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.

Future Technician Preparation: Safety First

The universal mantra for industry's technical workforce is Safety First!  Traditionally, this mantra's directives are easily and effectively summarized in OSHA guidelines and sometimes requirements.  The dramatic reduction (actually statistical elimination) of fire disasters that routinely plagued turn of the last century factories is just one impressive safety example of what can be done at nationally organized but locally executed levels.  Last month's Future of Work Series contribution accented the observation that the corona virus impact on our health is becoming vividly apparent.  It also reflected on the fact that two-year community college programs focused on technician preparation have three forcing functions that dictate their course of action: the education system structure; faculty professional development; and the teaching approach.  COVID-19's alteration in teaching pedagogy is in full swing but its alteration on what is to be taught is still in the early morning haze.  The recent release of the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act) "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" by the U.S Department of Labor provides one content area that is beyond that early morning visual perspective.

With OSHA guidance, https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf , now available, the
contrast with last month's Industry 4.0 topic is amusingly apparent. In the current (and most likely post) COVID-19 environment what I-4.0 appropriate hands-on knowledge and skills topics to be taught to technicians is "not set in stone". However, those to be determined topics are not going to be overshadowed by the lack of available mechanisms (teaching approaches).  Respondents to last month's discussion indicate two-year technician education programs can teach Industry 4.0 topics with methods that are being actively explored. Simulations, on-line (remote access) equipment operations, and open laboratory schedules to reduce the density of students doing college located equipment training sessions are just three examples of how it will be done.

The potential for a smile of amusement hovers over the fact that we know how and what COVID-19 safety practices to teach but not who is going to do the teaching. The time students are "in school" was the background motivation of our March discussion of "what school" they are in. The actual smile of amusement is generated because our complicated technical education structure continues to create workforce development challenges. There are a few colleges that offer "safety degrees" completely online. These programs cover the range of subjects that includes hazardous materials management, construction safety, OSHA safety training, and accident investigation. However, there are many more examples of standalone non-college credit related independent vendor online training courses that culminate with the target OHSA 10 and/or 30 hours DOL Cards. Is this or should this be the situation for COVID-19?

Perhaps the jumping off point for discussion of this question of who teaches what is to ask if post COVID-19 behavior represents a culture change or just a workforce practice change. Culture alterations come with education while expected safe practices related to SARS-CoV-2 within a work environment can be instilled into a workforce by training and enforcement. That workforce training is proportional to the precautions needed as outlined in one of the four OSHA defined risk exposure levels.

Specific workforce safety employee skill expectations are often driven by various industry environments they may or most likely are not integrated into A.S. degree programs. The degree program strategy often just follows the common industry declaration that industry just needs people that are problem solvers and they will take care of the specific training they want those people to have. By contrast if post COVID-19 behavior is beyond that workforce practice arena, then the two-year degree programs in harmony with their college general education course deliveries have to address the situation. Based on current national response, it is most likely we need a culture change strategy. Thus, this is an education system not a industry training issue.

 This FOW series is usually focused on what new technicians need to know because new technology is going to be in their face whether they like it or not. COVID-19 is not a new technology but it is in their face now and will continue to trigger altered technician behavior related to new technology. So, as we often do in this series, we depart with a collection of questions. What are the specifics of those alterations? Who teaches what? How much viral, bacterial, and infectious biology does the typical (non bio-related) technician need to know. If this entire topic really resides within the public health domain, should public health components and principles also to be assimilated into technician education? And, of course, we can't simply just say yes and add content to a time locked technical curriculum. If something is added what something has to go? Share your questions, concerns, and what you know with us so we can share that knowledge with others. Send us your thoughts (gilbert@usf.edu).

The FloridaMakes Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship Update

The FloridaMakes Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship was approved by the FLDOE Office of Apprenticeship.  This one year apprenticeship was designed to be competency-based, flexible, and serve most manufacturing sectors. It is aligned to the SOC 17-3029.09 which supports the Industrial Manufacturing Technician occupation. FloridaMakes is currently developing its marketing materials for a rollout, but here is a preview of how the Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship will work.

There are 2 parts to this apprenticeship: (1) Supervised work in the manufacturer’s facility and (2) related instruction.  The related instruction is defined by the MSSC (Manufacturing Skills Standards Council) CPT (Certified Production Technician) skill set, which covers the fundamentals of safety, quality, manufacturing processes, and maintenance. The related instruction will be done using the MSSC online training course, which can be accessed by the apprentices on their own time and at their own pace. Although there will be no assigned instructor for this related instruction, there will be technical support for the apprentices from the team at MSSC. Companies will hire the apprentices and pay them a designated wage along with covering the cost of the online related instruction. At the manufacturing facility, one experienced, skilled employee will be able to oversee and mentor one or two apprentices. FloridaMakes is serving as the Advanced Manufacturing apprenticeship sponsoring organization and will manage all the registration paperwork, maintain the records and provide marketing materials.

Apprentices in this program will be eligible to take the MSSC assessments and earn the CPT credential. Those who get the CPT credential can articulate that certification for the credit in the A.S. Engineering Technology degree offered at 23 of Florida’s community colleges.  This statewide articulation awards 15 credits toward the degree.  You can learn more about the FloridaMakes Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship at the FloridaMakes website or by contacting Tina Berger.  You can find out more about Florida’s Engineering Technology A.S. degree, by contacting Dr. Barger (barger@fl-ate.org).

Get to Know the Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals

The Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals (SMRP) is a nonprofit professional society established in 1992. It was formed by practitioners to develop and promote excellence in maintenance, reliability and physical asset management. This society has over 8,000 members worldwide and 175 members here in Florida.

SMRP has a Government Relations Committee. At the federal level, the committee promotes workforce development, workplace safety and cyber-security in manufacturing and other sectors. They have been partnering with the National Skills Coalition and Business Leaders United to lobby for Perkins Grants.

The Government Relations Committee has recently updated its strategic plan. A new initiative involves outreach through SMRPs state and regional chapter network. The objectives include raising awareness of SMRP and developing relationships with Career and Technical Education and engineering program administrators, instructors and students.

SMRP should be on your radar because they offer:

Scholarships between $2,000 and $10,000 for those studying Career and Technical Education (CTE) and engineering subjects related to maintenance, reliability and physical asset management.

Certifications for maintenance and reliability technicians and professionals that attest to a certified persons knowledge and skills in best-practices.

Expertise that can help educate employers and increase demand for courses that support maintenance, reliability and physical asset management.

Assistance to CTE and degree program managers to improve curriculum related to industrial maintenance, reliability engineering, business management and other courses.

A vast library of webinars, presentations and standardized metrics.

Excellent opportunities for regional networking.

The scholarship opportunities can be found on the SMRP website. In addition, the Florida Chapter will be looking for opportunities to raise funds for chapter level scholarships through training workshops and perhaps a conference in the near future.

SMRP provides examinations and, through the SMRP Certifying Organization, issues the Certified Maintenance and Reliability Technician (CMRT) and the Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP) certifications. Manufacturers can assure they are hiring people that have best-practice knowledge and skills by looking for these certifications on the resumes of job applicants. Employers can also train and support certification of current employees to demonstrate commitment to employees and to excellence.

SMRP has student memberships for $25; forward thinking CTE programs include this membership in their tuition. Members can take advantage of an extensive library of webinars  and papers developed over our 27 years as a professional society. There is also the SMRP Exchange, a member’s only social media platform where members can ask for advice and interact with others that have experience with similar situations. SMRP publishes Solutions Magazine with interesting articles by practitioners and thought leaders.

Networking is another great benefit of SMRP membership. Throughout the year there are annual conferences, symposiums and regional events and educational programs. These are excellent opportunities to develop personal relationships with maintenance, reliability and physical asset management professionals.

For more information contact Tom Moriarty, PE, CMRP, Florida Chapter SMRP at tjmpe@alidade-mer.com, (321) 961-4306, www.linkedIn.com/AlidadeMer , visit SMRP’s website, or SMRP’s YouTube Channel for some informative videos.