Florida MFG 2022: Making Manufacturing Careers

FLATE and its statewide partners are working together to plan for a year-round celebration of Manufacturing Day, designed to inspire the next generation of manufacturers and change the perception of careers in manufacturing to reflect its true status as the most advanced, high-tech industry in the country.

Join us in celebrating Florida MFG 2022: Making Manufacturing Careers! Plan events and activities where you can talk to students and parents about the great careers in manufacturing. Use FLATE resources at http://madeinflorida.org to help us reach students in 2022.


  • Click on Image to Download
    Share a lesson on manufacturing (secondary lessons: www.flate.pbwiki.com)
  • Hold a Manufacturing Career Expo, In-Person or Virtual
  • Show virtual tours of local manufacturing facilities (Florida MFG Virtual Tours)
  • Plan a live Q&A with the Manufacturer or plan an in-person visit to a local facility
  • Review pathways to great manufacturing careers with your students. (Download Job Journey Flyer👉)


  • Host a Tour of a Manufacturing Facility
  • Reach out to your Regional Manufacturers Association (RMA)
  • Connect with School Districts/Schools in your Area
  • Plan an in-person event with one school or a virtual event with several district schools
  • Adopt-A-School
  • Sponsor a competition that highlights Florida manufacturing

More Resources

Additional resources developed specifically for student events can be found at http://madeinflorida.org/careers/ including:
  • Company profiles on local manufacturers & the jobs they offer
  • Videos of What is Made in Florida
  • Links to Edge Factor's Career Profiles
  • and more...

The ultimate goal is to help manufacturers build a steady pipeline of qualified and diversified manufacturing talent to help support local economies for decades to come. Contact your local RMA or FLATE directly at events@flate.org if you have questions about how to plan or participate in a Florida MFG 2022 student event.

2022 Spring Forum on Engineering Technology at Broward College

The 48th state-wide Forum on Engineering Technology held on March 30th and April 1st was hosted by the Broward College–North Campus at Coconut Creek, FL. Despite COVID restrictions and gas prices, the forum was well attended with 58 (8 virtual) participants from 17 Florida state and community colleges and one state university. This was the first time that the Forum met on a college campus since 2019. 

The Forum on Engineering Technology (ET Forum) has served as an important vehicle for bringing together Florida’s diverse and geographically dispersed community with common issues and challenges. With the support of the Florida Department of Education, FLATE works with the ET Forum network to strengthen the consortium, share its administrative activities and projects, provide professional development, bring industry and academia together, and engage in statewide FDOE curriculum frameworks review and reform. Over the years, it has become a true community of practice. The Forum meets twice a year and has convened forty-eight times at over 24 different Florida colleges.


The Forum was seeded in 1996 as part of a curriculum review of all Engineering Technology programs in Florida. Once that task was completed, the participants agreed to meet periodically to network, exchange ideas, discuss issues, share professional development opportunities, and review policy and procedure updates from the Florida Department of Education and, more specifically, the Division of Career and Technical Education. The first ET Forum was established in April 1997 at Seminole Community College (now Seminole State College).

FLATE was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in July of 2004 and charged with state-wide curriculum reform for manufacturing and related technologies for community colleges and their partner high schools and universities. In 2005 FLATE engaged the Florida Department of Education in this undertaking and proposed to orchestrate the reform of the Manufacturing related community college curriculum across the state in one united effort by working with colleges with related programs and industry partners, to define new and relevant skill sets that would ultimately become the new Curriculum Frameworks as the A.S. Degree for Engineering Technologies for the state. Today, the ET Forum with FLATE guidance and leadership continues to grow strong by recruiting interested colleges; hosting industry professionals from companies near the host institution; providing professional development for emerging and relevant technologies; participating in FDOE statewide curriculum frameworks reform and change related to ET disciplines and providing extensive networking and opportunities for sharing and collaboration amongst colleges.

This spring ET Forum included discussions about:

  • The Florida Alliance for Technological Education (FLATE) including the possibility of an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding)
  • An educational vendor round table presenting the “hottest” new products available
  • FDOE updates which included the new U.S. Department of Education CIP code changes to the ET degree frameworks
  • A tour of Broward’s ET Labs and facilities
  • Review of ET specializations, new program request procedures, and manufacturing framework reviews for the school year 2023-24
  • College and college ET program updates
  • An industry panel focused on “Innovations using Technology” with guest speakers from JL Audio, Hoerbiger, and Terumo Aortic
Day two of the forum included the review of the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council Certified Production Technician (MSSC-CPT) articulation agreement to the ET degree technical core, as well as a PathTech LISTEN Research review, important announcements, and a discussion including questions and answers with Senior Chancellor Henry Mack (watch his opening comments here).

The Florida Engineering Technology Forum serves as a model organization for other disciplines and career clusters in Florida as well as technical disciplines in other states. Presentation and recordings will be available at ET Forum Google Drive and FLATE.PBWorks/Presentations.

Special thanks to Broward College for hosting the ET Forum (for the first time) and the educational vendors for sponsoring the Forum.

For more information on the Forum and/or A.S.E.T degree visit http://fl-ate.org/projects/et-forum.html

FLATE Team visits Florida Colleges with Engineering Technology (ET) Programs

Palm Beach State College
One of the most exciting opportunities working for FLATE is visiting college partners and meeting with faculty. The pandemic prevented the visits for a couple of years.  This year, representatives from Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE),
Dr. Marilyn Barger and Ernie Friend’s goal is to visit all 23 colleges that have ET-related programs.
Ernie Friend has recently been hired as the Executive Director of FLATE.  Dr. Barger has held that position for close to 20 years and will remain on the team to assist Ernie with the transition and work on special projects as the Senior Education Advisor. So far, they have visited five colleges in north, central, and south Florida.  

St. Petersburg College (SPC)
The schools visited over the last two months include St. Petersburg College (SPC), Pasco-Hernando State College (PHSC), North Florida College (NFC), Tallahassee Community College (TCC), and Palm Beach State College (PBSC). The colleges are as different as the parts of Florida they serve.  Two things all five schools have in common are dedicated faculty and established hands-on labs.  Our visits included a detailed tour of the labs and a deep dive into the individual ET programs.  

Tallahassee Community College (TCC)
Each college had unique challenges, but
common themes included attracting more students and increasing partnerships with the regional manufacturing industry. Growing enrollments and industry partnerships are not just challenges for colleges but many post-secondary education institutions in Florida and around the country. FLATE, along with FloridaMakes, is committed to working on both of these challenges by finding creative ways to connect schools with potential students and using the FloridaMakes network to identify new companies to work with colleges.   

North Florida College (NFC)
With more school visits on the schedule, a complete picture of Florida colleges’ value in workforce development for the manufacturing sector will become even more evident.  A sincere appreciation goes out to all the colleges visited so far for sharing their achievements and challenges and allowing FLATE to be a partner in their success. 

Pasco Hernando State College (PHSC)
Special thanks to all the faculty and staff that collaborated with us during the visits.  The team at SPC included Dean Middleton, Sidney Martin, Greg Lewis, Christopher Cain, Jay Margolis, Andres Cardenas-Valencia, and Robert Hudson. The team at PHSC included Dean Heil, Andrew Forsman, and Christopher Brantley.  NFC was represented by Steve Turner, Bill Eustace, and David Dunkle. The team as TCC included Joey Walter, Gideon Nnaji, Bret Hammond, Dave DelRossi, and Amy Batchelor. PBSC was the most recent school visited and Eva Suarez provided a detailed overview of her programs. 

FLATE Awarded a 3-year $950,000 Grant from NSF

Last month, FLATE, part of the FloridaMakes Network, secured a $950,000 grant (NSF Award 2148138) to update the A.S. Engineering Technology program to address Industry 4.0 skills identified in a previous small conference grant (Future of Work Caucus) that brought Florida industries and educators together to define needed emerging manufacturing technician skills. The new grant is a partnership with four State Colleges Engineering Technology programs at Central Florida College (CF), Daytona State College (DSC) Polk State College (Polk), and St. John’s River State College (SJRSC). Co-PI’s are Sam Ajlani (CF), Ron Eaglin (DSC), Mori Toosi (Polk) and Jay Paterson (SJRSC). Each of the co-PIs will take the lead on one of the project goals below.

  • Modify and update the Florida Curriculum Frameworks for Advanced Manufacturing to address Florida's technicians’ Industry 4.0 skills gap as identified by Florida manufacturers. 
  • Provide Professional Development activities to up-skill ET program faculty
  • Create short-term College Credit Certificate to quickly up-skill current and future technicians with the new skills gap.
  • Engage manufacturers with college A.S.ET skills and certificates.
  • Create Post-A.S. Curriculum Advanced Technology Certificate (ATC) that complements ET Degree’s role in the Florida Plan for manufacturing education. 

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program is under the NSF Directorate of Education and Human Resources.  It supports technician education in many advanced technologies for two-year A.S. degree programs. Any 2-year advanced technology program that has an innovative program, curriculum, recruitment strategy, professional development workshop they want to adapt or adopt writing an NSF ATE project proposal might be a great way to start. There are many resources to help faculty craft a winning proposal.  Visit the NSF ATE website for more information or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger for help getting started.