Data Bytes from 2016 Manufacturing Month

Last month we brought you a story summarizing MFG Day/Month events and industry tours 
throughout October, and the role FLATE and its network of statewide partners continue to exert in formulating an effective MFG Month strategy in Florida. FLATE’s cohesive strategy for MFG Day/Month has successfully enabled students, parents, educators, manufacturers and the community at large throughout Florida to participate in statewide Manufacturing Month events and industry tours. These industry tours and events are critical in giving each participant an up-close look at this dynamic high-tech, high-skilled world of manufacturing that offers a diversity of high paying jobs and careers. This month we bring up some updated facts and figures that reflect the impact and scope of this national event that celebrates the power and strength of American manufacturing, and the sustained and important role it continues to play in establishing manufacturing as a key driver in a global marketplace.

This year FLATE and its network of statewide worked cohesively with school districts and

industry partners across to coordinate, organize and host 172 Manufacturing day/month industry tours and events across Florida. Approximately 3787 middle, high school and college students, 55 chaperones that included parents and educators from 32 counties in Florida toured 125 high-tech industry sites across Florida to get a 360 degree view of manufacturing, and how Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) concepts are applied and integrated in everyday high-tech manufacturing operations.

This year, MFG Month was bit of an anomaly, with the onset of hurricane Matthew that struck Florida at the kick off of MFG Day/Month. As a result several industry tours and events were either cancelled, and/or rescheduled with some counties like Polk County and Lee County in Southwest Florida hosting industry tours in January 2017. We will bring you updates on these tours in subsequent issues of the FLATE Focus. Since the kick-off of MFG Month in October, FLATE has been working on compiling statewide data that provides an in-depth snapshot of the tours and events.

Let’s take a closer look at the 2016 MFG Day/Month stats and figures to gauge the overall impact of this statewide effort.

Overall Statewide Data

Since the inception of MFG Day/Month in 2013, a cornerstone of FLATE’s statewide 
outreach for MFG Month has been its defining effort in surveying ALL MFG Month participants. This year there were a total of 171 industry tours and events for MFG Day/Month. Out of the 171 events, 161 were industry tours, and 10 were non industry tours and events like open houses, career fairs, movie screenings etc. Counties and cities across Florida issued proclamations marking Oct. 7 as MFG Day and October as MFG Month. 

A defining component of MFG Day/Month, one that is almost exclusive to Florida, is the initiative spearheaded by FLATE to survey ALL MFG Month participants across the state. FLATE has taken a lead on surveying statewide industry hosts, educators, tour guides and students participating in the Made in Florida industry tours. This effort, while time consuming and tedious, has not only helped FLATE define and streamline its outreach efforts to educate students, teachers and community at large about the role of manufacturing in the local/state economy, but has given deeper insight to manufacturers, educators and regional manufacturers’ associations across Florida in developing tools for a customized outreach strategy in their region.

As in previous years, FLATE surveyed all MFG Month participants to include statewide industry

hosts, educators/chaperones, students and parents participating in a Made in Florida industry tours for 2016 MFG Day/Month. Of the 1557 student surveys received so far, there was an 83.5% increase in students’ consideration of careers in advanced manufacturing after the tour. Of the surveys received so far, Nearly 92% of students stated the tour helped them understand how STEM subjects are applied in advanced manufacturing industries. Approximately 97% of surveyed students stated they would recommend other students have the same opportunity of this tour. Out of the student surveys received and tabulated by FLATE so far, nearly 97% said that the tour gave them new information about careers in advanced manufacturing. In taking a closer look at post event survey data and demographic breakdown, there was an approximately 169.2% change in girls considering a career in advanced manufacturing after the tour compared to approximately 62% boys.

Industry hosts also deemed the MIF industry tours as a valuable investment of their company

time. Of the industry tour hosts that responded to FLATE’s surveys, 100% stated the tour was a good use of company time and resources. In an on line post industry tour survey formulated and tabulated by FLATE, an industry tour host stated that they “enjoyed hosting (the students,” and that it was a “great opportunity to help middle school students understand manufacturing.” Another host said “anytime we can show students the modern face of manufacturing it strengthens our future.”

FLATE also surveyed educators and parents to gauge their overall experience and response to the MFG Month tours. Of the surveys received by FLATE, approximately 95% educators and parents stated they found the tour helpful in understanding Florida high-tech jobs and career opportunities. One hundred percent also stated they would recommend other students have the opportunity to participate in a Made in Florida industry tour, and nearly 98.3% agreeing to promote a career in advanced manufacturing for students.

Manufacturing Month was special for manufacturers in Florida and across the nation as it

provided a platform to showcase local, regional and statewide manufacturing to statewide stakeholders. Manufacturers, school districts, regional manufacturers’ associations, professional organizations, and many individuals contributed to make this a successful endeavor. A full listing of statewide MFG day/month coordinators and partners are outlined in the October and November editions of the FLATE Focus. FLATE would like to once again thank all partners involved for making 2016 Manufacturing Month a grand success! We look forward to working and partnering with you and additional stakeholders for 2017 MFG Month!

For more information on FLATE’s statewide strategy for manufacturing day/month visit To host/organize a Made in Florida industry tour for your students, and other STEM-related initiatives during the regular academic year, contact Dr. Marilyn Barger, executive director of FLATE at, or at 813.259.6578.

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