Success at Florida's first Industry and Academic Forum about Supply Chain Automation (Mechatronics)

FLATE and the National Center for Supply Chain Automation (SCA) joined efforts to have the first industry and academic forum about supply chain automation (mechatronics) in Florida. The event took place in the brand new Walmart Fulfillment Center in Davenport, FL. The objectives of the forums included: an introduction from both centers, how to focus on Educational resources, how to facilitate Industry/Academic Connections, clarifying Supply Chain Management vs Supply Chain Technician (SCT), comparing and contrasting Career Awareness vs. Career Pathway, providing SCT Occupational Context- SCT Industry Needs meet Academic Solutions, and sharing Best Practices/Solutions (for example, internships). Dr. Marilyn Barger, Executive Director of FLATE, presented the ins and outs of the statewide Engineering Technology A.S. degree, home of mechatronics education in Florida, and offered at many state and community colleges across the state. Florida colleges that offer A.S. ET participated and met new supply chain professionals from their regions to partner with. After the presentations, the group was given an "insiders" tour of Walmart's 2.2 million square foot e-commerce facility in Davenport, FL.  

Highlights of topics discussed included the popularity of e-commerce, automation & technician demand trends, building ecosystems- SCT workforce development, and describing engineering technology & supply chain educational programs in Florida. After the industry and academic forum, participants traveled back to Hillsborough Community College (HCC) Brandon campus for a lab tour. HCC Engineering Technology faculty conducted the tour of the facility and lab area. Participants were engaged and asked questions relating to equipment and ET program.

Two planning partners of the forum, Elaine Gaertner, Education Consultant for Supply Chain Technology Education, and Steve Harrington, industry liaison for National Center for SCA, thanked FLATE for partnership and state that the forum  “was probably our most successful yet.” 

For more information about The National Center for Supply Chain Automation, please view their webpage by clicking here. To view the SCA Power Point presentations, please click here.

For more information about FLATE, please visit or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger, Executive Director of FLATE, at

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