FLATE Team Continues Florida College Visits

Florida State College at Jacksonville
FLATE is continuing to visit college partners and meet with faculty around the state. This year, representatives from Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE), Dr. Marilyn Barger and Ernie Friend, plan to visit all 23 colleges that have ET-related programs. So far, they have visited seven colleges in north, central, and south Florida.  The latest schools visited are St Johns River State College (SJRSC) and Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ).  The schools visited earlier this year 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 schools are as different as the parts of Florida they serve.  Two things all seven schools have in common are dedicated faculty and established hands-on labs. 

The visits included a detailed tour of the labs and a deep dive into the individual ET programs.  Each college has unique challenges, but common themes included attracting more students and increasing partnerships with the regional manufacturing industries. Growing enrollments and industry partnerships are not just challenges for colleges but many post-secondary education institutions in Florida and across the country. FLATE, along with FloridaMakes, is committed to working on both challenges by finding creative ways to connect schools with potential students and using the FloridaMakes network to identify new companies to work with colleges.   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. Special thanks to the all faculty and staff that collaborated with us during the visits.  The team at FSCJ included Patrick Land and Darrell High. The team at SJRSC included Dean John (Jay) Paterson, Director of Computer Education John Etienne, Timothy Gilboy, Vincent Elston, and Susan Frandsen.  We are excited to announce that SJRSC has agreed to host the Fall 2022 ET Forum on September 29-30, 2022 at the beautiful Thrasher-Horne

Congratulations to the 2022 FLATE Distinguished Manufacturing Education Award Winners!

FLATE, FloridaMakes and FAITE (Florida Association for Industrial and Technical Educators) are pleased to congratulate the winners of the 2022 FLATE Manufacturing Awards. This year’s Awardees include:
  • H. Edward Fry II, Instructor of Engineering & Manufacturing at Nature Coast Technical High School in Brooksville, FL, will receive the Distinguished Manufacturing Secondary Educator-of-the-Year Award.
  • Dr. Cecilia Stina Larsson, Program Manager/Professor in Engineering Technology at Seminole State College in Oviedo, FL, will receive the Distinguished Manufacturing Post-Secondary Educator-of-the-Year Award
  • Michael A. Shaluly, President of Mastercut Tool Corp in Safety Harbor, FL, will receive the Distinguished Manufacturing Partner Service Award
  • The Bay Area Manufacturers Association (BAMA) will receive the Most Innovative Manufacturing Month Student Event Award for their Great Manufacturing Teach-In event, coordinated with Pinellas & Hillsborough County School Districts Career, Technical & Adult Education (CTE).
FLATE awards have served as an effective tool for recognizing educators and industry colleagues who have stepped beyond their call of duty to promote excellence in manufacturing-related education and training on a regional and statewide level.

This is the fifteenth year of the awards program and is one of FLATE’s many efforts to showcase and recognize the contributions of educators and industries in advancing technician education. In addition to teaching excellence, the awardee is expected to work personally with his/her students and with local industry partners for continuous improvement of the academic program, keeping it closely tied to industry needs. 

FLATE Award winners are selected from nominations submitted from across the state. FLATE would like to thank all judges who helped to review and select this year’s winners. 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. The Awards Committee reserves the right to select award recipients that do not meet FACTE’s membership requirements.

Award winners’ recognitions will take place at the FACTE Annual Conference & Trade Show held July 18-20, 2022, at the Sawgrass Marriott in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, and at the 2022 MakeMore Manufacturing Summit on October 13th. In addition, Award winners will be part of the “Best Practice Award Winners Panel” at the FACTE Conference on July 19th. This event is hosted by FLATE and Florida Association for Industrial and Technical Educators-FAITE.

In today’s uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to recognize those educators, and industry partners who are doing more than required for their students.

For more information on the FLATE awards program visit FLATE.org/Awards. FLATE Awards Sponsorships are available - click here for details.

Visit a Classroom and Make a Difference

The SkillsUSA Florida State Leadership and Skills Conference was held on April 18-21, 2022, in Jacksonville, FL. Ernie Friend, Executive Director of FLATE, and Dr. Marilyn Barger, Senior Education Advisor from FLATE, attended this year’s exciting SkillsUSA event.  

SkillsUSA Florida is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. These partnerships ensure students (and future employees) are equipped with the technical, personal, and workplace skills necessary to thrive in the workforce. SkillsUSA Florida is committed to producing a generation of solid workers and exceptional leaders who will take America’s workforce into a new frontier of innovation. They nationally serve more than 333,527 students and instructors annually, including 19,019 instructors who join as professional members. Including alumni, SkillsUSA membership totals over 394,000 and they have served nearly 14 million annual members cumulatively since 1965.  SkillsUSA is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor as a successful model of employer-driven workforce development. Hundreds of state competitions are held each year in categories ranging from Architecture, Construction, Engineering, Health Sciences, and Information Technology to Manufacturing.

Many of the students at this year's conference in Jacksonville were nervous about their upcoming competitions but still showed a high level of poise and confidence. Marilyn and Ernie had an opportunity to talk with many students.   One of the questions asked of all students was why they were interested in careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM). Almost all the students said in part they were attracted to careers in STEAM because of a classroom visit from someone in the industry.  That was a powerful message from these young people and a lesson for industry representatives to get involved with educators, visit classrooms, and host company tours. 

FLATE hosts the Made in Florida website with many resources to help engage students, teachers, and industry. FLATE can help you connect with educators and industry - reach out to us at events@flate.org.

Project Venture- Students with Great Abilities

The Able Trust High School High Tech (HSHT) Conference was held on April 28-29, 2022, in Orlando, Florida.  Ernie Friend, Executive Director of FLATE, and Dr. Marilyn Barger, Senior Education Advisor from FLATE, attended this year’s event.  The Able Trust High School High Tech (HSHT) program is designed to provide high school students with all types of disabilities the opportunity to explore jobs or postsecondary education leading to in-demand careers. HSHT links youth to a broad range of academic, career development, and experiential resources and experiences that will enable them to meet the demands of the 21st-century workforce. There are over 40 HSHT Sites in Florida, and the educational coordinators at these sites were attendees at this professional development conference.

FLATE has supported Able Trust and the HSHT program for many years.  Marilyn and Ernie had an opportunity to present at the High School High Tech (HSHT) to the team working with students.  From that presentation, new partnerships have already formed.  The presentation included an overview of manufacturing careers, salaries, and opportunities. Many attendees were surprised by the high starting pay and diversity of career options in today’s manufacturing environment. The attendees also wanted assistance connecting with educators and industry in their service area.  FLATE has strong connections with industry and educators around the state and can help provide that assistance. FLATE hosts the Made in Florida website with many resources to help engage students, teachers, and industry.

An Able Trust HSHT program called Project Venture challenges high school students to develop a business plan proposal for a new product and accompanying commercial. This competition allows students to develop and hone their communication, critical thinking, and teamwork skills in a workplace-related simulation. Marilyn was invited to judge this year’s final three-team competition.  All three Project Venture student teams created fully developed products with business plans.  The student projects included a motor that shakes a vending machine when a product hangs up, an Uber-type app designed for visually impaired people, and the last project was an attachment for a seatbelt that would notify police or other emergency response personnel of a person’s individual disabilities. 

Congratulations to the High School High Tech finalist teams from Lake, Orange, and St Johns counties. You can watch their 1 minute commercials on the Project Venture webpage.

Congratulations to the 2022 SMBE Award Finalists!

Every year, FloridaMakes hosts this competition for SMALL AND MEDIUM Manufacturing Business Excellence (SMBE). The assessment follows the Florida Sterling process, which is based on the national Baldrige Quality system. Manufacturers are nominated with a simple email to FloridaMakes Director of Quality and all nominations are followed up with direct communication to the companies. Those who choose to participate, submit information about their company for review by the judges and examiners. A business overview call is scheduled during which a panel of judges and examiners question the company representatives about various systems in the company, following the Sterling model. Some of these companies will be recommended for a more extensive site visit by another panel of judges and examiners. 

The Sterling Council and FloridaMakes announced today the 23 manufacturing companies in a field of over 160 nominees who have been named as finalists for the 2022 Sterling Manufacturing Business Excellence (SMBE) Awards. The winners, chosen from among the following finalists, will be announced during the 30th Annual Governor’s Sterling Awards Banquet on June 3 at the Gaylord Palms resort in Orlando.

Finalists for the 2022 SMBE awards:

  • Bacardi Bottling Corporation (Jacksonville)
  • BAE Systems – Jacksonville Ship Repair (Jacksonville)
  • Biorep Technologies, Inc. (Miami Lakes)
  • Cathedral Corporation – Orlando Facility (Orlando)
  • D3 Glass, LLC (Fort Myers)
  • Genplant (Green Cove Springs)
  • Harmar Mobility, LLC (Sarasota)
  • HF Scientific (Fort Myers)
  • Limbitless Solutions (Orlando)
  • Lippert/Taylor Made (Bradenton)
  • MDC Precision (Sarasota)
  • Mullett’s Aluminum Products, Inc. (Sarasota)
  • PPi Technologies Group (Sarasota)
  • Sarasota Medical Products, Inc. (Sarasota)
  • SeaSucker, LLC (Bradenton)
  • Shaw Development (Bonita Springs)
  • Solar Stik, Inc. (St. Augustine)
  • Strand Core (Milton)
  • Stryker (Weston)
  • Sy-Klone International (Jacksonville)
  • Unison Industries (Jacksonville)
  • VeeThree Electronics (Bradenton)
  • West Fraser, Inc. (McDavid)

The Sterling Council and FloridaMakes collaborate annually on the SMBE awards to recognize the state’s high-performing manufacturers. Manufacturing companies are judged on several criteria including leadership, strategy, customers, measurement, analysis and knowledge management, workforce, and operations. As outlined above, the awards start with an open nomination process followed by a business overview assessment and, for some, an in-depth site visit (virtual or in-person). Winners for several categories (by size) will be named from the list of finalists. For more information about the process please visit www.FloridaMakes.com/smbe.

Florida ET and manufacturing educators should check out the finalist list to identify potential new partners. Please let us at FLATE know if you need help making such a connection. Click on the map below for a quick reference.