and community colleges across Florida. Dr. Alessandro Anzalone, director of the ET program at HCC “effectively communicated the advantages of the program and clearly illustrated the career and education options to the students” Mead said.

According to a post tour survey, 100% of the participants expressed that the tour was helpful in making them consider college and careers in advanced manufacturing. “Very useful; the tour helped me open my eyes to the future” wrote a student in the survey. Two other students also stated they would attend Hillsborough Community College to pursue the A.S. degree in engineering technology. “I learned so much today; the information excites me to the fullest” stated another student who is interested in pursuing an electrical engineering degree in the future.

The Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) is a nationwide, industry-led organization that focuses
on the foundational skills and knowledge needed by workers in the nation's advanced manufacturing sector. The MSSC System awards the Certified Production Technician (CPT) certification to new and incumbent workers who pass the four manufacturing-related modules: Manufacturing Processes and Production; Quality Assurance; Maintenance Awareness; and Safety.  Applicable to all sectors of manufacturing, the MSSC System has the potential to certify millions of production workers against industry-recognized, federally-endorsed standards.

FLATE has embedded the MSSC Skills Standards into the A.S. Engineering Technology Technical core. Once these courses are completed, students in the ET degree program can earn an 18 credit hour college certificate. They will also be prepared to take the MSSC skills tests to earn the national certification. Alternatively, students entering the ET degree who have a current MSSC CPT credential can articulate it for 15 credit hours towards degree completion. The MSSC Certification System offers manufacturing production workers the opportunity to demonstrate that they have mastered the skills increasingly needed in the high-growth, technical jobs of the 21st century.

For more information on the A.S.E.T degree, or to get MSSC certified contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at barger@fl-ate.org. You can also visit www.madeinflorida.org and www.fl-ate.org

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