October is right around the corner and it’s time to celebrate!  You can find Florida "Manufacts" on the FloridaMakes website to add to your own local manufacturing info facts.

Here are some of the statewide facts you can find under FLORIDA MANUFACTS. 

  •  In April 2018, manufacturing had 375,500 jobs in Florida, an increase of 12,300 jobs over the year.
  • Manufacturing has gained jobs for 88 consecutive months, after losing jobs over the year for more than four years.
  • Manufacturing is 4.3% of total nonagricultural employment in Florida
  • Miami-Dade, Pinellas and Orange counties contributed over 30,000 manufacturing jobs each, while Broward, Hillsborough, Duval, and Brevard counties contributed over 20,000 jobs each,
  • The Average wage for Manufacturing in Florida is $57,884.00, which is the third largest in the state for all industry sectors and is $10,829.00 above the average wage in the state.   (Data source: Florida Department of Economic Opportunity)
In addition to statewide data, you can find downloadable in-depth regional reports on that same MANUFACTS webpage. For example, the report for West Central Gulf Coast is 28 pages, was compiled by IHS and looks like the image to the left. In addition to West Central Gulf Coast, reports available for you to find include regional reports for Central Florida, the First Coast, Gainesville Area, Mid-Florida, Northwest Florida and Capital Region, South Florida, Southwest Region, and Volusia County.  Check out the report for your region to gather local details to support your Manufacturing Day events. 

More Florida Manufacturing facts can be found on FLATE’s website with the Engineering Technology Degree pages.  Each year, FLATE partners with the Florida Department of Education to obtain completion and enrollment data for the A.S. Engineering Technology degree, its college credit certificates and all other related degree programs.  For FLATE, related programs are those academic programs that also support manufacturing.  The annual report is a 5-year summary with break out data by college and program. In addition to state and community college data, FLATE also reports on related high school and post-secondary programs. These programs provide articulated pathways into college programs and dual enrollment with the A.S.E.T. The Florida Advanced Manufacturing high school program has shown significant growth in the past several years.  Here are a few FACTS captured from this report.  We do not expect the 2018 data from the Department of Education until later this fall, so the most current report covers the 5-year period, 2012-2017.  Below are a couple snapshots of ET enrollment and completed data.

A summary of MFG DAY-FL student tour data for the past 5 years is posted on the site  (scroll down to bottom). Links to student, hosts and chaperone surveys, lesson plans, graphics, tour tips for the industry hosts are all available from this page.  To date, we have 49 events posted on for Florida. I know that there are many more, so please get your events posted as soon as possible.

Dale Toney, Marion County Manufacturing Teacher wins the Henry Ford's Innovation Nation Teacher Innovator Awards

In July, The Henry Ford and Litton Entertainment announced the winners for The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation Teacher Innovator Awards. The awards recognize the educators who are using the classroom to inspire innovation, creativity, the problem-solving and critical thinking among their students.

Ten teachers were named Grand Prize winners another ten were first place winners. Bruce (Dale) Toney, Advanced Manufacturing teacher in Ocala was a Grand Prize Winner and the only Florida teacher among the 20 awardees.  In 2017, Dale Toney was also named the FLATE’s Secondary Manufacturing Educator of the Year.  Congratulations to Dale.

The winners were selected by judges, including Innovation Nation co-host Albert Lawrence, who chose teachers who demonstrated the habits of an innovator. Teachers who inspired their students to challenge the rules and take risks, who demonstrated how to be collaborative and empathetic, and taught the value of learning from failure and staying curious.

Grand prize winners attended a week-long "Innovation Immersion Experience" at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Mich., July 29th – August 2, 2018. The experience included roundtrip airfare, accommodations, behind-the-scenes tours with curators and archivists, a teaching innovation workshop and a special recognition ceremony. First place winners will receive an innovation teaching kit that includes The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation Season Two DVD set, merchandise from The Henry Ford and more.
Dale Toney’s journey in education began 33 years ago in North Carolina in a vocational program in a small middle school. In Florida, he focused his career working in high school technology education programs. Currently, Dale works at Belleview High School as Instructor for the Robotics, Automation and Design program and is the immediate past president of the Florida Association for Industrial and Technical Educators (FAITE), a non-profit professional organization that works collectively toward the advancement and enhancement of technical and industrial education throughout Florida. Dale, together with the Florida Association for Career and Technical Education (FACTE) and FLATE, have worked hard in multiple conferences and workshops to facilitate professional development to career and technical educators, counselors, and administrators in Florida. As an educator, Dale continues his effort to create high school programs that help secondary students pass the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council CPT certification test and CSWA Solidworks certification. He also works with the Skills USA as an advisor preparing students for leadership and skills competitions.
Dale hard work and dedication has been also recognized by FLATE by receiving the Manufacturing Secondary Educator-of-the-Year 2013.

You can read more about The Henry Ford and Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation, on their website and the more about Litton Entertainment at  To learn more about the FLATE Manufacturing Educator Awards visit or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger (

Bayside HS Machining lab provides students with new opportunities

Machining Technology students and staff recently celebrated the grand opening of their renovated 4,000 square foot Machining Technology Lab at Bayside High in Palm Bay. In attendance at the Ribbon Cutting event on September 7th were State Senator Debbie Mayfield, Palm Bay Mayor Capote, School Board members and Superintendent, Assistant Superintendents, Career & Technical Education staff, Advisory Team members, and students.

The space houses four large machines in the production lab, two computer-controlled lathes and two milling machines. The school also is home to a welding lab, four 3D printers and a 72” smart board.

Dennis Soboleski, Career and Technical Education resource teacher, said: “Until now, students only had limited access to a professional production area. Students were able to design, model and simulate machining, but had no consistent opportunities for hands-on experiences. This space will allow machining students to receive firsthand training.”

The only program of its kind in Brevard County, the Machining Technology program covers a broad series of topics in advanced manufacturing with an emphasis on fundamentals and advanced machining knowledge, skills and techniques. Welding and soldering manufacturing techniques and skill development are also being built into the program.

The program offers two industry certifications:
·         Certified Solid Works Associate—Students earning this certification are awarded three postsecondary credits in the engineering technology program at any state college in Florida.
·         Certified Production Technician—Students earning this certification are awarded 15 postsecondary credits, which is equivalent to one semester.

Machining Technology is a Career and Technical Education program of choice. It is located at Bayside High, but any high school student can apply to participate in the course of study.

Celebrate Deaf Awareness Week with the NSF ATE DeafTEC Center!

The last week of September is Deaf Awareness Week (also known as the International Week of the Deaf). The NSF-ATE community’s go-to resource for working with deaf and hard of hearing students is DeafTEC.  DeafTEC: Technological Education Center for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students is a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education National Center of Excellence. Its goal is to successfully integrate more deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals into the workplace in highly-skilled technician jobs in which these individuals are currently underrepresented and underutilized.  Check out these deaf and hard-of-hearing (deaf/hh) STEM professionals in manufacturing careers on our website at

For information on the best practices for teaching deaf/hh students, visit the DeafTEC website at If you are interested in hiring or are working with a deaf/hh individual­­­, you might be interested in the Working Together: Deaf & Hearing online course available at This online course is designed to help employers develop the sensitivity and skills to communicate effectively with deaf and hard-of-hearing employees, enable deaf and hearing colleagues to work together more productively and assist in fostering a workplace culture of diversity and inclusion.
DeafTEC is housed at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), one of the nine colleges of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, NY. The NTID was established in 1965 to reverse the long history of under-employment and unemployment among our nation’s deaf and hard-of-hearing citizens. Over 1,300 deaf and hard-of-hearing students are fully mainstreamed on RIT’s campus with 17,000 hearing students.

FREE!!! Online electromechanical lectures and lessons!

There are a lot of very good online resources for manufacturing and technology educators. on Big Bad Tech site,  there over 500 free online lectures and illustrated example problems for electro-mechanical (and related) technology courses.

Use these free materials to supplement face to face classroom instruction or textbook assignments. For one, Columbia Gorge Community College’s Electro-Mechanical Technology program has adopted a flipped classroom approach to teaching using this material. The online lectures are intended to accompany a regular hands-on workshop or lab where students work in a collaborative environment with the guidance of an instructor. Students using online lectures are able to rewind, revisit, and review any material they might have missed. Additionally, online lectures allow a degree of flexibility for non-traditional students with work or family obligations, or incumbent workers wishing to expand their skill set. The collection includes content for DC circuit analysis, hydraulics, single phase AC circuit analysis, motor control, motor drives, PLCs, and more. Lessons on 3 phase AC circuit analysis will be uploaded in the very near future.

There are also short learning animated online modules and learning objects on the same topics available at WISC-online: .  Enhance your courses and provide reinforcing resources in the multimedia formats your students love!

Gear up for SkillsUSA 2019

Gear up for SkillsUSA 2019
The SkillsUSA registration site is officially open for the new school year. Chapter advisors who need assistance with SkillsUSA membership or registration, hotline operators are ready to answer questions about starting a new chapter, ways to engage chapter members or strategies to strengthen an existing chapter. Operators are on call 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday (Eastern time). To reach the hotline, call 844-875-4557 or email You can also chat online on the membership registration site.
Professional members receive these great benefits:
  • 2018-19 SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards. The latest edition will be available by Oct. 1. The official competition guide for the SkillsUSA Championships contains rules for all national competitive events, including an overview, lists of technical skills and knowledge required, clothing requirements, eligibility and equipment lists. The official SkillsUSA Championships scorecards are located online here:
  • Jump into STEM!Curriculum includes middle-school and elementary-school STEM career exploration activities that can be taught by high-school members. This is a great opportunity to expose students to STEM careers and recruit for career and technical education programs as well as SkillsUSA.
  • SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Foundations. This complete curriculum includes 29 lesson plans that support the SkillsUSA Framework and prepare students for workplace success.

Becoming a professional member of SkillsUSA is one of the best ways to demonstrate to students the importance of joining a professional organization and the opportunities that membership will provide. Details can be found online as well as for the 2018 State Leadership Training Workshop for students at Lake Yale Conference Center, October 22-24, 2018.  To register, go to

And it is not too late for students to enter the SkillsUSA Florida State Branding Contest. Each year, student members from across the state have the chance to submit a design package that represents our theme and will be used in all marketing materials for the State Leadership and Skills Conference. The deadline for submission is October 1, 2018! More information and design standard online.

Work to do for Future Technician Preparation ( Nine Fields of Technology)

Two interesting audio events occurred in my life this past month.  The first was a radio story about the only surviving American car manufacturer in an Ohio city that use to have all brands of American cars made in that city.  During the broadcast, the host explained that this manufacturing facility was still going strong but that there was a restructured pay and work assignment plan in place. 

The discussion about hourly pay rates adjusted to today's skilled labor marketplace was interesting but the part that really caught my ear was an interview with a new to the plant but an experienced electrician.  The interview proceeded with some discussion about how that electrician felt about the new job and pay scale. The ear catcher was when the radio show host ended the story with the comment that this electrician now spends most of his time "working on robots".  The second audio event of interest to me happened this month at different meetings that involved industry and business groups.  Several times during conversations with these groups, the idea that workers, including technicians, will be replaced by robots was expressed. 

So why are these interesting audio events?  I suggest that most, if not all, faculty involved with the preparation of tomorrow's technical workforce do not agree with those comments about robots replacing technicians.  Faculty preparing industrial maintenance, mechatronics, and troubleshooting technicians know that an electrician's future "job description" is going to include in-depth technical responsibility for robot operation.  However, these 2 events raise a question about what exactly will be the expected skills of our technical workers that are not currently included in education and training pathways?

The National Science Foundation is extremely interested in answers to this technician future of work education issue.   The National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (NSF-ATE) program involves partnerships between academic institutions and industry to promote improvement in the education of technicians.  Fields of technology supported by the ATE program include, but are 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.  Improved and focused knowledge of technician focused future of work issues within and across these technologies will guide ATE project proposals in the coming years in efforts to support their regional industries as well as the NSF ATE mission.

Returning to our current focus, " Work to do for Future Technician Preparation", we realize that there is a lot of work ahead.  This “work to do”, starts with each of you.  What are the future of work issues you recognize that need to be blended into technician education?  How and where should we introduce these emerging and crosscutting technologies? To allow a progression of thought that permits blending and refinement of ideas and comments we will cycle through all nine NSF-ATE supported technologies starting next month with advanced manufacturing technologies.  So "back to work" and please send us what you are doing, as well as your thoughts and perceptions.      


The MSSC has recently announced the release of its complete hands-on advanced manufacturing CPT+ Skill Boss Training and Certification program. Built upon MSSC's well-established Certified Production Technician (CPT), this new program is designed to prepare certificants with the next generation skills to work in a computer-driven, data-intensive advanced manufacturing workplace.

The centerpiece of this new program is a transformational training device, invented by Amatrol, that enables MSSC to offer hands-on training and assessment as an enhancement to its signature CPT training and certification system.  "Skill Boss" is a computer-controlled machine that performs a wide variety of functions aligned with 55+ skills drawn from the MSSC's National Production Standards.  

The "Skill Boss" device is portable, compact, and "classroom friendly." Additionally, it is designed to cover many of the core technical competencies related to advanced manufacturing discrete parts and process manufacturing.  Skill Boss will enable many more schools, including most high schools, to offer hands-on CPT training and testing.

The current MSSC CPT Program remains in full force as a highly successful program for training and certifying individuals with the core technical competencies needed to enter front-line production jobs in all manufacturing sectors. There is no requirement that education and training institutions offering CPT will need to purchase a Skill Boss trainer.  Nor will there be any change in the credentialing documentation that MSSC provides for successful completion of CPT Modules. CPT+ is a "stackable" credential.  Individuals seeking a CPT+ credential must pass the current multiple-choice assessments for all four CPT Modules: Safety, Quality Practices & Measurement, Manufacturing Processes & Production, and Maintenance Awareness.

MSSC CPT+ Skill Boss trained Instructors will issue a "MSSC Transcript" to students who satisfactorily complete hands-on training for each of the four CPT Modules. MSSC will also offer a final, hands-on CPT+ Assessment after students pass all four CPT modules. The CPT+ certification will be on diploma-style parchment, suitable for framing, and include two CPT+ arm patches. Assessment related questions and orders will be done through the MSSC Headquarter office.

For more information, contact our office by email at or 703-739-9000.

2018 HI-TECH "Partnering with Industry for the New American Workforce" was a great success

In 2009, several Centers funded through the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program worked collaboratively to develop a conference that would broaden the impact across ATE supported industry areas. This annual High-Impact Technology (HI-TEC) conference has drawn participants mainly from the ATE program's community of centers and projects. Since them, every year people from around the nation get together during this magnificent event to open new opportunities and develop new partnerships and focuses on the preparation needed by the existing and future workforce for companies in the high-tech sectors that drive our nation’s economy. HI-TEC has served as the bridge to broadening and increase the impact of ATE centers and projects across the nation.

With no doubt, the theme of the 2018 HI-TEC conference "Partnering with Industry for the New American Workforce" was a great success. The conference was held in Miami Beach on July 23 to 26 and provided opportunities for participant engagement and professional development. The event included approximately 15 pre-conference workshops and industry site tours during the first 2 days, followed by the 2-day main conference featuring keynote speakers and 60+ breakout sessions.

Over 500 Educators and industry personnel learned from each other and collaborated to address issues facing advanced technological education and celebrated HI-TEC's 10th Anniversary. The conference's design, which stresses pedagogy, technology, program building, and workforce development, provides a unique professional development opportunity that enables educators to acquire new knowledge and skills. The evaluation activities focused on both short-term outcomes and medium-term performance-based outcomes.

Every year Dr. Marilyn Barger, Executive Director and PI of The Florida Advanced Technological Center-FLATE, support the conference by coordinating and planning numerous sessions and workshops, this year sessions are summarized below.  Additionally, this year for the conference being in Miami, FLATE was happy to support over 20 Florida Educators to attend the conference held in our region.

Infusing Vital Employability Skills into Technical Programs- During this workshop, participants joined team members of the Necessary Skills Now project to learn how to integrate employability skills into technical programs and shared classroom-ready projects in advanced manufacturing and cybersecurity that infuse employability topics into existing courses. This interactive workshop engaged participants in identifying intersections of technical and employability skills, developing workplace scenarios, constructing activities that strengthen students’ employability skills and exploring assessment strategies and tools.
Presenters: Hope Cotner and John Chamberlain, CORD, Waco, TX; Marilyn Barger, Florida Advanced Technological Education Center of Excellence (FLATE), Tampa, FL

Introduction to Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) with Industry Applications-This workshop provided hands-on experiences for faculty interested in integrating PLCs into their courses. PLCs represent the control and communications vehicle for industrial mechatronics systems found in many applications. Working in groups of two, participants reviewed PLC hardware and practiced basic PLC ladder logic programming for a workshop project. Presenters: Marilyn Barger, Richard Gilbert, Florida Advanced Technological Education Center of Excellence (FLATE), Tampa, FL; Dan Horine, Virginia Western Community College, Roanoke, VA; Doug Laven, South Central College, North Mankato, MN.
Mechatronics Moments VI Reception-During this fun reception, FLATE partners had the opportunity to congratulate our dear colleague Ernie Friend of the Florida State College-Jacksonville for his very well deserved Educator of the Year Award. Special Thanks to MSSC, SMC International training, and AG, Inc for sponsoring the reception.

 ATE Working Technicians Fishbowl-This session provided an opportunity for working technician to share their experiences about attending community and technical college programs that prepared them for their position.  FLATE was proud to bring Chris Car, an HCC recent graduate, to participate in this important session.

Industry 4.0 Panel had an outstanding participation of 140 people, this international panel included industry partners sharing how industry 4.0 IoT, and Big Data have impacted their companies and their work, their vision of the future of work for the technical workforce in their industry sectors and what educators should be brining to classrooms now. The lively discussions on this topic continued throughout the conference.

Ernie Friend Award-With more than 500 participants to the 2018 HiTEC Awards luncheon, 50 of them Floridians, celebrated the well-deserved Educator of the Year Award given to Ernie Friend with Florida State College, Jacksonville, FL.

Outreach Strategies for Broadening Impact & Participation Roundtables-Approximately 40 participants joined FLATE and a group ATE community experts during this session to learn about resources, tools, pathways, and strategies that will help their programs broadening their impact.

PathTech LIFE-This session presented the latest findings that reveal how student pathways, career goals, and school-work-life balance influence program recruitment and retention. 24 participants discussed during this session how findings can inform institutional efforts to support student success and will recommend the next steps to improve research. 

Save the date for HI-TEC 2019:  July 22-25 in St. Louis, MO. Find out more at