42nd ET Forum at Suncoast Technical College - Sarasota

The 42nd state-wide Forum on Engineering Technology (ET Forum) held on March 28th and 29th was hosted by the Suncoast Technical College – Sarasota Main Campus. This was the first visit to Suncoast Technical College which provides quality technical education to meet workforce to address the issues concerning our field of technical education development and community needs with their programs in automation and manufacturing. This spring forum has been one of the most attended since 1996 with 70 participants from 17 FL State and community colleges, three technical colleges and three state universities. The Forum provided ET and related discipline area faculty administrators and educators direct interaction with industry professionals and Florida Dept. of Education program supervisors. 
The Florida Engineering Technology Leadership Council and the Engineering Technology 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 membership includes the department heads and the leaders of the technology programs in the State of Florida. The Forum is a viable means for industry and educators across the state to meet regularly to discuss issues of the educating of tomorrow’s advanced manufacturing workforce. The Forum is building capacity in faculty across the state and securing a community of practice around manufacturing and technology education in Florida.
 This year theme of this Forum was innovations using technology and best practices related to technology education, AS to BSET articulation, industry collaborations, grant initiatives, professional development, issues forum, and included some of new projects and updates. Thursday sessions included topics such as technical trends and vendors’ round table, Florida department of education updates, PathTech LIFE updates with its new PathTech LISTEN grant, college updates, industrial and workforce roundtable, Suncoast technical college technical tour, articulations AS/BSET and new articulations. In addition, great topics were presented such as IPC-connecting electronics industries - educating/training the next generation, smart automation certification alliance (SACA), and National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3). 
On Friday morning, the forum continued with more college issues, with discussions on how lab fees and what can and cannot be included. Other topics included - advanced technology updates, FLATE updates, and smart factory and eLearning. The meeting summary with more details, will be posted on FLATE’s wiki
 PathTech LISTEN, is a newly awarded national interview study of Engineering Technology graduates by the University of South Florida-Department of Sociology. Currently the group is finalizing the interview questions and protocols. This survey study will focus on both educational and career pathways. For more information contact Dr. Will Tyson (wtyson@usf.edu).
 ET Forum Survey results
A total of 30 attendees responded to the survey the following: an impressive 100% of attendees who responded to the survey said that they are planning to use the information presented at this workshop and they will use the information they have gained with a colleague or peers and that they will recommend the forum to other colleagues, 89% of respondents agreed that the forum was an excellent overall professional development value. 

Special Thank you to the 2019 spring ET Forum sponsors for their generous support!
Bluegrass Educational Technologies, Hyatt Consulting Group, D. C. Jaeger Corporation, Learning Labs, Southern Educational Systems, Technical Training Aids, Suncoast Technical College
Presentations and material for the ET forum are available online at Made in Florida 2019 Spring ET Forum at SCSCFor more information, please contact Marilyn Barger (mbarger@flate.org).

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