From the Executive Director’s Desk: Synopsis of News & Events from Engineering Technology College Partners

It's pumpkin and Halloween season with students and faculty well into the rhythm of another school year. It's also a good time to share some news from our 19 ET College partners. This update/synopsis is based on information presented at the Engineering Technology Forum (ET Forum) hosted by Daytona State College’s Advanced Technology Center on September 22-23.

A common theme among the colleges was the good news that most ET enrollments are up,

despite many colleges reporting that overall college enrollment is down. The new programs at Pasco-Hernando, Palm Beach and Lake Sumter Colleges all report strong growth as they start their second year of ET classes. Mature programs at Hillsborough, St Petersburg College, Florida Gateway, Polk, Broward, Central Florida, Eastern Florida and Jacksonville also all report solid enrollment growth. Daytona State started it’s A.S. program just this fall offering the Digital Design and Modeling and Electronics specializations with good first semester enrollment.

Ted Norman, State Supervisor for the Manufacturing cluster reported on the status of the current, 2016, ET Curriculum framework review. He also requested help with outstanding review items. He related important information about changes in the Automation and Production Technology high school and PSAV programs that included; a new name and CIP number in 2018 (Advanced Manufacturing Technology); significant alterations to reflect modern industry needs, and guidelines for the annual presentation sequence of important topics.

Additional good news came from the ET Forum round up session about new faculty. Colleges
are appointing new full time faculty. This includes Sherri Dobbins and Ron Smith, both at HCC; Henry Cabot at Polk State; Jessica Jones at TCC, and recently hired to start a new program at North Florida Community College in January, Jorge Monreal. HCC, Polk, and TCC, joining the ranks of Eastern Florida and Jacksonville, now each have two full-time ET faculty. This is great news for the E.T. degree program. Congratulations to all and good luck to the five additional colleges who will be recruiting new faculty this year. We will share news about their programs and specializations with you later this fall.

One exciting adventure this fall is the fact that many colleges have ventured into offering hybrid and non-traditionally scheduled classes. Several colleges have added online sections of their courses, others have added optional home lab kits that the students either purchase or check out for a semester. Margi Lee reported that this "check-a-kit" process is working great for her rural students in the Lake City area. She is now running most of her program using this augmented learning process.

So what are the bottom line items for the colleges in the Florida College System that offer the
E.T. degree? The programs are growing, everyone reports strong industry partnerships and high industry satisfaction with graduates and training and the Florida Department of Education is developing improved high school program interactions with college A.S. programs. One final tidbit of great news. Additional resources are important but hard to come by. However, 2016 brought NSF ATE funding to North Florida, Lake Sumter, Seminole, and Florida Keys Colleges to support their new Engineering Technology degrees. A few colleges also have been awarded Department of Labor grants that will support manufacturing. Congratulations to these FLATE partners!

Don't forget to check out the other parts of this month's FLATE Focus which is heavily focused on ongoing Manufacturing Month activities which just kick started on October 7. The sTEm-at-Work Puzzle provides an opportunity for you to keep up with the concept of "lead" and "lag". Send us your thoughts and comments at You can also jot down your thoughts on our social networking platforms on Facebook, LinkedIn, and on Twitter @Made_InFlorida #FLMFGMonth16 and #MFGday16.

Florida Manufacturers Brace for Statewide Industry Tours & Events for Manufacturing Month

October 7 marked the official kick off for Manufacturing Day/Month. Here in Florida,
manufacturers across the state are hosting a number of events targeted to put a spotlight on Florida’s diverse manufacturing sectors. Counties and cities across Florida issued proclamations marking October as MFG Month. Hundreds of students and educators from schools across Florida are set to participate in industry tours geared to showcase products that are “Made in Florida” as well as get an up-close look at opportunities for high-skilled, high-wage careers offered through Florida’s approximately 19,000 manufacturing companies.

Outlined below are a snapshot of some regional tours and events. A full listing of events, including survey data from MFG Day/Month tours will be highlighted in the November and December editions of the FLATE Focus. So stay tuned!

Industry Tours
Contact Information

Hillsborough County
Southern Manufacturing Technologies, Pro-Tools, EMS, SignStar, Chromalloy, Measurement Supply, Tampa Bay Steel, Lockheed Martin

Bay Area Manufacturers Association
Rick Concotelli,  
Becky Burton,

Upper Tampa Bay Manufacturers Association (UTBMA)

School District of Hillsborough County
Lauren Walden,  

Marilyn Barger,
Janice Mukhia,
Jesse Kokotek,

Central Florida (Orange, Brevard, Seminole, Lake, Osceola counties)

Rowe Manufacturing, Mercury Marine, Regal Marine, Nautique Boat Company, .decimal, Custom Metal Designs, Ashalnd Technologies, Inc., Victory Tailgate, Knights Armament, Vac-Tron, Metal Essence, Inc., Central Florida Box, Mitsubishi Hitachi

Manufacturers Association of Central Florida
Sherry Reeves, Amanda Markusky,

Orange County Public Schools
Kenneth Bush,

Brevard County Schools
Dennis Solobesky.

Lake County Schools
Adam Sumner,

Osceola County Schools
Timothy Burdette,

Mid-Florida (Marion, Levy, Citrus, Sumter counties) 

Golden Flake, Winco, Cardinal Glass, Townley, Hale, E-One, SPX, Admiral Furniture, Closet Maid, ABCO Transport, Krausz, A & N (Levy), VacTron, Kmart Distributions, College of Central Florida, City of Ocala Utilities

Marion Schools
Sara Lefils,

Mid-FL Regional Manufacturers Association
Rob Adamaik,

Northwest Florida  (Escambia, City of Pensacola, Holmes, Washington, Jackson, Calhoun, Liberty County Santa Rosa, Walton, Okaloosa, and Bay Counties)

American Elite Molding (Bay State Cable Ties), Ascend, GE, Gulf Power, Eastman, Ft Walton Machining, MERRICK, Rex Lumber (Bristol), CEREX, Maritech, West Point, Certified Manufacturing, Gelato, DRS, Strand Core
Career Fairs:
Escambia-Santa Rosa, Bay County, Okaloosa-Walton, Chipola)

Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council
Cindy Anderson,

Pasco & Hernando Counties

AdamsArms, Amskills (Marchman), Bay-Tech Industries, Pharmaworks, SeaWay Plastics, Oldcastle Coastal, Clark Dietrich, Nestle Waters, Manitowac Food

Alumi-Guard, West Coast Classic, Cemex, Accuform, Flagstone Pavers, Amskills, Qorvo, ICTC, Intrepid, Sparton, Artix, Florida National Guard

Florida TRADE at Pasco Hernando State College
Margie Burnham,
Jessica Ball,

Jady Vargas,

Pinellas County
Lockheed Martin, MasterCut, Bausch & Lomb, American Tool & Mold, Conmed, Sign-Age, H&S Swansons, Honeywell, Molex, Hydrodyne

Bay Area Manufacturers Association
Becky Burton

Upper Tampa Bay Manufacturers Association

Pinellas Schools
Greg Taylor,
Marti Giancola,
Bob Hawkins,

Marilyn Barger,
Janice Mukhia,
Jesse Kokotek,

Polk County

JC Machine, PCA-Packaging Corp.of  America, Kegel, Inc, Rockford-Ettco Procunier, Coca-Cola, Givaudan Flavors Corp, Pepperidge Farm, MaxPak, ITW Professional

Career Pathways at Polk State College
Christopher Yannes,
Howard Drake,

Sarasota-Manatee Counties
SunHydraulics, KHS USA INC, Cavanaugh Company -  Black Diamond Strings, PGT Industries, ASO LLC, Manatee Technical College

Peter Straw

Sarasota County Schools Career & Technical Education
Martha Proulx

Manatee County Schools
Carol Lewis, 

Manatee County Schools
Danielly Orozco,

South Florida
Hoerbiger Corporation, Atlantic Technical College: ACR Electronics

David Gonzalez, 

Atlantic Technical Center

SouthWest Florida
S4J Manufacturing, I Love Oils, Trilogy Laboratories, The Smart Companies, Mermaid Manufacturing

Peter Bagwell,

Max Dean.

Goodwill Industries

Lee Schools,
Chelsea Gamache,

For a listing of 2016 Florida’s Manufacturing Day news and events, visit the Florida Manufacturing Day page at, or contact your local Regional Manufacturers Association. In addition, many of Florida’s events are also listed on the national MFG Day website here; you can also visit the Manufacturing Day in Florida website at Manufacturers and others will be sharing news about manufacturing month using the hashtags #MFGDay16 and #FLMfgMonth16. For information on other national manufacturing day events and tours visit, or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at

Widespread Manufacturing Month Events Across Florida

Manufacturing Day and month is an exciting time to see STEM-at-work and play. In addition to
the industry tours for students and educators, Manufacturing Month drew community-wide support & drew attention of politicians well. These included: A proclamation from Governor Rick Scott recognizing October 2016 as Manufacturing Month was issued earlier this month. Hillsborough and Pinellas counties each issued countywide MFG Day/Month proclamations. The City of Clearwater, Pinellas Park and St. Petersburg, FL, also each issued proclamations, with similiar proclamations issued by cities and communities across the state. MFG Month events also include panel discussions featuring area manufacturers and Chambers of Commerce events, open house events at community and technical colleges and association events. 

FLATE (the Florida‐based National Science
Foundation Regional Center of Excellence in Manufacturing), FloridaMakes (part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership), Manufacturing Alliance of Hillsborough Countythe state’s Regional Manufacturers Associations partnered with regional manufacturing companies, Florida’s community and college networks and school districts across Florida to support industry tours and events across the state. “This is the 5th year for Manufacturing Day/Month, and students, parents, educators and manufacturers all tell us that opening the door for these events is an eye-opener, heightening awareness of and interest in manufacturing as a potential career for many students,” said Dr. Marilyn Barger, executive director of FLATE. “Most students, parents and educators don’t know how diverse and robust Florida’s manufacturing sector truly is,” said Greg Britton, CEO of Fort Walton Machining, Inc., Fort Walton Beach, and a board member for FloridaMakes. “We need to help build awareness of the tremendous opportunities available in manufacturing so we can build a pipeline of future workers and future company owners.”

Additional October Events for Manufacturers

During October 2016, a number of special and/or ongoing events are taking place for manufacturers, including:

  • October 6 – Upper Tampa Bay Manufacturers Awards Dinner, Oldsmar, FL.
  • October 7 – Suncoast Technical College Open House, Sarasota, FL. 
  • October 8-9: Roboticon at USF Sundome. Tampa, FL. 
  • October 8: An Afternoon with an Astronaut at the Museum of Science & Industry. Tampa, FL. 
  • October 20 – FloridaMakes’ free webinar for manufacturers: “Cybersecurity: What You and Your Employees Need to Know, Now.” October is also National Cybersecurity Month. 
  • October 20 – Women in MFG Movie & Discussion at Middleton High School. Tampa, FL. 
  • October 21 – Manufacturers Association of Central Florida: 25th Anniversary - Annual President’s Dinner and Manufacturing Awards Ceremony. Maitland, FL. 
  • October 22 – MFG Run, Walk, Paddle hosted by MasterCut Tools, Tampa, FL. 
  • November 5 – STEM Festival at St. Petersburg College, Clearwater Campus. Clearwater, FL.
For a listing of 2016 Florida’s Manufacturing Day news and events, visit the Florida
Manufacturing Day page at, or contact your local Regional Manufacturers Association. In addition, many of Florida’s events are also listed on the national MFG Day website here; you can also visit the Manufacturing Day in Florida website at Manufacturers and others will be sharing news about manufacturing month using the hashtags #MFGDay16 and #FLMfgMonth16. For information on other national manufacturing day events and tours visit, or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at

Focus On FLATE Operations – A Closer View: Using Effectiveness Measures to Maximize Activity Impact

This series on FLATE Operations began in July and continues this month with a brief discussion of
the Sterling Management Program's use of Effectiveness Measures (metrics) to establish FLATE's effectiveness. From the organization perspective FLATE exists to complete its Mission. All of our energy and time must be directed to that singular purpose. The value of a mission is shaped by an organization's Vision.mThe Objectives of the organization lead to the accomplishment of organization Goals with the expectation that Goals align with the organization's vision.

FLATE uses a Sterling model to pursue its mission. This approach functionalizes an organization from Activity, through Program into Organization Levels. Projects are designed and implemented to complete specified Goal Target Objectives within the Program Level. Completed Objectives lead to subsequent targeted Goal completion. Project activities are conducted to complete the designated projects in the Activity Level. The Organization Level coordinates resources with organization operations, goals, and deliverable deadlines. It also applies appropriate feedback mechanisms to improve organization efficiency and effectiveness to continue its strive toward mission successes.

The Effectiveness Measures mentor and monitor FLATE's project activities. They qualitatively and measurably determine Implementation and Impact Evaluation (September FLATE Focus) as well as benchmark Center achievement. They strongly support accountability, assess activity impact, and document the Center's transformative effect on manufacturing education. A distinctive property of any Sterling Management Program is in the role of project activities. In the simplest operational descriptive mode, the activity is never the focus. Every activity must lead (as determined by the Effectiveness Measures) to the success of its assigned Objective which, in turn, leads to the completion of the Objective’s associated Goal.

This approach has “Good News-Bad News” components. The “Good News” is FLATE's funding agency’s resources are not directed to a predestined, predetermined and declared set of specific activities. The Project Leader has degrees of freedom with respect to an activity and sequence of activities. The focus is on the success of the project because that leads to completion of the Objective. Project Leaders create new activities or change activity direction based on Effectiveness Measure data.

The “Bad News” is the fact that the project must lead to Objective success. Project activities can be modified, or they fail. New activities can be created and crafted. However, the Sterling mode requires projects be unalterably tied to Objectives. The Project Leader accepts success of the Objective (not the project) as their prime responsibility. Thus, projects are designed, or selected with great care that their purpose is clear. This requirement can be a challenge since it is easy to activate a project because some one likes it and is willing to do it, or the project is just easy to execute and ready to go.

An example will be presented as the closing for this segment of " A Closer View". Consider FLATE's Effectiveness Measure CE-14 ("number of articulations") with respect to Target Object 2.12 ("Facilitate articulations from ASET to new BSET programs in Florida.") In this case, the FLATE Leadership Team is assigned this objective and the number of articulations is a straight forward Effectiveness Measure. Target Objective 2.12 is in the resource allocation category to support Goal 2 (“To implement a statewide unified education system for manufacturing that positions manufacturing education as a convergent curriculum that optimizes technician preparation in manufacturing and its enabling technologies.").

To successfully increase the number of articulations, the activities that "report" to the CE-14 metric include: assessing the college's current program and needs; providing, if needed, faculty professional development events; meeting with officials at the four-year BSET program institution(s); and developing effective articulation agreements. The order, or specific execution of these activities is not initially declarable. However, the Leadership Team will use their time, talent, and customer provided resources to determine activities execution and sequence.

For this specific example, the activities have lead to completing the Target Objective as verified by the fact that the CE-14 (the Effectiveness Measurement for this objective) value is now 19. This value is the exact number of A.S. ET degree programs in the Florida College System. That is to say, any student that earns their A.S. ET degree in Florida can articulate that degree into a 4-year ABET accredited BSET program also in the State of Florida. 

For more information on FLATE & its organizational modules and structure visit, or contact Executive Director of FLATE, Dr. Marilyn Barger at

sTEm–at-Work Puzzle #55: Signal Analysis for a Capacitance Manometer

A mechatronics tech working in the trace (space outside of the clean space) of a clean room is dealing with a vacuum pump capacitance manometer. The Tech has access to the documentation package for this vacuum system. That information indicates that a pressure gauge that uses a capacitor based sensor will shift the current signal out of phase with the voltage signal and that the current signal is expected to lead the voltage signal. The Tech knows the pressure measurement in the vacuum chamber changes the voltage and current values in the electric circuit of the vacuum chamber gauge because the chamber pressure changes the capacitance of the sensor in that gauge's circuit. The two AC signals shown below indicate the gage signals the Tech sees on an oscilloscope when trouble shooting this system.  The Plot Legends indicate that the red dotted curve represents the current, and the blue curve is the voltage signal.  For this specific situation, the values reflect a constant pressure situation in the chamber.    


Do the two plots below represent what the technician might expect to see in this constant pressure situation?  YES or NO Submit your answers below the blog post, or at                                                                      

PathTech LIFE Constructs a National Survey of Engineering Technology Students through Regional and Statewide Testing

Back in 2013, FLATE highlighted a new partnership with PathTech, a regional research initiative
aimed at analyzing high school and community college students enrolled in engineering technology degrees and reasoning(s) behind their chosen field of study. Successful Academic and Empowerment Pathways in Advanced Technologies, or PathTech, is part of the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education program committed to support/fund community college programs that boost technician education across the nation. The partnership between FLATE and PathTech has flourished over the years, and has culminated in many joint research efforts, one of which has been the “Constructing a National Survey of Engineering Technology Students through Regional and Statewide Testing.”

The goal of this research project is to develop a national survey of LIFE (learning, interests, family, and employment) factors faced by students completing coursework, certification, and AS/AAS degrees in advanced technologies at community colleges. The purpose was to determine how student pathways, career goals, and school-work-life balance influence program recruitment and retention. Because a large majority of participants are expected to be adults with numerous and complex life challenges (i.e., family, personal, school, and work), an investigation into students’ live experiences was necessary to inform institutional efforts to support their success.  

Outlined is a summary of the research findings: Year 1 Pilot Survey findings (N = 94)
  • 40% were employed part-time (less than 35 hours)
  • 34% enrolled in high school CTE courses
  • 78% were enrolled in school full-time
  • Average GPA is 3.5
  • 89% of students were working toward an associates’ degree
  • 21% were working toward a certificate
  • 71% planned to earn a baccalaureate degree in their future
  • 16% male, 71% White, 12% Hispanic/Latino, 9% African American/Black, 7% Asian, 1% Middle Eastern (comparable to national surveys) 
Enrollment reasons based on PRiSM Decision Model for Adult Enrollment (scale of 1-4):

  • Pathway to a better life: 3.20 (e.g. “I want to advance in my current job.”) 
  • Reflective learner (Inclination): 2.70 (e.g. “I have always liked to build and fix things with my hands.”) Reflective learner (Academic success): 3.27 (e.g. “I have done well in school before.”) 
  • Synchronizing learning, earning, and living: 2.24 (e.g. “I had a decrease in family challenges.”) 
  • Match with an academic life (Institutional support): 2.60 (e.g. “The support from administrators.”) 
  • Match with an academic life (Program fit): 3.12 (e.g. “The program's ability to accommodate my work schedule.”)

PathTech is currently preparing a revised survey scheduled to be distributed to at least 35
colleges around the country at the end of September. For information on PathTech visit, or contact Will Tyson, P.I. & Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of South Florida at For information on FLATE’s K-14 STEM based curriculum & Professional development programs visit and, or contact Executive Director of FLATE, Dr. Marilyn Barger at

Celebrating the Success of the Florida TRADE Grant

The Florida TRADE consortium started with a partnership of 12 Florida state and community
colleges, local workforce boards, business and manufacturing associations, economic development organizations, K-12 school districts and technical schools, non-profits and other community partners.  In September 2012, the group was awarded a $15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to develop and implement technical training programs and services for displaced and unemployed workers, incumbent workers, students, and returning veterans that will lead to employment in today’s high-tech manufacturing market.

Programs included outreach, enrollment, training, preparation for national credentials, and placement assistance into jobs and internships.  Training and national certification was made available for production technicians, CNC operators, mechatronics workers, welders, and persons using programmable logic controllers, quality assurance methods, computer aided design, and robotics.

The Consortium and individual colleges are working to tally performance numbers but the preliminary results include:
  • 2504 program completers including 1400 incumbent workers
  • 2259 students who earned at least one certification
  • 922 program completers placed in jobs in manufacturing
  • 773 students completing academic credit hours toward a degree
Even though the federal funding is going away, manufacturing training is here to stay! Many
of the Florida TRADE schools, including St. Petersburg College, and Hillsborough Community College, will continue to offer manufacturing and engineering training. Florida Department of Economic Opportunity statistics note that by 2023 there will be 5,100 job openings for industrial machinery mechanics, 18,000 openings for engineers, and more than 70,000 job openings for production workers across the state. 

In Pinellas County leather and wood manufacturing are listed in the fastest growing industries. Industrial machinery mechanics are in the top 100 fastest growing fields, and machinists are listed in the top 100 gaining the most new jobs for Pinellas. It is expected that by 2023, there will be over 4,600 production jobs in this area.

For more information on Manufacturing, professional development resources and curriculum visit the Made in Florida website and the FLATE Wiki. You can also contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at