Plan Now for PD Opportunities for 2019

As we approach the holiday season and the beginning of a new year, it’s time to both look forward to where we want to go and who we want to be, and back to see where we have come. However, right now let's focus on professional development ("PD") and the future. What do we want to learn more about? What do we still want to learn? How can we better help our students?

What is Professional Development? One official definition is “the process of improving and increasing capabilities of staff through access to education and training opportunities in the workplace, through outside organization, or through watching others perform the job. Certainly, "PD" is one way that educators keep current with their academic and technical disciplines as well as teaching and learning strategies. 
However, "PD" helps build and maintain morale and is thought to help attract higher quality people to an organization”. Additionally, “PD” can provide educators with innovative tools and helps them to develop skills to use these new tools effectively to affect a direct impact on student achievement. When educators feel empowered and confident in bringing something new to their instruction, they can reach students they may not have been able to with traditional teaching methods. Innovative technology and teaching tools in the classroom can allow for diverse and interesting lessons that will engage learners in new ways.

FLATE has always and continues to focus on helping Florida manufacturing and technical educators find and participate in a wide variety of professional development opportunities all year. This month FLATE is posting a variety of upcoming 2019 workshops, webinars, conferences and other events. (Check the attached flyer or go to the FLATE wiki and take a look behind the “Professional Development” button for the most current information.) We think you will find some events that you won’t want to miss.  If you don’t see something that you want to learn or need to know about, please let us know and we will try to find some opportunities for you.

FLATE, in partnership with the Central Florida College will conduct a 4.5-day Industrial Robot workshop in June. Registration and educator travel and lodging support is covered by our partner FACTE through a Perkins grant.  FLATE will also host a MSSC CPT/CPT+ workshop this spring (dates and location will be finalized early in January). For the post-secondary Engineering Technology crowd, the spring ET Forum will be hosted for the first time by our colleagues at Sarasota Technical College (STC) on March 28-29.

We encourage everyone to take advantage of some free local events that focus on new and emerging technologies. Two great candidates are the Synapse Innovation event in February in Tampa and the Florida HAAS Machining Educator Day hosted by Palm Beach State College Lake Worth Campus on May 2. Another good deal is the $25 Tech Tour pre-conference day hosted by FAITE and FLATE in conjunction with the Annual FACTE conference each July.

Florida educators can also sign up for free FACTE (Florida Association of Career and Technical Education) online courses. FACTE typically publishes a calendar of courses a month or two before each semester. If you are interested in strategies for integrating problem based learning or new technologies into your courses or want to know more about teaching students with disabilities or working with standards, FACTE courses can help.

Have a wonderful break from classes and we will be back with the first 2019 edition of the FLATE Focus! 

Florida Manufacturers and Students Celebrate Manufacturing Day & Month

Manufacturing (MFG) Day & Month is one of the big blockbuster events of the year. It's like the Oscars, as manufacturers across the country open their doors to welcome the community, showcase their products, and, more importantly, get a behind-the-scenes look at the innovation and skills required to be part of a high-tech, high-skilled workforce. Here in Florida, Manufacturing Day & Month kicked off on October 5 with hundreds of students and educators from school districts across Florida participating in the Made in Florida industry tours and MFG Day & Month events.

MFG Day & Month was a chance to learn, not only about products made in their backyard, but across Florida. MFG Day & Month also enabled schools/school districts to build sustainable partnerships with local industries and organizations like FLATE. “FLATE’s Made in Florida site has been an incredible resource. The site is the 'go-to' place to stay informed about the latest trends in manufacturing and for accessing tools to enrich STEM educators' every day lesson plans. 

MFG Day & month continues making a tremendous impact in raising awareness not only about the contributions of manufacturing to the state and national economy but more importantly building a pipeline of next-generation high-tech, high-skilled workers. To date, on a statewide level, approximately 5,035 students and 390 educators toured 126 industry sites in 21 counties across Florida. This marks a significant increase from last year in terms of the number of participating students, educators and manufacturers.

On the local level, in Hillsborough County, 644 students and 36 educators/chaperones from 16 middle and high schools toured 9 industry sites for MFG Day & Month. In Pasco-Hernando County, approximately 868 students, 46 educators/chaperones from 22 schools toured 21 industry sites. In Polk County 233 students, 20 educators/chaperones from 10 schools toured 10 industry sites, while in Pinellas County 614 students and 36 educators/chaperones from 15 schools toured 17 industry sites for MFG Day & Month. This year students from St. Petersburg College also toured TSE Industries, Inc. and GE Aviation as part of MFG Day.

In keeping with the ongoing strategy to survey all MFG Day & Month participants and gauge the overall impact of manufacturing tours, FLATE surveyed students, educators, parents/chaperones and industry hosts. This year FLATE has received and tabulated surveys from 1,237 students, 42 educators and 22 industry hosts.

Of the surveys received, nearly 94% of students stated the tour gave them new information about careers in advanced manufacturing. Approximately 89% stated the tour helped them understand how STEM subjects are applied in advanced manufacturing industries. Nearly 92% of surveyed students stated they would recommend that other students have the opportunity of experiencing this tour. While taking a closer look at post-event survey data and demographic breakdown, there was approximately 131.5% (73 to 169) additional increase in girls and 61.2% (253 to 408) in boys considering a career in advanced manufacturing after the tour. Overall, there was a 77.13% additional increase in students’ consideration of careers in advanced manufacturing after the tour.
Here are some comments from students attending MFG Day & Month:

“I really liked the factory tour. Being someone who has done robotics for most of my educational career, it was fascinating to see how robots are improving efficiency within factories and making processes a lot easier for everyone, the producer and the consumer.”

“I enjoyed seeing how the geometric calculations go into simulations. The experience of seeing programming at work gave me an interest in the field.”

“I liked being able to see a real working environment and what they get to do every day the people were very nice and they explained everything very well. Thank you.”

Industry hosts also deemed the MIF industry tours as a valuable investment of their company time. Of the 22 industry tour hosts that responded to FLATE’s surveys, 95.5% stated the tour was a good use of company time and resources. FLATE also surveyed educators and parents to gauge their overall experience and response to the MFG Day & Month tours. Of the surveys received, 100% agreed that the tour should be recommended to other students, promotes a career in advanced manufacturing, and was helpful in understanding high-tech jobs and career opportunities. One of the many positive comments we received from educators said, “These kinds of events change lives . . . doors are opened that these students have never walked through before and today some REALLY liked what they saw inside.”

MFG Day & Month is special for manufacturers in Florida and across the nation as it provided a platform to showcase local, regional and statewide manufacturing to statewide stakeholders. For a number of years, FLATE and its statewide network of partners played a leading role in positioning Florida at the forefront of MFG Day & Month in terms of facilitating industry tours and leading a statewide strategy to survey all participants. Manufacturers, school districts, regional manufacturers’ associations, professional organizations, and many individuals contributed to make this a successful endeavor every year. FLATE would like to thank all partners involved for making 2018 Manufacturing Day & Month a grand success! We look forward to working and collaborating with you and future stakeholders for 2019 MFG Day & Month!

A full listing of statewide MFG Day & Month coordinators and partners are listed in the October editions of the FLATE Focus. For more information on FLATE’s statewide strategy for manufacturing day/month visit If you would like an in-depth MFG Day report from your county contact the FLATE team, or visit the Florida MFG Day site at 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.

Future Technician Preparation (Agriculture)

Continuing our initial discussion of our “Work to do for Future Technician Preparation theme", the National Science Foundation is extremely interested in what technician education should "look-like" because new and near future advancements in science, engineering, and technology are changing American industry.   (A reader might wonder why Mathematics was not listed.  Math is the heart and soul of STEM.  It is imbedded in every significant achievement in science, engineering, and technology.  

However, our position is not that mathematics has new and future advances rather mathematics' impact increases as our understanding of its complicated nuances becomes secured.  This is especially the situation related to the subtle use of Boolean and matrix algebra operators.)  The National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (NSF-ATE) program involves partnerships between academic institutions and industry to promote and execute improvement in the education of technicians.  The ATE program's focus includes, but is not limited to, advanced manufacturing technologies, agricultural and bio-technologies, energy and environmental technologies, engineering technologies, information technologies, micro- and nanotechnologies, security technologies, geospatial technologies, and applied research on technician education.

The "agriculture" part of NSF-ATE agricultural and bio-technologies technician education mission is an outstanding example of what specific contributions from science, technology and engineering combined with some great new applications of mathematics has and continues to do.  However, other than perhaps some people noticing that farm equipment is getting bigger and perhaps more "fancy" there is very little outward sign of what new innovations are doing in this sector and why or what it has to do with technician education. Like the manufacturing sector discussed in last month's FLATE Focus, technical education in agriculture has an interesting double edge quality and corresponding challenge.

There is a classic observation that dates back to the beginning of the industrial revolution in America:  If your industry needs to create a skilled worker start with a farmer.  A farmer is already trained (often self-trained) to deal with the technical issues on the farm.  The farmer integrates the technology of a farm and the actual "farming" into a single daily fluid motion life style that accomplishes the goal (everything done well enough and on time to have a crop heading to market). This ingenuity means that a farmer is always a good candidate employee for any technical related industry.  It also means that when the agro-industry sectors are targets for an A.S. degree technician preparation program "Future of Work" issues, those issues have a double edged challenge to be dealt with.  Is the new technology to be introduced into the A.S. degree focused on the perspective of a farmer that has to use it or a worker that is expected to manufacture, trouble shoot, and/or maintain it?

"The Future of Work" reality generates an interesting question. Is the impact on a farmer satisfied if the new equipment has a diagnostic display to identify a problem and someone else fixes that problem?  If so the agro-industry, technician programs will only need to address the other sectors of that industry.  These programs will most likely be a blend of “Future of Work” generated new skill and knowledge subsets that will also be introduced in other A.S. degree programs.  The actual farmer will just become a consumer of the technologies being installed on the farm (much like our own interactions with the new technologies in our home). 

A blend of new skills from other technician programs in the agro-industry sectors except the "farmer" sector is the most likely approach to "Future of Work" impacted technician education. Today's farmer will still need to act in a timely manner when an "on the spot" technology driven interaction stops the farmer’s daily flow of tasks. Thus, what and how we create, blend, and implement "Future of Work" skills and technical knowledge into the farmer/technician world "back on the farm" is a good discussion initiation point because it is the most complication scenario for A.S. agro-based programs to address.When is the farmer the technician and the technician the farmer? 

In summary, it's time to repeat our mantra. "The work to do starts with you."  What do you think the farmer-technician interface will look like on a farm recognizing: that all of today's farm will have to use new technologies: that today's farm range from a classic "Mom and Pop" through a co-op to a large corporate operation?  Please let us know what you think with an email to Dr. Richard Gilbert,

Welcome back Liz and Natasha!

In the month of October we had two new Project Specialists join our team! Please welcome our new FLATERS! We are very thrilled to have them back and so are they! Elizabeth Duran will be working on data analysis from event surveys and also with our  FLATE graphics. Natasha Crissien will be focused in coordinating the ATE Community Joint Displays in addition to all FLATE events and our FLATE Focus monthly newsletter. They both will be the face for FLATE in some of our conferences and exhibits we attend. Elizabeth and Natasha have both worked for FLATE in the past and after a brief hiatus they have returned with newly acquired skills and are ready to put into good use. Here’s what they have to say! 

Hello, my name is Elizabeth Duran.  I work on analyzing data for FLATE using different resources that are available to me, and also work on their graphics. I have been working with FLATE for approximately three years now. I began my FLATE journey back in 2015 as a Student Assistant affiliated with HCC and slowly progressed further into my career and am now very happy with my new Project Specialist role. I graduated with my Associates degree in Computer Science from Hillsborough Community College and am looking forward on pursuing my Bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida. I’m excited for whats to come and for being able to play and active role in the STEM movement.

Hello everyone! My name is Natasha Crissien, I previously worked for FLATE as the Project Assistant and coordinated the ATE Community joint displays from start to finish while dabbling in different projects. The projects I worked on included the Project Highlights, updating the FLATE website, and tinkering with the graphics on our Wiki page. Back then, I was pursuing an Associate’s degree in Business Administration and Management at Hillsborough Community College and, after a short break, I am now continuing my education by working to obtain my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a focus on clinical and counseling at St. Leo University. My life has changed drastically since the last time I was employed with FLATE. I now have a toddler that looks up to me and it is very fulfilling to not only further my education for myself but also set an example for him and provide for my family. I do not have any other relatives that reside in FL so I welcome new friendships with open arms and really enjoy having a work family. With that being said I'm very happy to be back at FLATE seeing a few friendly faces and meeting my new colleagues.

HCC ET Students & Educators Learn about Revolutionary Technologies in Packaging Solutions at Largest International PACK EXPO

The world of packaging has come a long way. From the unsavory wraps to bulky boxes of yesteryears, the packaging industry has evolved into a high-tech billion dollar industry with many manufacturers vying to get ahead of the game while incorporating lean, green, clean and efficient technologies into their everyday production processes. A testament of this booming industry was on full display at the 2018 PACK EXPO International. The Expo was held in October in Chicago and was “THE” hotspot for all engaged in the latest and greatest packaging solutions. In a  press release issued by PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, who was also the host/producer of PACK EXPO, dubbed the event as “the largest EXPO” hosted for and by the packaging industry.

The EXPO brought together 2,500 exhibitors and 50,000 attendees and gave exhibitors and attendees a chance to witness the latest innovations and learn about production challenges in the packaging industry. Jadaly Castro Morale, Haley Fretto, Wesley Tanner and Richard Wilson, students pursuing an A.S degree in Engineering Technology at Hillsborough Community College (HCC), were jointly sponsored by FLATE and PMMI to attend the PACK EXPO this year. The four students along with Shirley Dobbins and Ron Smith, professors of Engineering Technology related courses at HCC, attended the EXPO to get a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of the complex manufacturing processes and technologies involved in making packaging solutions a dynamic enterprise.

The four-day EXPO offered an unparalleled experience for the four HCC students as they attended panel discussions, forums, explored display booths and met with industry experts. The size of the Expo was astounding said Wesley Tanner who learned about different types of robots and how they are used in manufacturing. Tanner also learned about the techniques and tools used by manufacturers and participated in an experiment demonstrating how people react to packaging. The PACK EXPO was also a rewarding experience for professors Shirley Dobbins and Ron Smith. “The understanding of the areas of opportunities for our students in packaging was greatly enlarged,” said Dobbins. They were also able to connect with Florida companies attending the EXPO and are currently working on establishing an internship program for HCC students with one of the companies they met at the EXPO. Besides the exhibits, HCC faculty and students also attended the “Innovation Stages” session presented by industry leaders and subject matter experts. “Seeing the different sizes, types, and capabilities of the robots was a great experience for me,” said Jadaly Castro.

The highlight of the Expo for students came during the adrenaline spurring “Amazing Packaging Race.” Modeled after the popular TV show, participants were challenged to complete various challenges that ranged from simple tasks like counting the number of logos on a sign, to clicking selfies with the PMMI Vice President, answering a question on Twitter about the EXPO, visiting as many booths as possible, solving complex mathematical problems, or even completing rudimentary tasks like racing to load the machinery by taking cellophane paper and feeding it through the notches faster than the previous group. “I am very thankful to FLATE and PMMI for being given this opportunity to learn so much. I will definitely never forget this experience” Castro stated.

Given the prominent roles women are increasingly assuming in the workplace and across the manufacturing industry, Jadaly Castro and Haley Fretto also attended the Women's Leadership breakfast meeting. More than 550 industry professionals attended the breakfast event featuring an invigorating panel discussion moderated by Jane Chase, executive director at the Institute of Packing Professionals. “The Expo inspired me. I could see myself finding a niche in this field” said Fretto. Professor Dobbins was also encouraged to see the number of women in the packaging industry and the leadership roles they play. Listening to the empowering stories of women in manufacturing and seeing the wide range of industry jobs available, Dobbins noted students were encouraged in their pursuit of engineering technology. “I will now be able to advise my students of the plethora of opportunities available in the packaging industry and use of mechatronics in the healthcare packaging area as well,” Dobbins said.

Discussions captured insights from top brass in manufacturing and centered on strategies to empower women in manufacturing.  During the session, Castro and Fretto learned about challenges women encounter in the manufacturing industry, but more importantly about personal achievement and the coming of women in business. “As a woman, I found it very empowering,” Castro said. The Expo provided an effective platform for all students to gain real-world experiences as they look to embark on a career in manufacturing. For the educators, it was a great networking opportunity as they were able “to communicate with other educational institutions about their experiences in the engineering technology domain.”

FLATE is indeed proud to be part of the students' journeys as they explore educational and career pathways in manufacturing. For more information on the Expo visit For information on FLATE and STEM-based resources for students and educators visit and contact Dr. Marilyn Barger, Executive Director of FLATE at

Advanced Manufacturing Regional Academy Florida State University and Chipola College

Contributed by: Marcia A. Mardis, Florida State University and David Bouvin, Chipola College

On September 21, 2018, the Florida State University Information Institute, Chipola College, and FLATE leadership were joined by Gulf Coast State College, Northwest Florida State College, Pensacola State College, and Tallahassee Community College for an advanced manufacturing (AM) Regional Academy to examine evidence-based best practices for linking curriculum to employer expectations.

The Regional Academy was sponsored by the team’s National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) research project, Assessing Educational Pathways for Manufacturing in Rural Communities: An Investigation of New and Existing Programs in Northwest Florida (NSF 1700581). This three-year research project, led by PI Marcia A. Mardis (FSU), Co-PI Charles R. McClure (FSU), Co-PI Faye R. Jones (FSU) and Co-PI David Bouvin (Chipola) includes three annual Regional Academies to share findings, recommendations, and lessons learned from research conducted with participating institutions.

Dr. Marilyn Barger provided the keynote address for the inaugural Regional Academy; the agenda also included presentations, discussions, and hands-on syllabus analysis activities. Presentations centered on the team’s learning pathway research that aims to assist with the instruction, training, and job placement of students throughout the Panhandle and in surrounding communities. The discussions were followed by training workshops that assisted participants with examining how AM course syllabi can be mapped to the team’s developing AM Body of Knowledge and aligned to employers’ needs. Check out the videos of the days’ activities at

In Year 2, the Regional Academy will focus on the results of the team’s in-depth analysis of syllabi from participants’ AM programs as well as gathering employers’ perspectives through interviews, focus groups, and job posting analyses. We will also include data related to our contacts with new professionals who share their views of key AM professional competencies. Check our website ( for upcoming Regional Academy information, publications, presentations, and other project materials.

For more about the AM Pathways project and the team’s related IT Pathways project, visit or contact Marcia A. Mardis ( or David Bouvin ( Tweet or follow us on Twitter @TechnicianPath1!

Information Institute • Florida State University

News from FloridaMakes

FloridaMakes is now accepting nominations for the Florida Sterling Manufacturing Business Excellence Awards Nominations. Nominations are easy and can be done online at this link on the events menu of the site. All the information needed to nominate, the awards process, the awards banquet and required documentation can also be found on this page.  Nominate outstanding companies in your area today.
 In November, Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) and FloridaMakes announced an official strategic partnership agreement that sets the groundwork for mutual cooperation, leveraging each other’s programs and services to create impact and benefit manufacturers, suppliers and innovative enterprises across the state.  Read the full press release.

Save the Date – for the MAKE MORE Manufacturing Summit (May 30, 2019) . It is a leadership-focused meeting designed around connecting ecosystem stakeholders with the needs and realities of industry leaders from the manufacturing sector. It intends to serve as an annual platform to exchange ideas around how our state resources are addressing the impact of market dynamics, economic trends and policies, and new technologies in this sector. Join in-depth discussions as they build a road-map to strengthen and advance Florida’s economy through innovation, talent development, and leveraging our resources to accelerate the productivity and technological performance of its manufacturing sector. 

For more information about FloridaMakes and their events, go to

Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation Teacher Innovator Awards

Winners get a free five-day trip to The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan.

The fifth year of The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation Teacher Innovator Awards has launched! The Henry Ford and Litton Entertainment are looking for teachers who demonstrate the habits of an innovator. Teachers who inspire their students to challenge the rules and take risks, who demonstrate how to be collaborative and empathetic, and teach the value of staying curious and learning from failure.

Twenty teachers in total receive prizes annually, with the top ten grand prize winners receiving a week-long “Innovation Immersion Experience” at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan. Winners will be announced in June. Please listen to how this experience affected two of our first-year winners.

The awards were created to accompany the national television show, The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation which airs on CBS Saturday mornings. The TV show is hosted by CBS News correspondent Mo Rocca and provides a weekly celebration of the inventor’s spirit, telling fascinating stories of historic innovators of the past and forward-thinking visionaries of today.

For more information, contact:

Nominations are due by February 1, 2019

FLATE Supporting Diversity in STEM Education at the Annual Meeting of the Florida Educational Research Association (FERA).

FLATE with the support of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technology Education (ATE) Community participated for the first time in the Annual Florida Educational Research Association (FERA) Conference held on November 14 to 16 at the Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park in St Petersburg, FL.

FERA is a professional association founded in 1959 to promote the investigation, research, and discussion of educational problems and issues affecting the state of Florida. FERA is an affiliated member of the American Educational Research Association through the Consortium of State and Regional Educational Research Associations. 

The annual conference included approximately 220 administrators, state educational representatives, teachers, researchers, and graduate students from K-12 school districts, colleges, and universities across the state of Florida. Conference sessions included development workshops, several concurrent presentation sessions on a wide variety of educational research topics, and a poster session. 

FLATE not only had an informational table both about FLATE and the whole of the ATE program but also participated during a Friday’s symposium “Diversity in STEM Education: An Inquiry into the Experiences of Under-Represented Groups”. This Symposium delves into the topic of under-represented groups in STEM education. In particular, the “T” in STEM, or technology, and present an inquiry into the experiences of women and girls, racial and ethnic minorities, non-traditional students, and first-generation students from basic, applied, and evaluation research perspectives, and across secondary and post-secondary educational contexts. The symposium included four research presentations as follows:

Industry Tours and the Impact on Girls
This presentation reported the findings from a technology education outreach program with a focus on the impact of high school girls. Presenter Danielly Orozco, Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE),

This is My Neighborhood: An Exploration of Culturally Relevant Agency to Support High School Latina(o) Students in an Urban Career Academy
This presentation included the experience of Latina(o) high school students in an Information Technology Career Academy based on multiple site visits and interviews with various stakeholders. Presenter :Edward Fletcher, University of South Florida

PathTech LIFE: Experiences of Under-Represented Groups in Technician Education
The third paper is based on a national survey of students enrolled in two-year technician programs at community colleges and provides demographic, educational, and employment information for several under-represented groups, including women, racial and ethnic minorities, non-traditional students as well as first-generation students
Presenters: Will Tyson and Lakshmi Jayaram, University of South Florida

Increasing Underrepresented Groups in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Information Technology Programs: Evaluation Results
Included findings from an evaluation study of three partner universities aiming to increase diversity in computer science, information technology, and computer engineering programs.
Presenter: Angela Estacion,, WestEd

For more information about FERA visit

MFG DAY and Month Happenings in Tampa Bay

The month of October saw over 30 student tours in Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties, but many other events celebrating Manufacturing in Florida also took place.  Here are a few highlights!

October 4- Upper Tampa Bay-Florida SunCoast Manufacturing Association (UTBMA) Sixth Annual Advanced Manufacturing Awards Ceremony at Nielsen Global Technology, Oldsmar.
The UTBMA is dedicated to serving the unique business and networking needs of the approximately 400 manufacturers located in the region. The 2018 awards ceremony recognized regional manufacturers for their exemplary labor in manufacturing innovation and for the first time outstanding students and alumni were also recognized. During this event, FLATE’s dear friend Roy Sweatman from Southern Manufacturing Technologies received the distinguished 2018 Service Award. The 2018 Student Excellence award was presented to Michelle Puentes from Hillsborough Community College and Ryder Fizpatrick from St. Petersburg. Michelle and Ryder were recognized for their outstanding perseverance, leadership and academic achievement in pursuit of a career in advanced technology and manufacturing. 

October 9- Manufacturing Alliance of Hillsborough County M-Pact Meeting hosted by Southern Manufacturing Technologies (SMT), Tampa. 
The Manufacturing Alliance of Hillsborough County is working to build a better future for our region's manufacturing industry. Through M-Pact meeting series, manufacturers connect to address the latest trends and challenges facing our industry. This M-Pact meeting, hosted by SMT, focused on improving the talent pipeline and provided an provided an overview of National and State apprenticeship opportunities for manufacturers by Richard (Ted) Norman, Florida Department of Education’s State Director of Apprenticeship, Division of Career and Adult Education in Hillsborough County. In addition, a local apprenticeship model was presented by Steve Cona III, President/CEO of Associated Builders and Contractors Florida Gulf Coast Chapter, and a SMT machinist apprentice Robert Falor spoke to manufacturers and educators about his apprenticeship program and life experience.
As the manufacturing sector’s most passionate advocates, Manufacturing Alliance of Hillsborough County are committed to changing the perception of modern manufacturing in Tampa Bay, simplifying the path to a successful manufacturing career, fostering critical connections across the manufacturing community, and guiding individuals and our community towards enduring prosperity. For more information about Hillsborough Alliance, visit

October 18- BAMA to Tour BELAC LLC, a Chromalloy Company, Oldsmar. BELAC, in conjunction with other Chromalloy resources, reverse engineers aircraft engine components, also manufactures components on a build to print basis for several OEM customers. BELAC's facility houses several unique manufacturing processes, such as dual-wheel grinding, EDM drilling, NDT, heat treat, and shot peen. 

October 17- Hillsborough County Manufacturing Month proclamation, Tampa. The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners presented proclamations to declare October 5, 2018 as Florida Manufacturing Day and October 2018 as Florida Manufacturing Month in Hillsborough County.


October 28- Fourth Annual Manufacturing 5K Run or Walk for Education, Safety Harbor. All proceeds from the event will benefit deserving future manufacturing workforce students. This includes degree-seeking students, as well as accredited technical school students. Thank you for helping surpass last’s year’s donation of $24,102.30.