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 http://highimpact-tec.org/ 

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