FLATE Moving Forward

In 2002, a small team from St. Pete College, Hillsborough Community College and the University of South Florida conjured up an idea to propose an NSF ATE Regional Center of Excellence for improving manufacturing education within 7 counties, the center being the Tampa Bay area. It would be called the “Greater Tampa Bay Regional Center for Manufacturing Education”, GTBRCM. The National Science Foundation awarded HCC, SPC, and USF $50,000 over 2 years as a planning grant to develop GTBRCM.

The expectation was that a solid and fundable proposal for the regional center be submitted in the fall of 2004. A small educator and manufacturer planning team was created and met regularly at Ven-Tel Plastics (now National Molding Medical Division) in Largo, Florida; hosted 2 big events at the 2 community colleges and surveyed regional manufacturers. By the end of the first year, it became clear to the team that the project should be expanded to encompass the whole state, so the GTBRCM concept transitioned into FL-ATE, and ultimately FLATE.

In 2004, the proposed project was submitted as a partnership effort from the three institutions with HCC serving as the accountable agent.  The grant was awarded, $2,000,000, and  the Florida Advanced Technological Education Center, FL-ATE (yes, in the early days, we carried a hyphen in FLATE) was open for “business”. A special thanks to Steve Meitzen and many thanks to that core team of believers that included Ed Venner, Drew Hoff, Bill Miller, Bob Carnahan, Eric Roe, Ken McMannaway, Brad Jenkins, Richard Gilbert, and the whole board of the Bay Area Manufacturers’ Association (BAMA).  Over the last 18 years, there are thousands of others to say thanks to today as we sunset our National Science Foundation Center and move our operations under FloridaMakes’s umbrella with additional support from the Florida Department of Education.

There is not enough print space or reader’s time to name and thank everyone who has contributed to and supported our successes as an NSF ATE Center. But I heartfully thank each and every one of you. This extended FLATE family includes people who intersect in all sorts of ways and places within the manufacturing ecosystem in Florida and across the nation. It includes educators, administrators, manufacturers, workforce and economic development professionals, local, state, and government officials, professional organization directors and membership, students, policy makers, and the many talented and dedicated staff that worked directly for FLATE over the years. We could not have had a better experience.

During our time as an NSF Center of Excellence, we have built a strong community of practice around manufacturing education in Florida and a large network of manufacturing educators across the
country. Most importantly, we recognize and thank the leadership in NSF’s Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program for their support, belief, and ideas in our early (and somewhat immature) visions and dreams. Their insight contributed to FLATE being recognized in a number of local, regional, and national venues for excellence in manufacturing curriculum, outreach, and recruitment strategies, first-class educational resources and rigorous and relevant professional development.

In 2015, we initiated interactions with FloridaMakes on different project and activities. Along the way, we developed relationships to learn what both organizations do and how it’s done. From the very beginning, our joint vision has been to sustain FLATE’s work within FloridaMakes. As we now officially “make the move” to FloridaMakes, integrate our work with theirs, we plan to grow and strengthen Florida’s manufacturing ecosystem to increase its impact and relevance in our community.

What should you expect now? Actually, the transition will be a somewhat non-intrusive experience that is almost transparent for you. My e-mail and office phone number will change; contacts with the Florida Engineering Technology Forum will not. Current FLATE projects will continue with gusto and new ideas will be welcomed and explored with vigor! The FLATE Team knows, understands, and appreciates that all of you are FLATE. Thanks!  For us, the idea is to keep the operational changes transparent to you. However, we may have to skip next month’s FLATE Focus ( “see” you in August). Bye for now.

Future Technician Preparation: Tomorrow; Tomorrow

The effort to attenuate the impact on technician education because of "future of work" issues will continue despite temporary impediments. The octopus tentacle nature of COVID-19 to alter our behavior as it expresses itself around the world is an example of a serious but, hopefully, a temporary impediment.  However, a much less dramatic  and very short interruption in our Future of Work Series commentaries is also going to occur now. Our National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education Center of Excellence in Florida on manufacturing education is sun setting.  FLATE has been funded by NSF for the last 15 years and it is now time to execute its succession plan.

NSF-ATE expectations for its Centers of Excellence includes the successful execution of the Center's stated mission and a specified executable sustainability plan.  An NSF supported center can normally expect two funding awards that permits, after a progress view, 10 years of operation.   Although FLATE's mission was important enough to warrant extended NSF complete support, there was an enhanced expectation for its continuation after agency funding.  FLATE departs its NSF Center status with both mission and sustainability success.

 As FLATE's NSF goals where accomplished it became evident that in Florida there was a developing infrastructure gap between the technical workforce needed to support manufacturing and the state's capacity to generate that workforce. The federally legislated Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program is executed at the national level through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as a public-partnership program dedicated to supporting small and medium-sized manufactures. FloridaMakes houses the MEP center that operates at the state level in Florida. It uses NIST-MEP resources to work directly with manufacturers and their workforce to improve production processes, upgrade technological capabilities, and facilitate product innovation.  However, the individual state MEP Centers do not have resources to support their state's career and technical education (CTE) system. Similarly, NSF-ATE provides resources to support technician education systems, but its primary mission excludes direct support for manufacturing.

After recognizing the strengths and identifying the resource restrictions of the federal MEP and ATE programs, FLATE's sustainability plan was crafted. FLATE will transition from an NSF Center to an organizational element of FloridaMakes. Operation resources would be developed through NIST-MEP in partnership with the Florida Department of Education and executed through FloridaMakes.  At the national and state levels, the goal of these respective funding partners is a model that: demonstrates effective and efficient application of resources that support the creation and development of the technical workforce for small and medium manufacturers; and facilitates individual state college NSF engineering technology education related grant project submissions that target and complement those manufacturers' technician workforce needs.

The plan's objective is to optimally combine: Florida's CTE capabilities with FloridaMakes' in-facility interactions with Florida's manufacturers: FLATE's ATE expertise, statewide college and industry connections, direct interactions with Florida Department of Education's CTE division; the Florida ET Forum's A.S. program interactions; and the Florida State Colleges technical degree program interactions with their partners within the state's manufacturing community.   This sustainability plan has been successfully executed and FLATE, after its NSF sunset, will become part of FloridaMakes with direct interactions with and involvement of the Florida Department of Education CTE division.
In summary, the biggest interruption for this Future of Work Series: No departing questions for you!  However, your questions, concerns, and interest are always important to us!!  Let us know what you think (gilbert@usf.edu).

FLATE 16 Years of Success Focused on Florida’s Manufacturing & Advanced Technological Education

Since the award from the National Science Foundation for the Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE) in 2004, FLATE has focused its energy on providing services and leadership for our stakeholders to build capacity and excellence in manufacturing education across Florida in 2-year public institutions. FLATE’s broad success has had impacts locally, nationally, and internationally on all sectors of manufacturing. This article includes a summary of FLATE’s impact and service during its sixteen-year tenure. We’ve categorized these outputs under each of FLATE’s core goal areas of sustainability, curriculum development, outreach, and professional development.

Curriculum Reform and Development 

Strong, rigorous, and relevant curriculum is foundational to the Engineering Technology (ET) Associate Degree (AS) program. FLATE has focused on many aspects of curriculum including authentic lessons for secondary students that embeds technical content of the ET AS degree program, Florida Curriculum Framework reviews for secondary and post-secondary levels, alignments to industry credentials, and articulations into the ET AS degree and out to bachelor level programs. FLATE has developed more than 47 industry-sourced, integrated STEM middle and high school lesson plans.

In 2016, FLATE began engaging with mechatronics faculty from around the country in a grassroots online community, the Mechatronics Community Exchange (MCE), to help better understand this emerging field and the subtleties of industry needs around it.

ET AS Degree Program - Grant activities capitalize on the FLATE built statewide-manufacturing education system with a convergent curriculum that optimizes technician preparation in manufacturing and its enabling technologies. This nationally recognized model includes: a single statewide ET AS degree program; completely articulated program structured on a set of core technical courses; alignment with stackable industry credentials endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and offered by the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC); and, for current Certified Performance Technologist (CPT) credential holders, degree completion with 45 credit hours rather than 60.

FLATE in collaboration with the Florida Department of Education’s Career and Technical Education team, Florida colleges, and Florida industries defined the new AS Degree program in ET currently with now 31 curriculum frameworks with 11 specialization tracks and 20 technical college certificates. The ET degree was rolled out in 2007 with three colleges adopting the program. Today, 24 out of the 28 Florida community and state colleges offer one or more specializations or certificates under the ET AS Degree; enrollment data from FDOE, indicates favorable long-term growth from 9 in 2007-08 to 2,027 in 2018-19.  This strong and continued enrollment growth also indicates the degree’s popularity with employers statewide and its stable, college orchestrated, student outreach and recruitment platforms.

Outreach Initiatives

FLATE has effective outreach platforms for Florida’s industry, secondary and post-secondary educational facilities. Online dissemination channels include fl-ate.org, MadeinFlorida.org, flate.pbworks.com, and a monthly FLATE Focus online newsletter. The FLATE Focus Newsletter provides an important avenue to disseminate not only FLATE’s work but that of other manufacturing, STEM and technical education supporting organizations. The FLATE Focus Newsletter is an online blog with a significant expansion into social media over the past sixteen years. Since 2009, these online resources have provided over 234,000 visitors with free access to: information, news, events, educational resources, interactive lessons, outreach and recruitment tools, and Best Practice Guides that support teachers, industry, and the manufacturing education community.

FLATE’s Made in Florida (MIF) industry tours has proven to be a very impactful outreach strategy to endorse a positive image of manufacturing, promote STEM education to a wide student demographic, and educate students, teachers, and counselors about pathways for STEM careers. Since the inception of national Manufacturing (MFG) Day and Month in 2013, a cornerstone of FLATE’s statewide outreach for MFG Day and Month has been its defining effort to promote broad, statewide participation, and to survey student tour participants. Over 47,095 Florida students and educators have been impacted by 1,432 MIF industry tour outreach campaign events. Tour attendees included 1,916 teachers, 1,080 parents and chaperons in events from 50 Florida counties.

Since 2005, FLATE processed surveys from more than 11,553 students who participated in MIF industry tours. Of the surveys received, there was an average of 47% increase in students’ consideration of careers in advanced manufacturing after the tour. Approximately 97% of surveyed students stated they would recommend other students have the opportunity to participate in a MIF industry tour. Nearly 95% educators and parents stated they found the tour helpful in understanding Florida high-tech jobs and career opportunities. These impressive numbers confirm the impact MIF Industry Tours have on students, educators and parents in creating a positive image of manufacturing and its multiple successful career pathways.

FLATE annually hosts and promotes summer camps as an additional supportive, sustainable, and effective mechanism to recruit and motivate students interested in STEM education. Since 2005, FLATE has collaborated with schools and sponsors to offer 1,712 high school and middle school students camps focused on robotics, mechatronics, alternative energy, and manufacturing related career pathways. By opening the doors to institutions and training faculty to deliver STEM-focused learning activities, STEM based camps have assisted in transferring similar lessons to classrooms which helps to sustain FLATE’s efforts in building interest in manufacturing education and careers.

The FLATE Awards recognizes the contributions of educators and industries in advancing technician education and training on a regional and statewide level. The FLATE Awards, presented in conjunction with the Florida Association for Industrial and Trade Education (FAITE), have grown in prestige for educators and manufacturers, and helps promote not only the dedicated people involved in manufacturing education, but the industry sector itself. FLATE has recognized 28 outstanding manufacturing educators and 14 industry champions in an annual awards program. Financially, the awards have always been underwritten by industry sponsors taking ownership of the awards.  FLATE’s awards program have been hosted over the years by the Manufacturing Association of Florida (MAF),  Florida Association of Career and Technical Education (FACTE) and FloridaMakes.

FLATE has published eleven best practices guides for educational curriculum, outreach and professional development. These guides are developed to share methods, techniques and resources that have consistently shown excellent results and outcomes. Best Practices booklets are available online in flip book format, PDF format and are available at http://fl-ate.org/best-practices.

Professional Development 

FLATE's professional development opportunities are offered throughout the year with fun and relevant technical material to keep educators current with technology and pedagogy. FLATE worked with FloridaMakes, MSSC, FACTE, FCPN, and others to define, provide, and support technical training and professional development (PD) to industries and educators. Since 2004, FLATE has provided more than 54,700 hours of PD to over 42,000 educators (K-14) and 15,000 workforce personnel in multi-day workshops, presentations, and online webinars at hundreds of events in Florida and elsewhere.

The ET Forum, coordinated by FLATE, is the premiere Florida State College system faculty two-day bi-annual PD event. The FLATE model for curricula topic forum provides a viable means for industry and educators across the state to meet and  discuss common interests and issues surrounding the education of tomorrow’s advanced manufacturing workforce. The ET Forum includes an ET Forum State College Faculty Leadership team, forum funding by the host college and vendor attendees which grants the forum's sustainability.  Even with the significant disruption of education due to COVID-19, 80 participants representing 19 colleges actively participated in the forum. This model has been replicated at other statewide level programs.

FLATE’s ET and MSSC Summer Workshops, are popular and includes multiple day workshops for Florida educators. FLATE’s workshops include annual advanced manufacturing summer training programs on a variety of topics including 3D printing, alternative energy, robotics, STEM Problem based learning, MSSC CPT and many more. 

FLATE’s success would not have been possible without the support of its partners: statewide industry partners, the Florida Department of Education, the state’s Regional Manufacturers Associations, FloridaMakes (Florida’s MEP), professional organizations, Florida’s community and college networks, school districts, local and state governments, vendors, students, workforce and economic development organizations as well as individual champions of manufacturing. FLATE's effective partnership strategies have been the key to the success of the FLATE center. We thank everyone, including the National Science Foundation, who has worked with us to build a strong community around manufacturing education in Florida.

For more information about FLATE impacts visit http://fl-ate.org/about-us/impact/or email Dr. Marilyn Barger at barger@fl-ate.org.

Sustainability Superheroes in Manufacturing

In partnership with the USF College of Education Gus A. Stavros Center for Free Enterprise and Economic Education and support from the Coca-Cola Foundation, FLATE coordinated a panel discussion about sustainability in manufacturing for nearly 40 secondary educators from across the central-west coast of Florida in May 2019.  Click here to learn more about that Sustainable Manufacturing workshop. The four industry panelists were later interviewed to capture what they and their companies were doing. Those interviews, are being posted on the Sustainability Superheroes Blog site with design thinking lesson plans based on the interviews. The interview with Peter Cirak from Seal Dynamics is now available the Sustainability Superheroes blog. The interview is divided into 3 segments as Peter responds to the panel questions in this very different setting. His story is also provided in the blog post with a short quiz that educators can use to focus on the facts about how Seal Dynamics approaches sustainability in the work they do. The blog post includes a short video about design thinking for students that integrates sustainability into its process. Stay tuned for for the next 3 interviews with Patti Gander, Executive Director of the Manufacturing and Supply Chain Association in Polk County; Jerrika Rice from The Mosaic Company; and Suzanne Alvarez, C & D Printing and Packaging.

For more information about FLATE and Made in Florida STEM Lesson plans visit http://flate.pbworks.com or email Dr. Marilyn Barger at barger@fl-ate.org.

Virtual Manufacturing Day and Month

With the rise of virtual reality and people taking a more web based approach to solve current problems, many companies have taken the initiative to explore new possibilities that come with virtual technology. For the manufacturing industry, one of the new opportunities that virtual reality brings is 360 degree virtual tours! This new type of virtual tour can further enhance Manufacturing Day and Month for those that are unable to attend tours in-person, especially since schools may have taken a hard financial hit due to COVID-19. In general, virtual tours allows manufacturers to bring their facilities to schools to showcase their products, positions within their factory, manufacturing processes, and assist with breaking the myths of manufacturing in order to inspire the next generation of skilled workers. Although virtual tours could never replace in-person tours, this is definitely a step towards making Manufacturing Day and Month tours accessible for everyone! View some of FLATE’s top choices of currently available virtual tours below!

ARCONIC virtual tours has a series of videos that showcases some of their facilities. The virtual
tours introduces some of the people that work for ARCONIC and covers what processes ARCONIC uses to manufacture their products. The website also includes an “Educator’s Guide” for the virtual tours. The guide includes activities for the students and includes a list of myths and facts about working in the manufacturing industry.

Some of the most iconic videos featuring manufacturing are the “How it is Made” videos. Jelly Belly, has their own “How it is Made” video on YouTube that reveals the secret to making the perfect jelly beans. Students can take a glimpse of some of the amazing machines used to make the jelly beans and see workers in action.

SONNY’s The Car Wash Factory located in Tamarac, Florida has several 360 degree virtual reality tour videos that can work with your phone! This video has a personal tour guide that talks about their facility and offers insight into what it takes to run a factory and to be in manufacturing. The videos are categorized by the type of manufacturing processes SONNY’s uses to make their products and they also offer tours on their products and through one of their car washes.

Some of the tours mentioned in this article can be seen using a virtual reality headset. These headsets can be made at home using common, recyclable materials such as cardboard and plastic bottles! If you would like to make one, click this link to see instructions on how to make Google’s virtual reality headset. Google has also provided a best practices and guidelines for their virtual reality headset which can be found here.

There are several other virtual tour videos for Florida manufacturing facilities out there on the internet. Take some time to explore your options and see if any of them can further expand your student’s knowledge on manufacturing! In addition, it’s time to start planning for 2020 Manufacturing Day and Month! With just 5 months to go, perhaps we can see more manufacturers develop their own virtual tour videos. With virtual and augmented reality slowly growing, perhaps one day we can even have a real-time guided virtual reality Manufacturing Day and Month tour in the not too far away future!

Looking for more videos on manufacturing? Check out FLATE’s “Made in Florida” and “Women in Manufacturing” videos! Both are available for free as a DVD upon request and have accompanying lesson plans. These videos are available online and the curriculum is available as free downloads at FLATE’s PB Wiki. If you have video footage that could be used for virtual lessons for Manufacturing Day and Month, or have questions pertaining to this article, please contact Dr. Marilyn Barger (barger@fl-ate.org).


 “US Virtual Field Trips.” Manufacture Your Future, www.manufactureyourfuture.com/VirtualFieldTrip/US.

Virtual Reality - Factory Tour | Sonny's The CarWash Factory, www.sonnysdirect.com/car_wash_videos_virtual_reality.

Santillan, Rodolfo. “How to Make a Virtual Reality Headset: Custom.” Maker Pro, Maker Pro, 19 May 2020, maker.pro/custom/projects/diy-virtual-reality-headset.

“Manufacture Cardboard.” Google, Google, arvr.google.com/cardboard/manufacturers/.

“How Jelly Beans Are Made.” YouTube, uploaded by Community Balance, 2 Jan 2015, https://youtu.be/NNsH2dRM0Bk.

New Advanced Manufacturing Competency Model

The Advanced Manufacturing Competency Model now reflects the knowledge and skills needed by today’s manufacturing workforce. For the first time, the rapidly growing electronics/semiconductor manufacturing industry is represented in this model. ETA worked with SEMI, the industry association representing the end-to-end electronics design and manufacturing supply chain, and other industry partners to refresh this competency model which was last updated in 2010. The updated model represents a unification of competencies across a wider range of industries related to Advanced Manufacturing and identifies the skill sets required to strengthen connections among the Advanced Manufacturing, National Council of Advanced Manufacturing, and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers also participated in the update.
Competency models are great tools that can help educators across the country engage their industry partners in conversations about what skills they need their new technician graduates need to have to be successful in the workplace.

Access the newly updated Advanced Manufacturing Competency Model on the Competency Model Clearinghouse.


Students' Perspectives on the Award-Winning A.S. Degree in Engineering Technology

Over the past few months FLATE has published a couple of articles spotlighting students who have graduated from the consortium of colleges across Florida offering the two-year A.S. degree in Engineering Technology (A.S.E.T). The main objective behind this effort was to stay connected to students who had graduated from the program and keep track of their educational and career pathways. It also served as a metric to gauge how the A.S.E.T degree, the program and the curriculum framework have equipped students with the skills needed to succeed at the workplace and in the long run helped carve their careers and achieve bigger goals.

This month as a fresh crop of students are getting prepared to graduate from the program, we bend the trajectory, ever so slightly, in gauging the perspectives of current students about the A.S.E.T program, the courses and curriculum and how the program is preparing them for the workplace. Steven Hier, Arthur Kucharski, Brenda Marquez Facio, Cassin Murdock and Joseph Hinchman are students currently pursuing an A.S.E.T degree and/or taking an ET degree-related course at the State College of Florida (SCF). Most of these students stumbled upon the ET program while looking online for a college that suited them, caught their interest and/or they were referred to take an ET-related course by a professor. “Our world is relying more and more on technology and it is fascinating learning how things really work” said Joseph Hinchman who is looking to graduate with a degree in technology management in 2022. No matter their journey, a common allure for most of them was their interest in technology, in building a tangible product that has real-world applications, programming and/or their basic interest in learning how things work. Steven Hier says his interest in the A.S.E.T degree/STEM-related subjects lay in his interest to be part of something bigger and/or be part of the creative process to innovative a revolutionary product. Brenda Facio’s interest in the ET degree was sparked by her interest in manufacturing which she says is the culmination of all production processes that brings ideas and products to life.

In looking at the degree and the curriculum framework, the two-year A.S.E.T degree is designed to address the growing needs of manufacturers and high technology industries. “My favorite class is the Intro to Electronics class” said Cassin Murdock. He says it is the most hands-on class that not only gives him tangible knowledge but is directly tied to his career aspirations. Steven Hier’s favorite class is SolidWorks as it gives him the ability to expand on his knowledge base to create 3D objects and put his skills to test. Joseph Hinchman’s favorite part of the program is learning how to program robots. For example, he says it has been interesting diving into learning new programming language and performing exercises on the virtual machine during the Security Engineering class.

The award winning  A.S.E.T degree, that was developed by FLATE—the Florida-based National Science Foundation Center of Excellence, is currently offered in 24 community and state colleges across Florida is a cohesive, comprehensive program that focuses on a set of core classes and skills that align with the national Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) certified production technician certification. Arthur Kucaharski feels optimistic about the things he is learning as part of his program/degree as he feels it can be applied across various industries and careers from IT to marketing. Given the attributes of the degree, earning an A.S.E.T degree “will be useful in finding a tech-oriented job as it has better prepared me for a career in tech” said Joseph Hinchman, who is looking to graduate in 2022.

For a full list of state and community colleges offer the A.S.E.T degree visit the Made in Florida page, or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at barger@fl-ate.org. You can also connect with the consortium of engineering technology graduates across Florida on LinkedIn.

ET Students Share their Spring Semester Experiences with Remote Learning

During the recent “virtual” Spring Meeting of the Florida Forum on Engineering Technology, participants expressed concern about technician students’ experience in moving to remote instruction this semester due to COVID-19. Based on early reports from community college partners, the transition has been challenging, and some programs indicated students are even considering withdrawing from their programs. As one faculty member explained: “They have given up. [Students] feel they can’t do this online without support.” There was interest in discussing this topic further at the next ET Forum due to both the uncertainty related to the return of in-person instruction and the perceived need to improve student comfort and confidence in online learning. To help inform that discussion, the Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE) and the Inquiry Research Group LLC teamed up to create a small pilot survey to collect some initial feedback from Florida technician students about their online experience this past semester.

To date, 30 students have taken the survey, and the majority are enrolled in advanced manufacturing and engineering technology programs, some full-time and others part-time, and with some seeking degrees and others enrolled for certificates. The students who completed the survey are similar to other students at two-year colleges in being quite diverse by way of age, partner status, having a family, race-ethnicity, employment status, and educational background. About one-third of students who responded are women. Some students also reported learning disabilities and chronic illness.

Almost all students report using a Learning Management System for remote learning and have a variety of devices to use for their studies, as well as reliable internet connectivity at home. (Students who do not have easy access to a device or internet or if it’s the internet access is not reliable would probably not respond to online surveys). Some of the biggest changes noted by students is that they message their instructors more, read and write emails from/to the class more, but actually talk with everyone much less. In terms of applied learning, students report a significant decline in demonstrations, hands-on lab activities, and group projects. Though some programs have gotten involved in volunteer efforts to create PPE/medical equipment, students in this survey report a decline in service learning opportunities. About half of students report feeling worried about making progress toward their degree, although about two-thirds did feel that they would be able to complete the semester. While students felt having access to course materials all the time worked well for them, they also felt the greatest challenge was not being able to learn in a hands-on way. In order to overcome obstacles in online learning, students report relying heavily on instructors.

College faculty and staff should consider these responses as they plan for fall 2020 online or hybrid classes. They can also carefully poll their own students to identify concerning issues to better meet their students many and varied needs. Delivery methods must meet the needs of the students and faculty.  Student learning outcomes must also meet the needs of employers. Educators at the Fall 2020 Forum on Engineering Technology will be sharing promising strategies for the many aspects of remote education.  Details will be coming soon. Plan to join us

For more information, please contact Dr. Marilyn Barger (barger@fl-ate.org) or Dr. Lakshmi Jayaram (lakshmi@inquiryresearchgroup.com).

2020 FLATE Award Winners

The spotlight is back on the 2020 FLATE Awardees. This year FLATE and FloridaMakes are working together to coordinate the 2020 FLATE Awards and recognition program.  FLATE Awards initiative was launched in 2007 and is part of FLATE, the Florida Advanced Technological Education Center’s strategy to recognize industry professionals and educators who have for a number of years invested in training the next generation of high-skilled workers. This year’s awardees are Todd Thuma, Alan Zube, and Shannon Guzman.

Todd Thuma, Manufacturing Secondary Educator-of-the-Year, is currently the instructional technology teacher at Mulberry High School in Mulberry, FL, boasts of storied educational and professional credentials in predominantly STEM-related fields. He holds a master’s degree in marine science from the University of South Carolina, and a second master’s degree in education and instruction technology from the University of Georgia. Most recently, as part of the National Science Foundation grant to design low cost PLC trainers, Thuma completed a three-year-long intensive training program on PLC’s at Florida State College at Jacksonville.
Thuma’s diverse professional experiences have not only added to his professional toolkit, but enriched what he’s brought to the classroom. Thuma believes any child can learn. The key, he says, is
finding something they enjoy and finding a connection to what they are learning. “The opportunities that await students in these careers provide them with a means of having the kind of life that elevates them from where they come”.  He believes, education coupled with training and development of more efficient practices and tools for manufacturing is what will procure a productive worker. Given his innate interest in STEM and manufacturing, Thuma has his hands in several pots. In 2017, Thuma started an electric car race team competing in Electrathon of America through the Electrathon of Tampa League, and earned the award for Team Sponsor of the Year. Under his tutelage, the team has brought home many trophies over the years and remains undefeated in the current season. In 2017, Thuma wrote a grant that provided $5,000 for the purchase of Amatrol Applied Electronics Control 90-EC1A mechatronics trainer, and in 2016 he successfully secured a $3000 grant to purchase 3D printers for students at Mulberry High School.
Developing critical thinking and higher-order skills are also of prime importance as increased skills come from better educated workers. “Gone are the jobs where a worker spot welded sheet metal, on the contrary, skilled technicians program and maintain robots performing these tasks,” says Thuma. He advocates for educators to prepare students for the rigors of trouble shooting and analyzing the work, rather than just teaching them how to push buttons to operate machinery.

Alan Zube, the 2020 Post-Secondary Educator-of-the-Year, professor of Advanced Manufacturing and CAD at Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ). At FSCJ, Zube teaches survey electronics, hydraulics and pneumatics, and robotics. In the past, he has also taught Mechanics, Manufacturing Processes, Motors and Controls, Introduction to Engineering Design, AutoCAD, Advanced AutoCAD, and Intro to Geographic Information Systems.
Zube is a strong proponent of manufacturing education and points to manufacturing as an important component of an economy. He points to manufacturing as the bedrock of innovation, invention and learning process development, and advocates a need for students to expand their understanding about the exciting opportunities in manufacturing. He is among a growing number of educators who bemoan the loss of application of knowledge and process development in the K-12 education system. “Gone are the days of woodworking, metal working, sewing, cooking and other application-based classes that provided relevance for students and allowed them to see the value of their studies in science, math and humanities” laments Zube.
These trends, he notes, has made manufacturing education more important than ever. “Robust manufacturing education that attracts students of all gender, race and socioeconomic backgrounds is more critical now than ever.” Part of the need for manufacturing education, he says, stems from the need to economically support the framework of the manufacturing industry as it exists, and more importantly train for what manufacturing will look like by 2030. He highlights the economic benefits of manufacturing as one of the largest multiplies of the economy and points out the benefits of manufacturing education in imbibing important real-life skills like problem-solving and teamwork that transfer across professional boundaries.
Zube’s professional portfolio unravels a number of achievements and engagements in STEM-related projects. Since 2019 he has served as the Principal Investigator for an NSF Grant that is focused on Industry 4.0 technician training in advanced manufacturing, was the Co-PI of the CollaborATE NSF grant, and the PI for the NSF ATE Instrumentation and Control Technician program. He serves on multiple advisory board of members that include the Orange Park High School Engineering Academy, Johnson & Johnson Advanced Manufacturing Dual Enrollment program at Englewood High School, Lee High School’s Project Lead the Way program and the Nassau County Machining and Manufacturing advisory board. He previously worked at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College in West Virginia (WV) where he kick-started the mechatronics program and played a leading role in securing over $2 million in WV advanced program grants. Other positions include teaching at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College in Martinsburg, WV, where he helped build and establish the Mechatronics program, and served as the program coordinator for four years. Zube also served as an adjunct instructor at Hagerstown Community. He is trained in Industry 4.0 and in 2019 certified over 100 students in SnapOn Multimeter and Festo Hydraulic and Pneumatics.

On the industry side of the continuum, Shannon Guzman is the recipient of the 2020 FLATE
Distinguished Manufacturing Partner Service Award. Guzman has been the regional Human Resources Leader for Chromalloy Tampa Castings since August 2016. Guzman has over 16 years of experience as a HR professional. She has served at the Department of Defense Education in the Netherlands, was the Division Talent Acquisition Manager for Everest University Online, and provided HR leadership for manufacturing companies such as Ingersoll Rand and Western Forge in Colorado Springs. Guzman holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resource Management from the University of Maryland University College- European Division, and an MBA with an emphasis in HR Management from Colorado Technical University.
In her role as the regional HR leader for Chromalloy Castings, Guzman has worked with FLATE, Hillsborough Community College, CareerSource Tampa Bay and the Manufacturing Alliance to build strategic partnerships in education, talent development and manufacturing market insights. The partnership with FLATE/HCC has culminated into the launching of a successful internship program to provide students with hands on learning, and a tangible career path customized to their skills, ambition and aptitude.
Guzman’s views on manufacturing and manufacturing education is through the lens of a human resources and talent development and acquisition professional. Guzman points to “employees” as a company’s most important asset. Manufacturing, she says, is all about producing high quality products that meet customers’ standards of excellence in a global marketplace. To that effect, Guzman believes the man, or the woman behind the machine and the product is what sets a company apart. Therefore, recruiting and training skilled workforce is essential to driving the bottom line.
In manufacturing, she notes, there is a growing demand for production operators to not only contribute to assembling a particular part, but to understand the role they play in achieving the fulfillment of the big picture, by applying advanced manufacturing concepts, especially by process improvement through lean techniques, troubleshooting their equipment, analyzing data and maintaining machine and work area safety.  In that regard Guzman says “manufacturing education provides the critical foundation of safety, quality, business acumen and fundamental equipment knowledge.” The rationale being candidates who possess these attributes not only save the company time and money, but have the capabilities to add immediate value to their production process, their team, and the business overall. This is in turn correlates to achieving successful KPIs that ultimately drives quality deliverables and team satisfaction. Recognizing manufacturing education’s link to quality, safety and customer focus will continue to drive enhanced global customer and U.S. company confidence and trust that we can provide the workforce for the growth in this sector, and the jobs and careers of the future for generations to come.

2020 marks the 13th year of recognizing educators as well as industry and community partners who support the advanced manufacturing industry in Florida. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, there will be no award ceremony this year. However, awardees will still receive their recognition pieces and congratulatory letters from the governor of Florida. For more information visit http://fl-ate.org/programs/flate-awards, or email Dr. Marilyn Barger at barger@fl-ate.org. 

44th Forum on Engineering Technology Goes Virtual

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact our way of life and work with “stay at home” orders, education at all levels has turned to remote and online learning. The sudden change has forced an incredibly active innovation “studio” in the homes of every faculty and instructor across the country, but particularly for those who teach CTE technical programs.  With the semester winding down and grades due soon, it will be interesting to see what ideas are “carried forward” to the fall semester of 2020.  The Florida Forum on Engineering Technology (ET) has been a place where Engineering Technology educators and stakeholders can share their curriculum, labs, ideas, special projects, resources, structural issues and new pedagogy in a collaborative environment. FLATE found
it important to continue providing this outlet to the community and, by corresponding with the “stat at home” orders, has offered the event on a remote meeting platform. Two 2-hour virtual sessions were offered in lieu of the traditional 1 ½ day event hosted at a Florida State or Community College. We thank FloridaMakes for hosting these two important sessions.

Virtual E.T. forum sessions could be the beginning of a shift for more accessible ways to:

Continue strengthening and growing the ET community
Share issues, activities and projects
Provide professional development
Bring industry and education together
Engage faculty and administrators in statewide curriculum reform

The ET Forum has convened forty-four times since 1996 at over 23 different Florida colleges with the average attendance at recent Forums being 60 participants (80% college educators, 20% educational technology vendors and Industry partners). Currently more than half of Florida’s 28 public community and state colleges regularly attend these meetings. This strong attendance and broad representation makes the Forum events a nexus, not only for raising awareness, but also for mobilizing discussions into actions. In addition, the ET Forum provides an opportunity for documenting our program successes and status. FLATE regularly collects information on ET programs and students, new partnerships and collaborations, and college program updates. The data collected by FLATE is shared with ET Forum members who are interested in recruiting new students and/or capturing how ET students have used their degree to augment professional aspirations.

The 2020 spring ET Forum virtual sessions I and II, held on April 17 and 24 from 9:00-11:00 am, represent a milestone in the history of the Forum with a record attendance of 88 representatives from 19 state and community colleges, four Universities, the Department of Education, FloridaMakes, local industry and technical education sales representatives around Florida. These virtual sessions have proven to be an important vehicle in bringing together the diverse and geographically dispersed colleges’ representatives. Overall the number of participants represents an impressive 46% increase in attendance. 

Virtual sessions of the spring 2020 ET Forum began with discussions on the “Future of FLATE 2.0” presented by Henry Mack, FLDOE Chancellor Division of Career and Adult Education. Henry provided an overview of the CTE audit, future of workforce education and educator resources (including FACTE and FLATE resources). Kevin Carr, CEO of FloridaMakes, discussed FloridaMakes’ goals and objectives along with their next steps to formalize the relationship with FLDOE, and develop a three-year operating plan with FLATE. During the presentation, FloridaMakes announced the FLDOE approval of its statewide Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship registered program. The program will provide a hybrid-training model that addresses entry-level skills gaps and provides foundational manufacturing knowledge regardless of the specific occupation.

The ET Forum Session continued with the FLDOE updates presented by Robert (Bob) Blevins, FLDOE State Supervisor for Manufacturing. The presentation included updates on the ET AS Degree program, frameworks reviews, Perkins, and CAPE. New ET frameworks for the 2020-21 school year are the Supply Chain Automation specialization, and Medical Device Design and Manufacturing CCC (28 credits) which is under 0615040108 Biomedical Equipment Technician A.S. degree.
The major suppliers for technical educational training equipment had the opportunity to share their latest online curriculum updates and educational resources available for virtual classrooms. In addition, the suppliers also reported on some of the requests they have heard from teachers around the country that are struggling to continue courses during the stay at home order.
At the conclusion of ET Forum Session I, the roundtable for college updates began and participants had a major focus on requesting strategies for online labs and assessments. Participants also confirmed that all programs have transitioned classes to an online platform, but courses that require face-to-face or equipment interaction have either been postponed (until late summer), conducted with take-home kits, or are being held on campus in very small groups at a time with a single instructor or lab supervisor.

Project updates

FSU & Chipola College AM Pathways Project

The Florida State University (FSU) and Chipola College Advanced Manufacturing (AM) Pathways Project is a three year NSF Advanced Technical Education full-scale research and development project, in collaboration and advice from FLATE, that is designed to study and document the school-to-career pathways enabled by the Advanced Manufacturing programs at Chipola and collaborating colleges in rural Northwest (NW) Florida. Other partners include Pensacola State College, Gulf Coast State College, Tallahassee Community College, Northwest Florida State College, and the Northwest Florida Manufacturing Consortium. The goals of the project are to 1) investigate the role AM program pathways have in meeting the needs of employers and new professionals who are employed in the region; 2) expand the research base and curriculum content recommendations for entrepreneur and entrepreneur education; 3) build regional capacity for AM program assessment and improvement by replicating, refining, and disseminating study approaches through research and engagement with the AM employer and education community. Margie Lee, ET faculty at Chipola College, summarized that what employers want are technician training programs that develop knowledge and skills that lie in the cognitive domain’s synthesis and evaluation learning levels combined with psychomotor domain’s adaptation and origination learning levels from Bloom’s Taxonomy. These levels include cognitive (knowledge-based): knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation; affective (emotion-based): receiving, responding, valuing, organizing, characterizing; psychomotor (action-based): perception, set, guided response, mechanism, complex overt response, adaptation. Results show that non-traditional students struggled initially with analysis and synthesis learning objectives, but “got the hang of it” and never moved beyond significant instructor collaboration at these learning levels. Margie concluded her presentation stating, “Failure to provide explicit and intentional instruction in affective domain learning is what’s wrong with all education today”. For more information about the project, contact Margie Lee at leem@chipola.edu.

ET and AS Engineering Frameworks Project

The ET and AS engineering frameworks project is led by Dr. Ron Eaglin, Chair of the School of Engineering Technology at Daytona State College, who commented that flexible framework allows students to articulate to Engineering or ET program; allows implementation that can ensure pre-requisites for Engineering programs are met; and supplies basic skills necessary for functioning in ET Environment. In addition, Ron will be making revisions of some standards based on national priorities of ET which include the Professional Engineering (PE) licensure of ET graduates; emphasis on ABET accreditation at BS level; and courses allowing students to pass FE exams. This program will be submitted to the FLDOE in 2020 and will ultimately provide a better pathway to 4-year Engineering degrees from Community Colleges not just in Florida but across the country.  For more information about this topic, contact Dr. Ron Eaglin at eaglinr@daytonastate.edu.

FAME AM Project

Dante Leon, Associate Vice President of Advanced Technology at Daytona State College (DSC), is coordinating the FAME Advanced Manufacturing Program at DSC. Dante reported that The Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) is a nationally recognized program based on Toyota’s Advanced Manufacturing Technician program. The earn-while-you-learn model provides students the pathway to earn an industry-recognized degree while gaining valuable experience at a sponsoring company. Currently students enrolled in an AS technical program are interviewed and sponsored by a local company, they work three days per week and attend class two days per week, progress as a cohort over 5 terms, and should meet academic and attendance expectations. For more information about this project, contact Dante Leon at Dante.Leon@daytonastate.edu.

PathTech LIFE and LISTEN Research Project

Dr. Lakshmi Jayaran, Co-PI and research associate at the Sociology Department at the University of South Florida, reported on the analysis of student characteristics and experiences in technician education programs. PathTech LIFE seeks to understand how learning, interests, family, and employment (LIFE) experiences of two-year college students’ impact their decisions to enroll, return for further coursework, and/or pursue a certificate or degree. Data shows that technician students are a diverse group (N=3216; 96 Colleges). Sample includes about 20% women, 30% racial-ethnic minorities, 10% reporting disabilities, and age range of 18 to 65+. Technician students are also “non-traditional” in higher education settings due to their life experiences, with the majority simultaneously juggling school, work, and family.

PathTech LISTEN is a longitudinal study that samples students from the PathTech LIFE study who completed their programs to gather data on transition to workforce. Students were in ET, AM, micro- and nanotechnology, and energy and environmental technology programs. Wave 1 included 96 in-depth interviews in 2019. Wave 2 data collection, during spring and fall 2020, includes COVID-19 interviews and data analysis. Post COVID-19 interviews will be scheduled for spring 2021. For more information on this research project, contact Lakshmi Jayaran at ljayaram@usf.edu.

ET Forum Virtual Sessions Impact

The 49 attendees that returned post ET Forum virtual sessions I and II surveys rated their overall professional development value at 4.5 on a 5.0 scale. The interaction with NSF proved to be the highlight of the pre-ET Forum workshop as reflected by combined participant satisfaction score of 4.5 out of 5.0. Of the returned surveys, 100% stated they have learned something new during the presentations, they would use the information presented during the sessions and would recommend them to others. “Attending the ET Forum provided a good way to network with others for further discussions,” shared an attendee. 94% of responses would like to have future virtual sessions.

Some comments from participants:

“I enjoyed the presentation to see the potential growth of ET in the state of Florida and more specifically in the Tampa Bay area. I am excited to take the tips and suggestions to grow my program to the size and depth of my fellow ET programs around the state”

“I really liked the sharing of online techniques and the fact the vendors all have helped during this crisis”

“Sense of community, support and sharing was great.”

FLATE utilizes the Forum to strengthen its Technology Consortium; share its activities and projects; provide professional development; bring industry and academics together; engage faculty and administrators in statewide curriculum reform; and keep in touch with new and ongoing college program issues and concerns.

School districts and colleges should continue working directly with their local county health departments to establish protocols to control the spread of COVID-19 and educate the public on prevention. The USDOE launched a COVID-19 (Coronavirus) information and resources web page for schools and school personnel at https://www.ed.gov/coronavirus.

Special thanks to our ET educational and training vendors for their prompt support during this challenging time providing valuable resources and technical support to our colleges.
Presentation, handouts, and a list with all the free online resources from our technology educational training equipment partners are available at the Google Drive Folder-Engineering Technology Shared Folder.

Recordings of the spring 2020 Engineering Technology Forum Sessions are now available on YouTube.

ET Forum Session I: https://youtu.be/B-h9zq8P9zU
ET Forum Session II: https://youtu.be/ouAmJudeiJg

For more information on the Forum and/or AS ET degree visit http://fl-ate.org/projects/et-forum.html or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger (barger@fl-ate.org) and Brad Jenkins (jenkinsbm79@gmail.com)

Communities Rise Against COVID-19 through Volunteerism

During these turbulent times, the strength of the community and volunteerism has increased tremendously. Businesses, manufacturers, organizations, and educational facilities are standing together to assist in the fight against COVID-19 by volunteering their time and resources in creating items that are desperately needed by businesses, hospitals, healthcare facilities, and by first responders. The stories below only represent a small portion of volunteerism that has been occurring since the spread of the pandemic. However, these stories reveal the leadership and benevolence found behind the scenes of companies, organizations, and people. We thank all of those that are helping to combat the spread of COVID-19 and hope that everyone stays healthy.

Image by Monin, Inc.
Flavor manufacturer, MONIN’s very essence is built on developing flavors for culinary practice and thus reflects the need to serve by delivering syrups to their customers whether they are a child trying to build a foundation for a cupcake stand or an individual trying to craft a drink for fun. However, many have underestimated the great lengths that MONIN would go through to serve the community when news spread that the company ventured out of the flavor industry to develop their very own hand sanitizer to help meet the community’s needs. So far 3,200 bottles with 80% alcohol have already been made with another 5,000 in production! Hundreds of cases of hand sanitizer have already been donated to first responders, and to the hospitality and service industries. Check out MONIN’s twitter feed for a news press release and a quick interview with Jonathan Jones, Chief Supply Chain Officer.

Image by GE Healthcare
Another local manufacturer, Southern Manufacturing Technologies (SMT) faces high demand on valve housings which are used to produce ventilators for COVID-19 patients! So far SMT has received an order of 30,000 valve housings and has produced approximately 4,000 pieces each month beginning in March. However, plans have been made by SMT to double their production in May by investing $70,000 to upgrade their machines in order to meet the high demand. These valve housings are cubed shaped and exactly 2 ¼ inches wide. The picture provided shows the inside of a ventilator, and inside the white plastic containers is where SMT’s valve housing can be found.

To ensure the safety of their employees, SMT has rented a separate building, scheduled consistent cleaning and sanitizing requests for their buildings, and has staggered shifts for their workers to ensure everyone can practice physical distance in a clean environment while working. You can read more about this on Hillsborough County’s Website.

AMRoC Fab Lab and the Foundation for Community Driven Innovation (FCDI) in collaboration with MRG 3D’s main facility are coordinating local remote personnel and organizations to 3D print MRG 3D Halo Face Shields for hospitals, health care facilities, first responders, and more! MRG 3D is able to produce between 450 to 600 prints a day using 14 printers and approximately 200 additional prints were donated by local volunteers. In the latest update, AMRoC and FCDI reported over 13,000 face shields have been donated and five new volunteers have recently joined bringing the total to 25 partners running approximately 50 3D printers. However, demand still exceeds production with requests reaching an average of 6,000 per week. In addition, with the constant use of the 3D machines, maintenance costs are beginning to stack. To confront this issue, MRG 3D and AMRoC are currently accepting donations! If you wish to assist in this cause, visit MRG 3D’s Facebook group and AMRoC’s website.

Left image provided by HCC and right image provided by www.fb.me/MRG3D

Among those contributing to the Face Shield project in the Tampa Bay area is Hillsborough Community College (HCC). Located at the Brandon Campus, is the Engineering Technology (ET) Department whose role is to develop the future high skilled workforce through their ET A.S. Degree Program. Their lab area contains three 3D printers that have been repurposed to printing the PRUSA designed 3D headbands for the Halo Face Shields. HCC’s Engineering Technology Department instructors, Shirley Dobbins and Ron Smith, and lab assistant, Neil O’Malley, are dedicated to serving the community and continue to work hard in printing the headbands. Currently, shields have been donated to Advent Health, children’s hospitals, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, Tampa Fire Rescue, and more.

Image by SME
However, community-driven projects are not only limited to Florida. Demand for swabs has exceeded 10 million and current manufacturers cannot meet the demand. After a plea from a local Florida hospital, USF Health, Formlabs, and Northwell Health formed a partnership that has crossed state lines in order to produce a solution; 3D printed swabs. After several clinical trials with various 3D designs, Formlabs repurposed its Ohio facility to printing the winning swab’s design and they are able to produce 100,000 swabs a day. Formlabs continues to watch the needs of the healthcare system and plans to create adaptors that can convert CPAP and BiPAP machines to ventilators, and splitters that allow ventilators to serve two or more patients. Read the full SME article by clicking here.

We know that many educational facilities, organizations, businesses, and community groups are helping to support our medical teams and first responders.  If you are working on anything that supports these efforts and want to share, please let us know. For questions or concerns about this article contact barger@fl-ate.org

Happy Mother's Day

FLATE wishes you a happy mother's day and would like to thank all the women who work hard to create a brighter tomorrow. 

FIRST Virtual Showcase Awards Deshjuana Bagley Volunteer of the Year Award

The FIRST Virtual Showcase has recognized Deshjuana Bagley from the FIRST LEGO League program as Volunteer of the Year!

Desh has worked with FIRST for 14 years and has volunteered in multiple positions. It all began in 2006 when a Girls Scout group formed a FIRST LEGO League team and asked Desh if they could use her company, TechPlayZone, for meetings. Desh decided to register a team after being inspired by the Girl Scout's hard work and convinced by other kids, including her son, who became interested in FIRST LEGO League. Since then, Desh has continued her volunteerism and this season she has gained roles as an emcee, event manager, and volunteer coordinator. You can read Desh's full story by visiting this link or learn more about the FIRST Virtual Showcase by visiting their website.

Tracking Graduation and Employment of Florida Engineering Technology AS Program students - Gender Comparison

As we mentioned in the FETPIP article in our 2020 April’s edition of the FLATE FOCUS, the goal of the Florida Education & Training Placement Information Programs (FETPIP) data collection and consumer reporting system is to provide follow-up data on former students and program participants who have graduated, exited, or completed a public education or training program within the State of Florida. The follow-up studies are conducted annually by matching records of the student graduates, completers, or exiters from the numerous public and independent organizations with information resources available to FETPIP. Follow-up on a quarterly basis is also done for some groups.

Data from the 2017-18 FETPIP AS degree completers by gender shows that:

Out of the total 161 total number of individuals reported for follow-up to FETPIP, 139 (86%) were males and only 22 (13%) were female.

Of these individuals 107 (77%) of male respondents and 15 (68%) of the females were found to be employed. Total number of individuals found with positive placement (employment related to training including individuals continuing education) were 86 (79%) for males and 14 (88%).

Average Annualized earnings were reported to be $48,572 for men and $41,524 for female. This correspond to a 15% difference in salary between male and female respondents.

When comparing with other competitive related technologies like Aerospace and Electronics Engineering Technologies, Engineering Technology is well positioned. Industrial management technology shows significant higher Average Annual Earnings.

Regarding individuals found employed in an industry related to training, data shows that 60 (56%) were male and fewer than 10 females. It is interesting to note that 49 (35%) of males and fewer than 10 females were found enrolled in a post-secondary institution.

Based on the 2017-18 ET AS Degree Completers report, males continued dominating positions related to ET AS programs with an impressive 86% for men and 13% for females. As shown in figures 1 and 2, despite all the efforts promoting females in technology careers, males continued dominating positions related to ET AS programs. Females are still underrepresented in numbers and salaries.

Overall average annual earnings during the past seven years, shows that ET and related manufacturing careers continue growing strong in Florida strengthening the skills of technicians, whose work is vitally important to the nation’s prosperity and security.

For more information about the Florida Education & training Placement Information Program (FETPIP) visit FDOE-FETPIP. For More information about Florida’s Engineering Technology AS Degree contact visit fl-ate.org or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger, FLATE Executive Director, at barger@fl-ate.org.