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, or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at

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