Exploring Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things

FLATE and FACTE are partnering for the development of a new online course for Florida CTE Educators: Exploring Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things. New technologies are entering our everyday lives at an alarming rate AND, all of these new technologies are impacting how all businesses “do business” and that means that our students have to work with these new and emerging technologies in the workplace. The 4-week course will be offered on the FACTE online professional development portal beginning Tuesday, March 31, 2020 and continuing every Tuesday for four weeks. You can register for the course online at FACTE's website.

Length:  24 Hours

Sessions: 4 total, online, one night per week for 3 hours of direct instruction, 3 hours of offline work
Budget:  Course Development Stipend $600, Teacher Cost $200 per session = $1000, total cost $1600

Course Summary:

In this course, we will start learning about Industry 4.0 which is the increased inclusion of automation and data exchange in technologies developed today. This course will address the major pillars of Industry 4.0:  Big Data, Internet of Things, Automation, Cloud Computing, and Augmented Reality. We will address these pillars through theory, application, impact, and analysis.  We will look at these broad topics from the perspective of the impact it has on our industries and society, in addition to the translation of 21st Century careers and the need for transferable skills.  The course will have independent and collaborative sharing requirements.  For full credit, you are required to attend the session at the time posted.
Image result for I-4..0 clipart

Topics Covered: Industry 4.0, Machine Learning, Augmented Reality, 3D Printing, Big Data, Data Analytics, Could Computing, Mobile Technologies, Advanced Robotics, Internet of Things, RFID Technology, Cognitive computer, Geo Locating, System Integration, Cyber Security and Simulation.

Career Cluster Connections: Communication, Engineering, Information Technology, Manufacturing, Computer Science, Transportation, Business, Agriculture

For additional information, please contact Dr. Marilyn Barger, barger@fl-ate.org. 

The Magic Behind Enchant Christmas

One of the biggest and newest events this holiday season is Tropicana Field’s Enchant Christmas! Fortunately, FLATE had a wonderful opportunity to interview Dave Fortune, the Director of Construction, to learn more about the creation of St. Petersburg area’s Enchant Christmas! Dave shared various interesting facts such as the layout of the team, information on the lights, advanced technology behind Enchant Christmas, and how the skating trail was built! Are you ready to explore the magic behind Enchant Christmas?

Enchant Christmas had a team of workers under 100 people a day which included stage hands, technicians, electricians, ice rink helpers, security, hosting staff, publicists, and folks that helped to ship and receive items. The Enchant Christmas project is split into four departments that are as follows: Creative Design, Construction, Technology, Sales and Marketing. Events generally begin with several designs which are turned into an overall plan and handed to the event team to produce the show. The event team then coordinates with other sections of the company to create the assets for the show and turn it into a wonderful, enchanted environment that the community can enjoy. To ensure that the venue is not overcrowded, the Marketing and Sales team has assorted the tickets by time slots so that no more than 4,000 guests are attending at one time.

Enchant 2019. All Rights Reserved.
All the beautiful lighted figures guests will see at Enchant Christmas is created by the Shine Lighting Group, Inc which is located in Vancouver, Canada. Shine Lighting Group, Inc. has served Canada and the United States since 2010 and is owned by the same person who produces Enchant Christmas. Each light uses 12-14 watts and there is approximately two and half million light nodes that illuminates Tropicana Field. The center tree, alone, has 150,000 nodes of lights and reaches a height of 80 ft. which took two days for workers to build. The center tree had to be built in sections using a crane starting with the top of the tree and continue the build from the center to the bottom piece. Branches are placed in sockets located in the poles that create the shape of the tree.

To further enhance the experience for guests, Enchant Christmas uses analog and digital lighting effects that features RGB (Red, Green, Blue) lighting technology! Using RGB technology allows Enchant to create more than 50 million accurate hues of color, which would usually be harder to obtain. The RGB technology is currently being used in the 120 ft. light maze tunnel and Enchant plans on exhibiting more features of RGB technology in future years! Dave Fortune states that, “RBG Lighting technology can create ripple effects or waves when someone touches the light. In addition, you can activate lights using voice activation, touch screens, or program a certain action to trigger pre-recorded video content for the guests.”

Enchant 2019. All Rights Reserved.
Enchant Christmas also has a skating trail which is similar to an ice rink, where they have a chilling unit that takes a liquid called glycol that is pumped though tubes and piping to create ice. Since glycol is receptive to hot and cold temperatures, Enchant Christmas heats up the glycol to create condensation and then quickly chills it to create ice. This is a process that is continuously done until there is a few inches of ice for guests to skate on. The dashboards on the side of the ice helps to keep the ice from spreading out to other areas, and the assets surrounding the skating trail helps to make it look beautiful.

Before we concluded the interview with Enchant Christmas, Dave Fortune said, “One thing that I find important to use is the grass-root approach. We want to be a part of the community. In fact, most of the staff is part of the St. Petersburg area and it’s important for us that the community is a part of the project. On a personal note, I love St. Pete and it’s a great community to be a part of!”

If you are interested in visiting Enchant Christmas for the holidays, tickets are still on sale until December 29, 2019 at https://enchantchristmas.com/stpete.

Image Sources:
Enchant Christmas, Enchant , 2019, https://enchantchristmas.com/stpete-media-kit-images.

Happy Holidays From FLATE

At the holiday season, our thoughts turn gratefully to our partners and friends who have made our success possible and extend our sincere thanks.
From all of us at FLATE we wish you a wonderful holiday and may the New Year be filled with joy and peace.

Where Are They Now? A Look Back on Engineering Technology Graduates!

If you were a 90’s kid, you probably heard, or even watched a television series called “Where are they Now.” The show provided viewers with current updates on past celebrities. Drawing up similarities from the show, in this edition of the FLATE Focus we take a similar trajectory in tracking the professional and educational pathways of a few students who graduated from the A.S. degree in Engineering Technology (A.S.E.T) from one of the community/state colleges in Florida.

Chris Mizell was fresh out of the military when he started his degree in engineering technology at Hillsborough Community College (HCC). He knew he wanted to pursue a workforce-ready degree which as he thought would be a fast-track to launching a career in a new direction. The A.S. degree in engineering technology was just the right fit for him. “The program by far is the best route for any industrial tradesmen looking to enhance his/her knowledge and make that next step into a career.” The degree helped Mizell broaden his knowledge in the concepts, applications, and working of an industrial production process. The courses also helped build his electrical and electronic capabilities in the fast-growing technology industries.

Today Mizell works as a Maintenance Technician for Advanced Airfoil Components in Gibsonton, FL. He enjoys the constant change in the type of job he encounters on a day-to-day basis and appreciates the complex process involved in manufacturing a product and getting it ready for use in the real world.

Valerie Bullington’s journey speaks of another rising star whose foray into the world of
manufacturing started back in 2010 when she attended the FLATE robotics camp at Hillsborough Community College. At the time she was a 13-year-old middle school student who was completely new to the world of robotics, much less manufacturing. Attending the robotics camp “greatly impacted the choices I made for my future,” said Bullington and set her on a path to pursuing an engineering-related field.

Fast forward to today and Bullington has come full circle. She currently works as an associate for an Amazon facility in Ruskin, FL while pursuing an A.S. degree in electronic engineering. The classes she’s currently enrolled in may not be directly related to what she does at work,  however, she feels they have had a huge impact on presenting growth opportunities for her both inside, or outside of Amazon. She is an MSSC Certified Production Technician and is working hard for a chance to be promoted as a maintenance technician at Amazon. Bullington is set to graduate in the summer of 2020 and is looking forward to pursuing rewarding opportunities in the manufacturing industry.

Our final spotlight is on a graduate who earned his A.S.E.T degree in 2012 from the State College of Florida (SCF). Andrew Sink’s exposure and journey into the world of manufacturing started as an international exchange student at SCF. The international student exchange program was an educational program that culminated through a partnership between FLATE, the Florida-based National Science Foundation Center, SCF, HCC and Usurbilgo Lanbide Eskola, an overseas college in the Basque Country that offers similar engineering technology programs.
The opportunity served as a conduit for Sink to embark on a rewarding and lucrative career in manufacturing. He currently works as an additive manufacturing applications engineer for TriMech Solutions, an engineering services provider with offices located throughout the east coast, providing coverage from Maine to Florida. “There is nothing I enjoy more than seeing how things are made” says Sink whose primary area of expertise lies in additive manufacturing and 3D printing. He is based out of Charlotte, NC, where he is in charge of the entire southeast region from North Carolina, to Arkansas to Florida.

“Every day is totally different as I travel all over the east coast and beyond as part of my job” says Sink. A large part of what he does involves touring factories, manufacturing plants, research labs and examining what processes a company currently uses and accordingly determining how 3D printing can give the company a competitive advantage. He also teaches training classes that are focused on advanced design for additive manufacturing concepts such as design, implementation and material selection, and enjoys helping clients understand how additive manufacturing can improve processes.

Looking back, the core courses Sink took as part of his A.S.E.T degree at SCF, greatly prepared him with the skills needed to succeed at work. The “Intro to SolidWorks class” for example, was Sink’s first exposure to parametric 3D modeling and 3D printers and has helped him tremendously as he uses it nearly every day at work.  Sink is thankful to the ET program at SCF and the partnership with FLATE for introducing him to the world of manufacturing. “It’s a great time to get involved in manufacturing,” says Sink. As automation continues to become more prevalent and new opportunities for process improvement and problem-solving are created every day, Sink believes the next ET graduate could easily be “the” person to come up with a revolutionary concept “to design and implement those new solutions.”

The Engineering Technology degree program was developed by the Florida Advanced Technological Education Center with community colleges and industries across the state and in close partnership with the Florida Department of Education Division of Adult and Career Education. The Degree was developed to address a growing need to supply manufacturers and high-technology industries with qualified, highly- skilled workers in the foreseeable future.  The program is a cohesive, comprehensive framework that focuses on a set of core classes that cover introductory computer aided drafting, electronics, instrumentation and testing, processes and materials, quality and safety. These core skills align with the national Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) Certified Production Technician Certification. The ET Core coupled with a second year degree specialization prepares students for many jobs in manufacturing and many other high-technology industries.

For a full list of state and community colleges currently offering the A.S.E.T degree in Florida visit http://madeinflorida.org/engineering-technology-degree/e-t-overview, or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at barger@fl-ate.org/813.259.6578. To join a consortium of engineering technology graduates across Florida connect with us on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/et-degree-community.

New Technology - A Challenge for You?

Okay, it is certainly the case that faculty in two-year technician programs do have big (but exciting) challenges with respect to providing their students with the combination of knowledge and skills that technicians need now and will need in a workplace driven by new technology.  However, the depth and breadth of those challenges do not even come close to matching what that rolly-polly, happy go lucky, white-bearded super-senior citizen of the North Pole must deal with. Forget the possibility of just dealing with simultaneous technology change in one, two, or even three of the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education focused (advanced manufacturing technology, agricultural and bio-technologies, energy, environmental technology, information technology, micro & nanotechnologies, geospatial technology, and security technologies) areas, the S. Claus Organization has year-round activities that include all of these technologies.
 In addition, they have a workforce that never seems to age, and is very likely set in their ways as well as being a bit resistive to change. (Personally, I cannot see a happy outcome if S. Claus tried to replace the elves’ tiny toy hammer with a couple of robots).
 Plus, of course, S. Claus has a lead reindeer with a bright red nose that has always created and executed the optimal delivery logistics to assure a successful mission in one evening’s flight. (Can any other organization, including our beloved U.S Postal Service, do that?.). Absolutely, the magic of the North Pole will ensure that the elf’s work will remain influenced by new technology.
It is also certain, that we really do not know how this fantastic couple, twelve reindeer and the uncountable number of elves spend most of the year playing (you guessed it) reindeer games and are still able to learn everything they need to know to make enough toys for all the world’s children. What we also do not know is how many of the NSF-ATE focused technology areas that we support in our two-year degree programs will require the inclusion of cross-disciplinary knowledge and skills. The good news?  This cross-discipline integration will not be as far-reaching as it is at the North Pole and that special team will still be able to keep its heavy play-work balance.  The bad news?  The era of teaching the one discipline area we know and really love will soon become a thing of the past.
Finally, it is absolutely certain that I have taken full advantage of the season and really extended the having fun part of this blog series. I do appreciate you reaching this point in this month’s article and now there is a bit of thinking to do. From your program’s perspective, what new technology-driven cross skills do you already identify as important? What new knowledge and skillsets are becoming important to the industries that hire your students?  For the industry folks that follow this blog, can you identify any missing technical skills in your new technician hires that already impact your operations?  What are the cross-skills that you think will become important?
Returning to this Future of Work series operating premise:  "The work to do starts with you."  The goal is to affirm the core skills that are the foundation NSF-ATE supported technician programs and integrate any new skills and knowledge into those programs to optimally address the challenges that new technology or technologies bringing to the workplace. If there is to be national success with this mission, then input and guidance from a national perspective are required.  NSF-ATE is listening and can put its resources into action in response to what it hears.   Now is the time to speak up.  Think about the new skills and knowledge that student need now and in the future as well as the optimal time and place to include them in technical programs. Contact us. Send us your thoughts to gilbert@usf.edu.

What’s coming up in the next edition? New Year resolutions of course!

Made in Florida Manufacturing Month Industry Tours – Eight years of Success

2019 marked the eighth year of FLATE, the Florida-based National Science Foundation Regional Center of Excellence in manufacturing, and its network of statewide organizations and partners led a statewide outreach campaign to celebrate National Manufacturing (MFG) Day/Month in Florida. Organizations and partners that have played a vital role in working with FLATE Include the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association (FMA), National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the Manufacturing Institute (MI), Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), FloridaMakes, Florida regional manufacturers associations (RMAs), statewide industry/manufacturers, CareerSource, school districts, and the community.
Once again, this statewide effort has proved to be an effective outreach strategy to promote manufacturing education. Made in Florida Manufacturing (MFG) Day/Month industry tours addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is, and positively change the public perception of modern manufacturing.

Preliminary Data
Table 1 represents preliminary numbers for 2019 MFG Day/Month industry tours from 13 counties

across Florida. As of December 1, 3,681 middle and high school students from 110 schools, 246 educators, 90 parents and chaperons, and 556 manufacturers have participated in approximately 145 MFG Day tours. In-kind and cash contributions have been estimated to be around $342K.

Table 1. 2019 Manufacturing Day/Month Industry Tours - Preliminary Data by County
Considering that in the past 4 years more than 21 counties have been consistently participated during MFG month, and assuming a linear correlation between the number of participating students and total counties participating during MFG Month, it can be predicted that overall numbers of participating students have increased. The percentage of increase is approximately 10% when comparing data from 2018 with 5,075 students from 21 counties.

Evaluating the Impact
To measure the impact of this magnificent effort of MFG Day/Month industry tours FLATE continues conducting and processing surveys after the tour. Post-event surveys serve not only as an indicator to measure success of MFG Day/Month industry tours efforts to reach out to students, educators and industry across Florida but also as an effective mechanism to improve upon some of our tried and tested methods that have positioned the Made in Florida industry tours as a successful model for other organizations and/or states to emulate and expand upon. New this year is an updated survey with added questions designed to better capture the comments and impressions of the students during the tours.
So far the number of received surveys, currently 1,269 (from 13 reporting counties) has increased. Last year the total number of surveys received was 1,046 from 21 counties.
Of the 1,269 students’ post surveys received and tabulated, nearly 82% (1,037) of the students reported that teachers have talked about advanced manufacturing in the class and 90% (1,125) of students stated the tour helped them understand how STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) are put to work in advanced manufacturing industries.

Shifting Public Perception
Is it working? We can answer with a resounding yes! FLATE has been tracking reception toward MFG Day/month industry tours, and the results are very encouraging. Focusing on students who have engaged in MFG DAY, the numbers are overwhelmingly positive:
There was an impressive 80% increase in consideration of a career in advanced manufacturing after the tour
96% (1,210) learned about new technologies used in advanced manufacturing industries
96% became more aware of new information about careers and manufacturing jobs available in their community
96% would recommend that other students have the opportunity to participate in MFG Day/Month

Learn about “What students like most about MFG Day tour”- New 2019

What students have to say….
“I really like that you don’t need a college degree to work there and I also liked that the company itself gives classes and an opportunity to further careers.”
“It is really amazing what people do for manufacturing”
“I liked how they made things that benefited our country's army!”

Looking Ahead
Manufacturing Day/Month for 2019 has concluded, but the effort to educate, train, employ and impact the next generation of high-tech workers who are also innovative thinkers, extends beyond a single day or month.

FLATE would like to thank all of you who helped in one way or another to make 2019 Made in Florida MFG Day/Month another year of amusing success promoting manufacturing education by positively changing the public perception of modern manufacturing.

For more information on national manufacturing day visit the national manufacturing day website. For information on industry tours for middle and high school students, award-winning STEM based curriculum and activities visit www.madeinflorida.org, or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at barger@fl-ate.org.

The History & Manufacturing Behind Christmas

The winter holidays have arrived and during this time everyone is in good cheer and celebrating by decorating their homes! You’ll see trees adorned with beautiful ornaments everywhere. However, as you appreciate the decorations, have you ever stopped to think about its history and how it’s created?

The tradition of using conifer trees and branches in homes began during Egyptian and Roman times to wish for wellbeing and everlasting life (The History of the Christmas Tree Goes Back Farther Than You Might Realize, 2019). It wasn’t until the 12th century, in Germany, when conifer trees began being used for Christmas and in the 16th century the trees were replaced with artificial ones due to mass destruction (Travers, n.d.). The first-ever artificial tree was produced using goose feathers but was later replaced with the same material that the Addis Brush Company, an American manufacturer, used for their toilet brushes (Travers, n.d.).

In the present day, Christmas trees are made in several different ways. One manufacturer starts the process of making the tree by first creating a metal skeleton (How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made, 2018). Two large steel tubes are rolled into an arc and merged to create the base of the frame
Screenshot by: "How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made." Science
Channel: How It's Made, Insider, 20 Dec 2018.
(How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made, 2018). Vertical supports are welded onto the base and created in parts (How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made, 2018). The metal is then coated with polyester powder and baked (How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made, 2018). After the frame is cooled, the tree is assembled together using bolts (How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made, 2018). The pine needles are created using thin PVC plastic that is cut into four-inch wide strips and rolled into a shredder that cuts the sides (How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made, 2018). The machine leaves enough room in the middle for a metal wire and to layer other plastic that are different colors (How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made, 2018). The different colored needles and a thin strip of brown PVC are then winded up and layered through tension control guides (How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made, 2018). Afterward, a metal wire is placed in the middle and twisted with the PVC (How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made, 2018). The greenery is cut in specified lengths and then clipped together branch by branch (How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made, 2018). Garland is fastened on specified parts of the tree and the branches fill in the rest of the space (How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made, 2018). Finally, the manufacturer bolts the different parts of the tree together and hook the rest of the green structures onto the tree (How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made, 2018). Once the tree is fully assembled, ornaments and lights are then placed onto the tree.

It is unknown when the tradition of placing decorations on a tree began, but the first ever object to adorn the trees were bright red apples (History of Christmas Ornaments, 2014). Since food was scarce and apples were known to be easily stored, they were used in celebration during the winter solstice (History of Christmas Ornaments, 2014). However, as time passed, new ornaments were added that were more intricate and unique. The more common glass ornaments that we use and see today were actually created by a German glassmaker in the 16th century who was unable to afford the more elaborate ornaments at the time (How Ornaments Are Made, 2010). The production of figurine glass ornaments begins with a design, which is turned into a mold using plaster (How Ornaments Are Made, 2010).  After the mold is created, the manufacturers then heat up a cylinder that is more bulbous at the center until it has an oval shape (How Ornaments Are Made, 2010). Then, the glass is quickly blown into the mold and heated up again to remove one of the pipe ends (How Ornaments Are Made, 2010). For circular ornaments, manufacturers heat up the wider end of a glass cylinder and blow into the pipe end while spinning the cylinder to create the shape (How Ornaments Are Made, 2010). Glass ornaments can shatter if they cool down too quickly, so they are heated using a less intense flame before being put onto a cooling rack for the next process.

After creating the shape of the ornament, they are put through a shining process where silverine solution is placed into the ornament and put underwater (How Ornaments Are Made, 2010). The active silverine is then swished around inside the ornament to create a reflective coat inside (How Ornaments Are Made, 2010). Excess silverine solution is poured out for recycling and the ornament left upside down to dry (How Ornaments Are Made, 2010).

To color the ornaments, they are either dipped or airbrushed using lacquer paint (How Ornaments Are Made, 2010). Detailed designs are brushed using lacquer. Ornaments with glitter, are painted with glue and then quickly dipped into a large bowl full of glitter. Finally, an incision is made to remove the stem of the ornament and a metal cap with a loop covers the stub (How Ornaments Are Made, 2010).

Now that you know the history and process to make trees and ornaments, do you see them in a different light? The most convenient part is that Christmas trees and ornaments can be appreciated right in your home or at several different events occurring around Florida!

Here are some amazing places to experience the holiday!

Tropicana Field's Enchant Christmas!
This year, Tropicana Fields has brought Floridians their first-ever “Enchanted Christmas” project! The Enchanted Christmas project includes the world’s largest light maze that covers 90,000 square feet and has an 80-foot tall tree at its center.  In addition to the wonderful light displays, Enchant Christmas also contains a winter market, ice skating, and a “Nook and Cranny” where you can make your own gift for your loved ones! Tickets for Enchanted Christmas are available to purchase from November 22 to December 29th, 2019!

Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park
Celebrate Christmas with animals by attending ZooTampa at Lowry Park’s Christmas in the Wild! Starting at 4PM, you can now enjoy the millions of lights that decorate Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park and visit their 5 foot tall Christmas tree covered in 12,000 lights, 2,000 ornaments, and an 8-foot tall star. Meet mingling animals and enjoy their new show featuring furry and winged animals. Christmas in the Wild is only available on the following dates: December 6-7, 13-15, 20-23.

Bok Tower Gardens
Every year, Bok Tower Gardens offers a featured tour of the Pinewood estate decorated for the holidays and carillon concerts that starts from 1:00PM to 3:00PM every day! Experience Holidays at Bok Tower Gardens from November 29, 2019, to January 5, 2019, from 10:00AM to 5:00PM!

Butler, Anne. “Christmas Ornaments: History & Meaning.” Study.com, Study.com, https://study.com/academy/lesson/christmas-ornaments-history-meanings.html. Accessed December 6, 2019.

“History of Christmas Ornaments.” Ornaments.com, 30 June 2014, https://www.ornaments.com/blog/history-of-christmas-ornaments/. Accessed December 6, 2019.

“How Artificial Christmas Trees Are Made.” Science Channel: How It’s Made, Insider, 20 Dec. 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBIweRa9Rm0. Accessed December 8, 2019.

“How Ornaments Are Made.” Science Channel: How It's Made, Discovery Communications, LLC, 7 Dec. 2010, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WUP9Z-sziE. Accessed December 8, 2019.

Narishkin, Abby. “How Artificial Christmas Trees Are Made.” Business Insider, Insider,Inc., 25 Dec. 2018, https://www.businessinsider.com/how-fake-christmas-trees-made-artificial-science-channel-2018-12. Accessed December 6, 2019.

“The History of the Christmas Tree Goes Back Farther Than You Might Realize.” Country Living, Hearst Magazine Media, 4 Sep. 2019, https://www.countryliving.com/life/a45590/christmas-tree-origin/. Accessed December 6, 2019.

Travers, Philip. “History of the Artificial Christmas Tree Article.” Artificial Plants and Trees, Artificial Plants & Trees, https://www.artificialplantsandtrees.com/articles/artificial-christmas-tree-article/. Accessed December 6, 2019.

The Advanced Manufacturing Technician Program (AMT) of Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME)

FAME is a collaborative of employers across the nation who are cooperating with one another to implement and operate programs known as the Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathways.  “The Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathways is a strategic initiative by FAME employers to develop a sustained pipeline of global best talent for key manufacturing career fields. It is based on the premise that companies are nothing more, and nothing less, than their people; therefore, if a company has the best people it will develop the strongest business model and impact, and thereby be the best company.” (From the FAME USA website.) FAME is organized by local and regional employer boards that oversee the Advance Manufacturing Technician (AMT) 2-year degree program at their local community college.

The overall goal of the AMT Program is to produce the global best new-to-field technician at the point of graduation. Companies who are acquiring new-to-field global best talent can operate at a competitive advantage. The AMT program graduates skilled workers educated and trained to be multi-skilled, (several different crafts) rather than learning a single craft. They are sometime referred to as multiskilled technicians, or multiskilled maintenance technicians. Typically, the technical content of the AMT program mirrors many advanced manufacturing, mechatronics or similarly names programs across the country that are delivered in a more traditional format and schedule.  In the future the AMT program will also include a pathway for tool & die technicians who build, maintain, and repair dies and molds.

The AMT is the heart of the FAME programs which also define manufacturing pathways in high schools, employer engagement in primary and middle grades, as well as manufacturing-focused bachelor’s degree programs in both business and engineering.  These 4-year degrees are meant to be post-AMT pathways to be sure AMT graduates have relevant career growth opportunities in manufacturing. This article will be focused on the 2-year AMT program and why it’s capturing the attention of employers and students across the country.

However, the heart of FAME is its AMT technician program, which produces the needed high skilled technician workers for advanced manufacturing. The work/study component is one of the most powerful aspects. Students attend college classes one day and work the next day, seeing immediately application of what they have learned in the classroom in the hands-on working environment. 1800 hours of real-world work is the minimum in the program with many AMT graduates logging over 3000 hours of work experience during the five-semester program. The academic portion of the program typically aligns to the graphic summary below from Indiana FAME.

From the 10,000-foot level, the AMT program is a blend of a traditional 2-year community college program, a co-op program (students alternate school and work by semester) and an apprenticeship.  The FAME program completely blends the work and study portions by integrating the workplace experience and environment more tightly to the academic portion. FAME AMT does this several ways. First AMT has the students work part time while attending school. Second, they integrate the workplace environment and culture in the classroom (e.g., students attend class all day, 8-5). Third, employability skills are taught, emphasized and practiced in the classroom. This provides students with two environments that support their learning without conflicting professional behavior expectations.

Employer engagement works similarly to an apprenticeship where the students are recruited, interviewed, selected and hired by employers. Employers run the local chapter, determine the curriculum.  However, apprenticeships, the company can offer the related classroom experiences onsite or partner with a college to provide it, which can it more difficult for the apprentices to get an associate degree as well as finish the apprenticeship program.

The FAME program evolved within Toyota while developing programs to recruit, train, and retain their technical workforce in the US.  FAME emerged as a “solution” in Kentucky on the campus of the Kentucky Toyota facility where a branch facility of the KCTCS (Kentucky Community and Technical College System) was established to host the academic Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) 2-year technical degree program. It was envisioned by Dennis Dio Parker and others at the Kentucky Toyota facility to help fill their technician workforce needs. The program organized and expanded quickly through the automotive manufacturing sector as well as their suppliers and other interested local manufacturers. Today, there are 33 in 13 states that include 12 that are in active startup phase, anticipating their first AMT student cohort to start in 2020 or 2021. There are also 7 sites with strong emerging interest in starting the program. In the fall of 2019, the national program transitioned from Toyota to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) to be operated and overseen by their education and outreach are, the Manufacturing Institute.

FLATE is excited to share the the FAME program is coming to Florida!  Next month we will report on the new FL FAME Sunshine chapter. You can learn more about the FAME programs at www.fame-usa.com or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at barger@fl-ate.org.

NSF ATE PI Conference

The annual NSF ATE Principal Investigator’s Conference, organized by the American Association of Community College (AACC), was held in Washington DC in the Omni Shoreham Hotel.  The conference had two showcasing events during which all projects were required to share their work in a visual display. There are currently over twenty funded NSF ATE Projects in Florida and all were in attendance. The conference provides a great venue for learning collaborations among projects as well as opportunities for the NSF program officers who oversee the various projects to review progress directly with the PI’s and project personnel.

FLATE congratulates all the Florida projects (22) P.I.’s and their teams at 14 Florida Educational Institutions for stepping forward to meet their own local technician education challenges with innovated solutions. Florida Colleges showcasing and/or presenting include those in the list below.

In addition to the showcasing sessions, the conference had a variety of session types including demonstrations, synergy sessions, forums, and discussions.  There were also inspiring keynote speakers, student poster sessions and a special program of events for alumni and students of ATE programs. Typically, over 60 students from across the country attend the annual meeting (sponsored by both AACC and the ATE College program that they attend) and are recognized by the leaders of the National Science Foundation.

In addition to its popular annual showcase, this year FLATE organized a session on advanced manufacturing, process control and instrumentation. As industries become more automated, quality gets integrated into production, and artificial intelligence creeps into all manufacturing operations, discrete industry sectors are using more and more of the same technologies in their production processes.  Joined by experts from ATE projects at Central College (NE), South Arkansas Community College (AK), and Florida State College at Jacksonville (FL) and nearly 100 conference attendees, FLATE’s panel explored the new and emerging needs of the broad chemical processing industry technician workforce. You can find the slide from the panel posted on FLATE’s wiki.

FLATE also participated in its partner’s sessions including a synergy session for Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work which focused on how we can engage technician education regional forums around emerging skills; PathTech LISTEN’s discussion session which is tackling the issue of tracking students after graduation to learn more about what kinds of career positions they move into; and the early morning Round Tables for Integrating Necessary Skills into our education process and Needed Math to define the skills needed and how to make math a more integrated and holistic part of the technician education.

Overall, the NSF ATE Principal Investigator’s Conference showcases the edge of advanced technician education, inspires and energizes all attendees, and provides promising practices for the ongoing improvement of technician education supporting emerging industry needs across the United States.

For more information about the conference and posted presentations, please visit the AACC website. For more information about the NSF ATE projects in Florida, visit FLATE’s website.

Orange Technical College Awarded Grant for Mechatronics Program

Congratulations from the FLATE Team to Orange County Technical College Mechatronics Program!  Duke Energy and the OCPS Foundation recently awarded Steve Bowman, Instructor at Orange Technical College Mid Florida Campus a $5000 to help support after school programs in robotics.  Outside of the traditional program, Steve runs robotics teams for underprivileged, at-risk, and under-represented students who would not have this opportunity at their home school.  These students work with him, as well as other industry representatives, to build competitive robots based on their education and skill levels to compete at regional, state, and international competitions.  The money will be used to buy some of the materials needed for middle school and high school teams.  All students on these teams are allowed to participate no matter their socio-economic status and they rely on corporate donations like this to cover the cost of tools, materials, and travel to events.

Reposted from MACF Weekly Updates

Round-Up of Manufacturing Day Industry Tours in Pasco-Hernando Counties

Manufacturing Day/Month just concluded on a high note with hundreds of students and educators across Florida touring high-tech manufacturing production facilities to learn about STEM-related educational and career pathways in manufacturing. In Pasco-Hernando counties, Manufacturing Day has historically drawn significant participation. FLATE’s manufacturing day strategy for organizing industry tours for students, engaging educators, the school districts, manufacturers and the community at large has paid rewarding dividends. In that, over the years this strategy has enabled regional manufacturing day teams like the one in Pasco and Hernando counties to take lead in formulating their own manufacturing day strategy that is customized to build inroads between manufacturers, community organizations, school districts including educators and students. To that effect Pasco-Hernando counties has been successful in using FLATE’s initial model for industry tours for Manufacturing Day to create its own sustainable ecosystem.

Windell Krimm Technical High School touring GETS USA
Today Pasco-Hernando counties have taken the lead in reaching out to local manufacturers and school districts to organize industry tours for students across the two counties.  “Our goal is to enhance the awareness of job opportunities and the impact of manufacturing in our counties” said Kelly Castro, youth coordinator for Pasco-Hernando chapter of CareerSource who has spearheaded the Manufacturing Day initiative in Pasco-Hernando counties since 2016. This year was no different.  On October 4, students across the two counties participated in national Manufacturing Day tours and activities. Approximately 370 students and 24 educators from 13 schools (12 high schools and 1 college) toured 13 manufacturing facilities in Pasco County.
Participating schools in Pasco County included River Ridge High School, Cypress Creek High School, Wendell Krinn Technical High School, Pasco High School, Zephyrhills High School, Hudson High School, Sunlake High School and Land O’Lakes High School. Other schools included WC Auto, Marchman Technical College and Pasco Hernando State College. Manufacturers and local organizations that hosted a tour included Facts Engineering, GETS USA, Leggett & Platt, Metler Toledo, Monster Transmission, Nestle Waters, Old Caste, Pall Aeropower Corp, PharmaWorks, SeaWay Plastics, TRU Simulation and Training Inc., Welbilt and AMSkills.

Cypress Creek High School touring FACTS Engineering
In Hernando County approximately 236 students and 18 educators from 5 educational facilities ( 3 high schools and 2 educational centers) toured six manufacturing facilities. Participating schools and programs included Nature Coast Technical High School, PACE Center for Girls, Central High School, Hernando High School and HVAC. Participating manufacturers included Accuform, Alumni-Guard, Brooksville Airport, Cemex, Interpid and Monster Transmission. Manufacturers in both counties sponsored Manufacturing Day T-Shirts and lunches for all participating in the industry tours.
Regional planning for Manufacturing Day represented a collaborative effort between multiple agencies. This year Castro, who was joined by Wendy Villa from Pasco Hernando State College, served as the lead coordinators to devise an effective strategy for Manufacturing Day in Pasco Hernando counties.  “We want our students to learn about local careers, wages and what it takes to get into manufacturing. We also want our manufacturers to recognize and learn about the skilled talent that is being produced out of our local colleges as well as our high school career academies so that we can continue to pair our manufacturers with up and coming skilled workers” Castro said. Key regional partners included: Pasco Hernando District Career and Technical office, Pasco Hernando Chambers of Commerce, Nature Coast Manufacturers Association and local manufacturers.

Pasco-Hernando Proclamation
In addition to industry tours that served as a first-hand learning experience about high-tech production processes and careers, schools were also given a video created by Nature Coast Television. The video highlighted local heroes in manufacturing. Students were also directed to the Made in Florida Manufacturing Day website to access additional STEM-related resources about educational and career pathways in manufacturing.  Castro and Villa in partnership with the local manufacturing day teams also worked with local government officials to issue proclamations recognizing October 4th as the kick-off of a month-long celebration of manufacturing and manufacturers across the state. There was one proclamation in Pasco and two in Hernando County this year. One of them was issued in September at the Mayor’s office and the other at the end of September at the Chamber breakfast where the proclamation was presented by John Mitten, County Commissioner for District 1.

Indeed the Manufacturing Day initiative in Pasco-Hernando counties is poised for growth and success. According to Castro, the goal each year is to add one, or two additional manufacturing tour sites. This year the outreach was extended to include college students, home school groups and youth from the PACE program as well. Castro also hopes to increase donations to support the event and add 25 new students per county to public tours.  “We want to thank FLATE for its ongoing support. We look forward to planning and growing this event and making it bigger and better year after year” Castro said.

FLATE applauds the steps Castro and her team have taken to lead Manufacturing Day efforts in their regions and would like to thank all its partners for their participation, sponsorship and involvement in making Manufacturing Day a big success. We look forward to continuing this partnership and collaboration with each of our partners to position Florida as a national leader in the Manufacturing arena.

 For more information on FLATE’s statewide strategy for manufacturing day/month, visit www.madeinflorida.org/manufacturing-day and the FLATE Wiki. You can also contact Dr. Marilyn Barger, Executive Director of FLATE at barger@fl-ate.org, or at 813.259.6578

Things and the Internet

The FLATE Focus Future of Work Series has introduced overview connections of Future of Work issues in technology sector headings used by the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education program: advanced manufacturing technology, agricultural and bio-technologies, energy, environmental technology, information technology, micro & nano technologies, geospatial technology, and security technologies.  In the October 2019 blog, we began to think about specific examples of technologies in these specific ATE education sectors.  That practice continues.

When one asks what impact, new technologies will have on technician education the Internet of Things (IoT) is often the first or at least in the initial set of impactful technologies that must be addressed.  This is a broad classification to be sure and the IoT impact on society has already become apparent.  However, what is or will be its influence on technician education?

Bypassing, this month at least, the IoT’s connection to the information technology technician, an immediate connection of IoT and the Future of Work is the access to new sensors that operate using extremely high frequencies.  Not long ago, with specific exceptions such as applications in some 24-GHz industrial fluid-level sensors, the Gigahertz frequency range was not practical because of challenges with sensor required components, materials, layout, and production tolerances.
 Today this is not the case.  Companies such as Texas Instruments are providing sensors that target robotics and automation applications within the 60 GHz (5 mm wavelength) range.  This higher frequency range also means a new generation of frequency analyzers to verify sensor performance as well as the conformation of output response to an edge computing environment or (for consumer applications) the cloud itself.  These new analyzers are certainly not your grandfather’s oscilloscopes nor will current low frequency analyzers satisfy the technician’s IoT related sensor manufacture, installation, connection, and troubleshooting needs.
The continued increase access to more gigahertz sensors and their application in all the ATE related technologies leads to future technician preparation questions.  Are the classic skills taught in RF electronics courses or in standalone modules in other programs for technicians going to be adequate for the technician working in advanced manufacturing or micro & nanotechnologies?   Do new applications that require technicians to be involved in sensors and measurements that integrate significant analog and digital signal-processing capabilities represent the edge of their skill set or just “business as usual”?   If it isn’t going to be “business as usual”, what advanced skills should the new multiple frequency technician have, how are they to be taught, and are faculty prepared to teach them?
As characteristic and to be honest the fun part of this blog series, it is time to shift gears.  Returning to our operating premise:  "The work to do starts with you."  Your views of both present and future skills related to EHF, Extremely High Frequency, technology in your field is EI, Extremely Important!  A nationwide strategy for technician education needs national input.  Industries in various regions of the country will have different EHF skill use expectations for their technicians.  The goal is to identify the core skills that are the foundation for all EHF applications including, of course, IoT.  NSF-ATE is listening and can put its resources into action in response to what it hears so now is the time to speak up.  Think about the skills needed and the optimal time (place) to learn them. Contact us.  Send us your thoughts gilbert@usf.edu.

PathTech LISTEN Early Findings from ATE Impact Blog

Researchers conducting PathTech LISTEN (NSF #1801163) interviews have found that most of those who completed technician education programs are “extremely pleased” with the education they received and have found their training to be “100%” relevant to their jobs.

The PathTech LISTEN project is a mixed-methods, longitudinal investigation of post-college experiences of alumni from AS/AAS degree, certificate, and license programs. It grew out of PathTech LIFE: A National Survey of LIFE (Learning, Interests, Family, and Employment) Experiences Influencing Pathways into Advanced Technologies (#1501999). Will Tyson, associate professor of sociology at the University of South Florida, is the principal investigator (PI) of both of these Advanced Technological Education (ATE) targeted research projects. The Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE) is a PathTech partner.

More “early findings” from PathTech LISTEN will be shared at the 2020 ATE Principal Investigators Conference. The theme of this year’s conference is Innovation and Impact: ATE for the Future. The significant role that ATE projects and centers play in creating and implementing successful career pathways will be the focus of most sessions. For more information visit the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC)'s ATE PI Conference pages.

During a phone interview for the ATE Impacts Blog, Tyson and Lakshmi Jayaram, co-principal investigator of the PathTech projects, pointed out that these early results based on 94 interviews conducted between June 1 and September 30, 2019, are just the first phase of the LISTEN longitudinal study that aims to follow the careers of 100 to 120 students.

The alumni who participated in the 40-to-60-minute phone interviews for the LISTEN project will be interviewed again in 2020 and then be asked to complete a survey in 2021.

“We’re going to use this experience of interviewing everyone not only to more deeply understand everyone’s experience but also to help us identify the important questions to ask and put in a survey that we can continue in a longitudinal way,” Jayaram said. Such a longitudinal study would provide information about technicians akin to that gathered for the Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study.

“We think it is an important group to follow because this is the direction our workforce is expanding in, and these are the good jobs of the future. So really understanding how people get into to these jobs, and stay in these fields and grow in these fields and grow the workforce is really a relevant topic,” she said.

The LISTEN interviewees were selected by the researchers from among the 3,216 students at 96 two-year colleges who participated in the PathTech LIFE survey in 2017 and 2018. All of the survey participants were enrolled at the time of the survey in engineering technology, advanced manufacturing, micro- and nanotechnology, or energy and environmental technology programs.

Fifty-five of the 96 colleges were ATE grantees and had 2,118 students participate in the LIFE survey. Twenty-four of the colleges were ATE partners and 626 of their students provided survey responses. Seventeen colleges where 472 students participated in the survey were not affiliated with the ATE program. Students were each paid $25 for taking the 15-minute survey. Colleges with 75% response rate received $250.  The 40 colleges with a 50% or higher response rate received reports about their college’s data in addition to the final, national report that Tyson and his colleagues are in the process of finalizing this fall.

The two reasons that the 3,216 PathTech LIFE survey participants cited most often for enrolling in advanced technology programs were to increase opportunities for a better life and to expand their knowledge.

52% had children in their households.
58% had never enrolled in college before.
55% were “extremely committed” to their field of study.

Insights for Learning from Graduates

Tyson said that he was happily surprised that 74% of the LIFE survey respondents provided non-college email addresses and indicated that they would be willing to participate in a follow-up study, which became the LISTEN project.

A report on best practices for learning about program outcomes from students is another deliverable that the researchers are working on with Marilyn Barger, a co-PI of the research projects and principal investigator of FLATE.

Tyson said that he thinks including the college name in the subject line of the email invitation sent to the individuals selected for the LISTEN project facilitated its high response rate. To learn more about the experiences of populations that have been underrepresented in STEM fields the researchers explained that they “oversampled” from the LIFE survey participant pool for people in the groups of interest including women, racial and ethnic minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

“It’s a complex, busy, busy life,” Tyson said, referring to alumni and the challenges educators often encounter when trying to obtain post-program feedback. He hopes the discussion at the ATE PI conference will be an opportunity for PIs to share what they have found to be effective practices for learning about their former students’ careers.


Education, engineering, technology


ATE Impacts
The ATE Impacts blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. You are free to share, copy, distribute, transmit, and adapt this work, provided you attribute it to the Internet Scout Research Group. If you alter this work, you may distribute your altered version only under a similar license.

Dr. Marilyn Barger Receives Certificate of Achievement in Recognition of 20 Years of Dedicated Service to Manufacturing Education!

Dr. Marilyn Barger, principal investigator and executive director of FLATE, the National Science Foundation Center of Excellence in manufacturing, supporting high-tech manufacturing and manufacturing-related careers and technical education in Florida, received top honor certificate of achievement in recognition of 20 Years of dedicated service to Hillsborough Community College (HCC) and to Manufacturing Education in Florida. Dr. Barger received the recognition on October 10th in a ceremony held at HCC, Brandon Campus.
Dr. Barger has been at the helm of many successes. Under her leadership, FLATE was awarded the ePIE Business/Education Partnership Award, Education Chancellor and FACC Workforce Award for innovative education programs, and three Best Practice Awards for the Engineering Technology Degree program, sTEm-at-Work puzzles, and the Toothpick Factory. She has served as the Chair of the NSF ATE Centers, HI-TECH Committee, and awarded the 2010 HI-TECH Innovative Program Award.
CONGRATULATIONS and Thank you to Dr. Marilyn Barger for your 20+ yrs of dedication and constant mentoring to all the STEM-manufacturing education community. FLATE has been and will be the center of EXCELLENCE in Florida and a model to follow in the Nation thanks to your passion and devotion.

43rd Forum on Engineering Technology—A Platform to Discuss Diverse Topics and Issues

The 43rd Florida Forum on Engineering Technology was hosted for the second time by Seminole State College (SSC), Lee Campus at Oviedo, FL in October 17-18, 2019.
Over 65 faculty and program administers from 13 Florida State and community colleges, 2 universities, 5 other technical educational programs, the Department of Education, industry partners as well as representatives from all the major suppliers of technology educational training equipment attended the forum.

The Florida Engineering Technology Leadership Council and the Engineering Technology (ET) Forum was established in April 1997 at Seminole Community College (now Seminole State College).  Since 1996 the ET Forum has been hosted in 23 Colleges around Florida.
The ET Forum provides a viable means for industry and educators across the state to meet biannually at different college locations to discuss common interests and issues surrounding the education of tomorrow’s advanced manufacturing workforce. Representatives from over half of Florida’s colleges regularly attend.

The Forum began on Thursday with the welcoming introductions from Dr. Cecilia Larsson, the SSC’s program manager and professor of the Engineering Technology programs, and Lenny Portelli, Dean of the Engineering and Computer Technology program. Thursday also included lunch with a distinguished industrial-workforce panel which included Kavyn Choe, Quality Management and STEM Ambassador for Siemens Energy; Matt LaLuzerne, Vice President of Greenman-Pedersen; Hank Okraski, a board member for the National Center for Simulation; Melissa Boutwell, President of Automation and Strategic Performance; and Isabel Nieto, Workforce Development Consultant at Duke Energy. Topics discussed with the industrial-workforce panel included the rising of new technologies and their impacts within the manufacturing industry, how the industry handles cultural differences between the new and old generation of workers, the new acronym STEAM and how art can be found within manufacturing, and what students can do to successfully market themselves to the industry. Majority of panelist agreed that a, “4.0 GPA isn’t going to cut it anymore. There is a need for people who have work ethic, passion, and extracurricular activities; people with soft skills; people who stand out and take initiative.”

Thursday and Friday’s sessions also included opportunities for collaboration with a vendors’ roundtable, updates about the ET Associates of Science Degree, specializations and frameworks by the FLDOE, colleges’ issues and updates, Tour to SSC-ET labs, PathTech LIFE and LISTEN updates. Some of the interesting college issues discussed during the forum included proctoring software as a pilot project, professional development opportunities and college’s specialties, Space Coast apprenticeship program.

In-depth information on presentations, workshops and sessions can be accessed on FLATE’s wiki.

Results from the evaluation surveys rated the 2019 fall ET forum’s overall professional development value at 4.7 on a 5.0 scale.  Of the returned surveys 100% stated they would use the information presented at the workshop(s) and would recommend them to others.

“The ET Forum is a great collaboration where you have successfully bound together Florida State and Community colleges to drive progressive thinking and to share new ideas and innovations.”

The spring 2020 Forum has been tentatively scheduled for April 2 - 3 at Eastern Florida College (Campus location will be announced soon).

Special thanks to the Seminole State College for hosting the Forum and for the generous support of the vendors.

For more information on the statewide Engineering Technology Forum visit http://fl-ate.org/programs/e-t-forum or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger, Executive Director of FLATE at barger@fl-ate.org, or at 813.259.6578.

2019 National Career Pathways Network Annual Conference a Success in Orlando, Florida

Every year FLATE supports the National Career Pathways Network (NCPN) to coordinate its fall annual conference. This national conference is held in a major U.S. city and this year Florida had the opportunity to host this great event. The 2019 NCPN conference was be held at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld, October 11–13. Participants from all over United States had the opportunity to choose from 80+ breakouts, a full day of preconference workshops, keynote speakers, networking opportunities, and an exhibit hall showcasing the latest products and services in career and technical education. This year’s theme focused on strengthening America’s future through career pathways and our nation's commitment to helping students and adults achieve success in careers and life by taking control of their futures.

The 2019 Annual Conference sponsors included the National Science Foundation (NSF), Advanced Technology Education-ATE Centers and Industrial Macromolecular Crystallography Association Collaborative Access Team (MCA-CAT).

Preconference sessions, held on October 11, included 9+ workshops and tours to choose from. FLATE coordinated the tour to Regal Marine Industries, Inc. during this tour participants were able to experience a manufacturing journey from “concept to reality” and learned how Regal boats are made.

During the weekend sessions, there were multiple NSF ATE presentations, some of the featured FLATE’s sessions included:

Florida’s Manufacturing Ecosystems Expands to Include MFG Education. This presentation shared strategies and impacts of a growing number of partnership projects and activities involving (Florida Advanced Technological Education Center of Excellence, an NSF ATE funded center) and FloridaMakes, a NIST MEP (Manufacturing Extension Partnership).

Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work. Together with CORD, and Luka Partners, FLATE discussed advances in technology that are changing industries at an unprecedented pace, transforming not only tasks and occupations but entire fields. During the session attendees were engaged in a dialogue about how the NSF ATE community can prepare technicians for the evolving realities of the future of work.

Necessary Skills Now (NSN). NSN Coordination Network is an NSF ATE project with CORD. During this presentation attendees were engaged in a dialogue about how the NSN can grow its emerging community of practice around employability skills for technicians. Packed with expertise, experience, and enthusiasm, the NSN-Network is a one-stop shop that gives educators and employers access to resources and tools for the classroom. Funded by NSF ATE, the NSN-Network is dedicated to ensuring that the rising STEM technician workforce is truly "ready for work" in the 21st century.

The National Career Pathways Network (NCPN) is a membership organization dedicated to the advancement of Career Pathways, career technical education (CTE), and workforce development initiatives. NCPN’s membership encompasses secondary and postsecondary education, adult education, workforce development, economic development, workforce investment boards, correctional education, community-based organizations, and employers.

Founded in 1991 (originally as the National Tech Prep Network), NCPN assists its members in planning, implementing, evaluating, and improving Career Pathways programs across the country. Through conferences, workshops, and publications, NCPN facilitates the exchange of promising practices and innovations.

A division of CORD, the Center for Occupational Research and Development, NCPN connects people and resources, provides leadership and professional development, and helps its members discover solutions through partnering at local, state and national levels.

For Florida, the Florida Career Pathways Network (FCPN) is the membership organization for Florida educators, employer, and workforce development partners involved in the advancement of Career Pathways, Career & Technical Education, and other related education reform initiatives. FCPN partnered with NCPN for this year’s event.

FCPN assists its members in the planning, implementing, evaluating, and improving of secondary, post-secondary, and adult transition programs by pooling the resources of the state's leading practitioners to provide a network of communication and resources for new and existing programs.

For more information on ATE Community, please visit atecenters.org. For more information on NCPN and FCPN visit ncpn.info and flcpn.org or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger, Executive Director of FLATE, at barger@fl-ate.org.


NCPN 2020 Annual Conference- October 15-17 at Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Atlanta
FCPN will be back in January 2021-stay tuned!