Florida Council for Workforce Education (CWE)

Academic administrators from the Florida State and Community Colleges meet three times per year to share strategies and learn about updates from the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE).  They also work together to review and make recommendations to both the Florida College presidents and the FLDOE.  The Council of Presidents (COP) recognizes the several continuing subordinate councils as well as directs and monitors their work and the work of any subcommittees and ad hoc working groups. Typically, each college has one voting representative for each council. Additional college representatives can attend the meetings and participate in the working groups.

There are 4 recognized subordinate councils (to the COP) that are related to college academics and college students:

the Council for Instructional Affairs (CIA)
the Council for Student Affairs (CSA)
the Council for Learning Resources (CLR)
the Council for Workforce Education (CWE).

Each of these councils make independent recommendations for issues with respect to their specific focus. The Council of Workforce Education, for example, is, and always has been deeply engaged in the implementation of Perkins Laws as well as the Florida Career and Professional Education (CAPE) Act. Student success depends on student completions and smooth articulations to higher education and/or transitions to the workplace.

CWE currently has working groups to help identify solutions that will be amenable for all system colleges in several areas including how limited access programs are treated and coded, Perkins eligibility issues, A.S. to B.S articulations (local and statewide), developing a CTE Curriculum Framework for Science and Engineering, and appropriate General Education requirements for various A.S. degrees.  Most of this current work supports the upcoming Perkins V implementation plan for the state and the newly implemented statewide CTE Audit mandated by Governor DeSantis.

In 2019, Governor DeSantis ordered a statewide audit of all CTE programs focused on market demand and institutional performance that includes the following:

An analysis of alignment with certificate or degree programs offered at the K-12 and post-secondary levels;
An analysis of alignment with professional level industry certifications;
An analysis of alignment with high-growth, high-demand and high wage employment opportunities; and
A review of student outcomes such as academic achievement, college readiness, post-secondary enrollment, credential attainment and attainment of industry certifications.

The next phase of the Florida CTE Audit will involve local reviews at the institutional level with assessments in the same categories. CWE will be an important liaison between the colleges. A lot is happening in CTE around the country and in Florida. Florida’s Council for Workforce Education is playing an important role to keep implementation of these new federal and state requirements fair and equitable to all institutions and supportive of student success.

For more information about the Florida CTE Audit, visit the FLDOE Career Pathways website; and, for more information on Florida’s Perkins V Implementation, visit this site.  You can learn more about CWE on its shared website with the three other subordinate councils, www.fcscouncils.org.

Congratulations to the Distinguished Nominees and Recipients of the 2020 FLATE Awards!

FLATE, FAITE and FloridaMakes are pleased to announce the distinguished nominees and final recipients of the 2020 FLATE Awards! This is FLATE’s thirteenth year of the awards program, and is one of FLATE’s many efforts to highlight and recognize educators and industry partners’ leaders for their outstanding contributions to promote and support technology education and manufacturing careers awareness in Florida.

FLATE distinguished manufacturing award winners are selected from nominations submitted from all across the state. Nominees are judged by an Awards Committee made up of industry representative(s), FAITE board member(s), past awardee(s), and member(s) of the FloridaMakes Workforce Leadership Committee. FLATE and the judging committee congratulates all the distinguished nominees of the 2020 FLATE Awards for their hard work and commitment to technology education at the local, state, and/or national level.

The 2020 FLATE Distinguished Manufacturing Award Recipients are:

2020 FLATE Distinguished Manufacturing Secondary Educator-of-the-Year Award: Todd Sterling Thuma with Mulberry High School, Mulberry, FL.

2020 FLATE Distinguished Manufacturing Post-Secondary Educator-of-the-Year Award: Alan Phillip Zube with Florida State College at Jacksonville, FL.

2020 FLATE Distinguished Manufacturing Partner Service Award: Shannon Danielle Guzman with Chromalloy Castings, Land O Lakes, FL.

Award winners will be honored and receive their awards during the awards breakfast at The MakeMore Manufacturing Summit on May 29 in Orlando, FL.

In addition, award winners will participate in the Best Practice Award Winners Panel at FACTE’s Annual Conference & Trade Show on July in July 21 in Orlando; Fl. This event will be hosted by the Florida Association for Industrial and Technical Educators-FAITE.

Special Acknowledge to the Awards Committee for their time and commitment and to our sponsors for helping to promote and support technology education and manufacturing careers awareness in Florida.

Remember to Mark your Calendars!
MakeMore Manufacturing Summit - May 28 -29, JW Marriot in Orlando 4040 Central Florida Pkwy, Orlando, Florida.

The MakeMore Manufacturing Summit is a leadership-focused meeting designed around connecting ecosystem stakeholders with the needs and realities of industry leaders from the manufacturing sector. It intends to serve as an annual platform to exchange ideas around how our state resources are addressing the impact of market dynamics, economic trends and policies, and new technologies in this sector. Join in-depth discussions as we build a road-map to strengthen and advance Florida’s economy through innovation, talent development, and leveraging our resources to accelerate the productivity and technological performance of its manufacturing sector.

For more information about MakeMore Manufacturing Summit click here or email to info@floridamakes.com.

54th FACTE Annual Conference and Trade Show - July 20-22, Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld, 6677 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida.

The 54th FACTE Annual Conference and Trade Show will host approximately 500 participants who represent all areas of career and technical education.  The Conference provides three days of intensive and informative general sessions, workshops, focus sessions, open forums and business meetings.  The Trade Show presents an opportunity for all attendees to see first-hand and hands-on the latest materials, information, equipment, and services that will help fulfill and enhance their professional responsibilities. Registration for our 54th Annual FACTE Conference and Trade Show is now open! Click Here to register for this event.

The Florida Association for Industrial and Technical Educators-FAITE is a non-profit professional organization which works collectively toward the advancement and enhancement of technical and industrial education throughout Florida. Membership in FAITE is open to all Industrial & Technical educators.

For more information about the 2020 FACTE Annual conference and FAITE visit http://www.facte.org and FAITE.us.

For more information about the FLATE Awards, please visit fl-ate.org/flate-awards, or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at barger@fl-ate.org.

Future Technician Preparation: Apprenticeships in the Education System

Reinforcing and extending last month’s theme, two-year community college programs that focus on technician preparation have three forcing functions that dictate their course of action: the education system structure; the teaching approach; and the faculty professional development platform. Although technical advancements triggered by new technology creates Future of Work impact on technician education, the education of technicians also affects the complexity of Future of Work issues. New and/or extended skills with the accompanying expanded knowledge required to interact with advanced technology in the workspace will not be effectively infused into the technician workforce if the education system structure maintains a “business as usual” operational mindset. The European Union recognized this issue in the late 1990’s and came to grips with its complications through the Bologna Process (February FLATE Focus). The United States is tackling the issues but in spirts and splashes with some success related to teaching approach and faculty professional development. However, a national adjustment of the technician education system to address skills and knowledge-based Future of Work issues is still off stage waiting in the wings. 

A fundamental pillar of the technician education system is the time duration students invest in that education. For the EU this time issue was not as challenging. Their existing education structure already included the expectation that graduates would possess required technical skills and their education structures impose contiguous student enrolment in school to meet that expectation. By contrast, the U.S. education system with its 19th century “serve the agricultural sector” roots always accepted various versions of the “time to leave school and go to work” rational imposed on it by society. Although putting people to work back on the farm or in labor intensive industry as soon as possible was essential then, the advanced skills nature of work in society today cannot be addressed effectively with that student or society mindset. If the two-year technician education time frame is to remain, the Future of Work prepared technicians need more efficient use of student time within the education system.

The time students spend in school is the crux of the issue. Extending technician education, using a traditional 2 semester per year structure, beyond a two-year frame is not likely to be accepted at a national level for several reasons. One compelling reason is that most potential technicians will not enroll in a three-year college program. The perception of “get out and go to work” is too ingrained within the society plus student misconception of the quality of work available to a high school graduate reinforces the idea that continued education in school is not necessary.  Fortunately, many if not most high school graduates quickly realize that good job and longer term career opportunities that require only high school acquired skills and knowledge are few and far between and they begin to adjust their perspective about going back to school.  However, this reality check on their part still does not translate to going back to school for three more years.

The education system must adjust to accommodate this student time investment constrain but also assure that program graduates will acquire Future of Work imposed skills to meet industry need. The current surge of interest in apprenticeships does suggest an interesting possibility to address both student perceptions of time in school and the education systems need to produce advanced skilled workers. For a starter, apprenticeships can begin immediately after high school graduation and high school pre-apprentice programs can shorten the post-high school apprentice time. Apprenticeships became an important vehicle for technical education at a national scale during our initial industrial revolution. That time period’s new work skills triggered the creation of plumbers, electrician, masons, carpenters, welders, etc. The need for technical professions with these "classic" skills is still great and the important role of those registered apprenticeship programs continues however, today’s Future of Work skill requirements could be addressed with the apprenticeship tool as well. The key is providing work-based learning experiences to enhance the learning that takes place in colleges.

The nation’s revised interest in apprenticeships does generate a caution. Appropriate industry support for registered apprenticeships must continue. These apprenticeships include rigorous skill expectation of the apprentice as verified with a competency-based evaluation process. However, the expansion of the apprenticeship model to include single company or small group supported apprentices will not have any constructive impact on the nation if those programs do not establish defined expected competencies supported by rigorous evaluation standards.

An outstanding adaption of the apprenticeship model that includes content rigor and extensive apprentice evaluation to address new skills needs is working very well for Toyota and other advanced technology manufacturing companies. The program that they developed is now housed at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and is called FAME (Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education). You can learn more about FAME in two recent FLATE Focus issues.  FAME’s structure outlines a cohort-based two-year technician community college degree program, a classroom modeled as a workplace, engaged employers, and includes paid part-time related work experience.

In summary, for the United States, the time students are "in school" will continue to be an issue.  Technicians are going to be expected to know more cross discipline technical skills and the mechanism to provide that education will not have the luxury of adding more time or, for that matter, courses to existing program curricula. Integrating the apprenticeship model into the "academic" education pathway is an exciting possibility. FAME's expectation of its students includes a combination of hands-on competence performance demonstrations as well as the overall expansion of the apprentices' technical knowledge, trouble shooting, and innovative thought processes via the acquisition of an A.S. degree. The FAME program has also demonstrated that this work-place learning for advanced manufacturing technicians fits into a two-year time frame.

Quickly acknowledging and affirming its repetitive characteristic, our motivation for this Future of Work Series has a twofold intent. One intent is for you the other is for us. First new technology in the workplace does generate different expectations for the technician workforce and who does the technician preparation really is important to you. In this case, a role for apprentices in the two-year college education platform.   Second, engaging everyone interested in the development of the nation's technician workforce into the conversation as to how NSF can facilitate lowering the impact of that skills gap is important to us. NSF-ATE is listening and can put its resources into action in response to what it hears. Now is the time and opportunity to speak up. Think about the ideas outlined above. Contact us. Send us your thoughts at gilbert@usf.edu.

Happy International Women's Day From FLATE

Happy International Women’s Day (IWD)! International Women’s Day occurs on March 8th every year to celebrate equality, recognize the hard work various individuals overcame in order to make a difference, and challenge ourselves to continue the work of our predecessors.

The 2020 theme selected by the IWD community is #EachforEqual which symbolizes that, “Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world.”

In following the IWD Community’s theme, FLATE would like to present Florida a challenge to continue its hard work in ensuring equal pay for all genders! In 2018, the gap in Florida between earnings for men and for women widened significantly. Women in Florida who were working full time had median weekly earnings only 82.6% as large as men, which is a significant decrease from 2017’s total of 87.9% of male earnings. You can find the report by clicking this link.

Florida State University & Chipola College's NSF ATE AM Grant Project

Engaging with employers in an ongoing, systematic way is an important means of ensuring that program offerings reflects workplace needs. The current Florida State University/Chipola NSF ATE research project (NSF 1700581) not only addresses industry engagement and evaluation with advanced manufacturing (AM) and engineering technologies (ET) through research, but also provides opportunities for project participants to gain skills and engage in activities that will enhance their AM leadership and connection to employers.  In September 2019, participants from the Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE), Pensacola State College (PSC), Gulf Coast State College (GCSC), Tallahassee Community College (TCC), and Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC) engaged in a variety of interviewing activities at the project’s Annual Summit held at Chipola College.

After morning activities devoted to sharing project updates and receiving the results of syllabi competency analyses, in the afternoon, participants focused on employer interviewing techniques. Project Principal Investigator (PI), Marcia A. Mardis kicked off the afternoon with a discussion of the importance of systematic employer interviewing to chart workforce changes over time and capture immediate employer needs.  Below, Dr. Mardis compared interviews to focus groups and shared effective practices:

With this foundation, Co-PIs Faye R. Jones and David Bouvin led small groups through employer interview simulations in which group members assumed personas of employers, program representatives, and notetakers. Below, Co-PI, Dr. Faye Jones, can be seen preparing fellow interviewers with project guidance and strategies for effective interviewing:

Participants each experienced being questioners, being questioned, and capturing the interviews via role playing. Participants really got into the spirit of their characters!

At the conclusion of this activity, the full group participants debriefed their experiences in each of the different roles and compared effective practices.

The session then turned to methods to capture interviews via online tools including \ Google Voice, iPhone Voice Memos, Zoom, and Collaborate.  Project team members Chase Roberts and Benjamin Bridges shared a technique from transcribing recorded interviews using YouTube so that the interviews could be thematically analyzed in a text document for review and archival purposes.  Participants also learned about the importance of continuing interviews until thematic saturation is achieved, so that important themes are allowed to fully develop.

At the conclusion of the session, many participants reported intentions to revisit their employer engagement practices and include more employer interviews.

FSU and Chipola College would especially like to thank the participants from FLATE, PSC, GCSC, TCC, NWFSC and colleagues working with the Northwest Florida Manufacturing Consortium for their contributions and hard work throughout the current NSF ATE AM grant project.

For more information about employer interview data collection or data analysis strategies, contact any of the project PIs: Marcia A. Mardis (mmardis@fsu.edu), David Bouvin (bouvind@chipola.edu), or Faye Jones (fjones@fsu.edu).

Industry Perspective from Florida's Manufacturing Day and Month

Across Florida, industry hosts continue to increase their support for Manufacturing Day and Month tours in hopes of inspiring the next generation of industry workers. In their efforts, industry hosts have been able to impact students’ perspective on manufacturing and have enlightened them to new career pathways. However, from the industry hosts' perspective, Manufacturing Day and Month does not usually yield immediate impact, but is a long-term investment into the future.

Over the years industry partners across Florida remain committed to Manufacturing Day and Month with hopes to attract fresh talent thereby narrowing the skills gap against the backdrop of an aging workforce. Industry hosts not only work with school districts to set-up tour(s) for students, they also use company time in getting employees involved in terms of giving presentations and formulating challenges to give students a 360 degree perspective of manufacturing. “Always worth giving back to the community and investing in the next generation. This tour was especially a good use due to the relevance of the class’s subject matter to our industry,” stated one of the industry host in a post event survey.

In addition, many industry hosts go the extra mile by sponsoring the cost of Manufacturing Day and “We believe if we show students our facility, more will be interested in a career in manufacturing.”  
Month T-Shirts, providing free giveaways and even lunch for tour participants. Compared to 2018’s total in-kind and cash donations of $428,677, this year’s donations are approximately $1,222,091. Indeed it is a big investment where the industry hosts cannot immediately track a direct return on investment of company time and resources. Despite the blurred lines, in looking at the post event survey data, 100% of the industry hosts who responded to the survey stated that the tour was a good use of company time and resources. Nearly 58.8% of the industry hosts who responded to the survey stated five or more employees participated in hosting the tour. Of the industry partners who hosted Manufacturing Day and Month tours in 2019, nearly 68.8% stated they have hired students as interns and employees. Of the industry hosts who responded to the survey, over 82% also offer industry tours for local students during the academic year, and approximately 76.5% offer internships and work experiences.

In an effort to further analyze the impact of Manufacturing Day and Month Industry Tours, a 2020 Round Table featuring industry personnel and educators who participated in the event will occur in May. More information on the Round Table will be coming soon and we recommend those that are curious about the Manufacturing Day and Month outcomes to review the 2019 MFG Day Student Responses Report by visiting this link. Educational, marketing tool kits, and best practices resources can be found on the FLATE Wiki website. The 2019 Manufacturing Day and Month gallery along with various other snippets of information are accessible on www.madeinflorida.org/manufacturing-day.

Have any questions regarding this article or FLATE resources? Contact Dr. Marilyn Barger, Executive Director of FLATE, at barger@fl-ate.org or call at 813-259-6578.