The Bay Area Manufacturers Association wins Most Innovative Manufacturing Month Student Event Award!

For many years, Manufacturing Month meant coordinating in-person student tours of local manufacturing facilities to promote manufacturing careers.  After the 2020 pandemic halted in-person activities, many of Florida's Regional Manufacturing Associations (RMAs) and industry partners found creative ways to reach out to students.  The FLATE Most Innovative Manufacturing Month Student Event Award goes to the Bay Area ManufacturersAssociation (BAMA) for their “Manufacturing Month 2021-Great Manufacturing Teach-In” events in Hillsborough & Pinellas Counties.  The Award represents a joint effort between FLATE (Florida Advanced Technological Education Center), FloridaMakes, and FAITE (Florida Association for Industrial and Technical Educators) to recognize the contributions of educators and industries in advancing technician education and training on a regional and statewide level. BAMA will be recognized at the MakeMore Manufacturing Summit on October 13th in Orlando, FL.

“Manufacturing Month 2021-Great Manufacturing Teach-In”

In collaboration with 12 Florida Manufacturing companies as well as the Pinellas and Hillsborough County School Districts Career, Technical and Adult Education Departments, the Bay Area Manufacturers Association planned and executed an interactive and fun virtual event for students. Beth Galic, the Executive Director of BAMA, coordinated the event which provided students and teachers in Hillsborough and Pinellas County high schools with the opportunity to watch a pre-recorded virtual tour and then participate in a live Q & A virtual session with each company.  

More than 690 students from 24 schools in at least 6 cities were introduced to career pathways in modern manufacturing and the exciting career opportunities that the industry offers. Jereme Monette, Supervisor of Career, Technical and Adult Education for Hillsborough County Public Schools and Michael McCullough, Resource Teacher for Industrial, Technology, Agriscience & Public Service Education for Pinellas County Public Schools worked closely with BAMA to coordinate the events.

Each of the 12 manufacturers provided a 5-7 minute pre-recorded video tour of their facilities which was available for students to review on-demand to learn about each company and the world of manufacturing. The virtual tours included live video walk-throughs allowing students, teachers, and guests to look at features in detail without having to be on-site. Click on the links below for information on each company.

·        Pinellas County Manufacturers:

o   Custom Manufacturing and Engineering-CME

o   MasterCut Tool Corp.

o   Molex

o   Monin

o   Omnicell

o   TSE Industries

·        Hillsborough County Manufacturers:

o   SealDynamics

o   Microlumen

o   AMRoC FAB Lab

o   Mettler Toledo

o   Electromechanical Solutions (EMS)

On the day of the Great MFG Day Teach-In, at the top of each hour throughout the school day, students and teachers could log-in to a 10-minute virtual session with a company.  The session started with an introduction of BAMA, what manufacturing is and how it supports the economic development in the Tampa Bay region, then moving on to specifics about each manufacturing company’s products, services, and details of many different fun and well-paid tech jobs. In this interactive Q & A session, students were able to ask about manufacturing processes, how things are made, job opportunities, education/certifications/skills required, salary range, and many other interesting questions.

Sessions were recorded and posted online, available for students to review and for teachers to use as part of lesson plans throughout the academic year, providing a valuable educational resource to share the career pathways offered by modern manufacturing.

Student quotes from the Great MFG Day Teach-In:

·        “Thank you for this experience. I learned about tech jobs I did not know existed and thought it was cool to see STEM in the real world.”

·        Thank you for this experience! I learned so much about different jobs in STEM fields!

·        “This field trip was really valuable. It was interesting to hear about local STEM opportunities.”

·        “I appreciate BAMA doing this for students so we can see how diverse STEM opportunities are right here in our area.”

·        “This virtual field trip showed me some career options that don’t require college but still provide a good income.”

·        “This virtual field trip was valuable because it introduced us to real world opportunities right here where we live. Thank you!”

·        “I learned so much about jobs in manufacturing and technology. Some don’t even require college but pay really well.”

·        “Thank you, BAMA! It was really cool to take this virtual field trip and have an interactive learning experience without having to travel.”

·        “Thank you for giving us this manufacturing day experience. It is hard to pinpoint what was best because there was so much!”

·        “With Covid we haven’t taken many field trips. I liked that BAMA came to us and that it was interactive and local.”

For information on the FLATE Awards visit, or contact Executive Director of FLATE, Ernie Friend at

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