2023 FCPN Symposium Focused on Developing FL’s Talent Pipeline

The 2023 Florida Career Pathways Network Conference (FCPN) Symposium from January 11-13 in Jensen Beach has been an effective venue in providing career and technical educators (CTE) employers, and workforce development partners across Florida with resources and best practices to foster professional leadership and partnership. This year’s symposium included 44 sessions and educational vendors’ showcase, with more than 180 attendees who had the opportunity to learn about the latest best practices and strategies for developing a talent pipeline. 
During this event, FLATE had the opportunity to present two sessions: “Innovative Dual Enrollment Program for Advanced Manufacturing and other CTE Programs” and “Forging Positive Partnerships-Strategies for Starting and Sustaining Schools-Industry partnerships”.

Innovative Dual Enrollment Program for Advanced Manufacturing and other CTE Programs
This presentation shared a program for a dual enrollment mechatronics that can be delivered at a distance with a partnership between college and high school instructors.

Forging Positive Partnerships-Strategies for Starting and Sustaining Schools-Industry partnerships
This session provides strategies for starting and sustaining school-industry partnerships with a focus on sharing lessons learned and best practices of a “Speed Networking” event as an efficient and successful strategy to develop and strengthen cross-sector partnerships among K-12 education, industry organizations, and postsecondary institutions.

For more information about these topics contact Executive Director, Ernie Friend (Ernie.Friend@flate.org) and/or Senior Education Advisor, Dr. Marilyn Barger (Marilyn.Barger@flate.org).

The FCPN is a membership organization for educators, employers, and workforce development partners involved in the advancement of Career Pathways, CTE, and other related education reform initiatives. To learn more about FCPN visit http://floridacpn.org/

Cybersecurity Across Disciplines Faculty Development for Manufacturing & Automation

Seventeen Florida teachers and faculty from all over the state started off 2023 at a 2-day faculty academy at Central Florida College (CF) in Ocala to learn more about the cyber security skills needed for technicians in manufacturing and industrial environments. In addition to the workshop, Sam Ajlani, Engineering Technology Program Manager at CF, provided a tour of the on-campus Lockheed-Martin training lab. This facility provides training for entry-level Lockheed-Martin technical employees at the nearby Ocala facility. Successful completers of the training program can later apply to the Lockheed-Martin apprenticeship program that includes the CF Engineering Technology A.S. Degree with the Electronics Specialization.

The cyber security workshop was led by Dr. John Sands, from Moraine Valley Community College. In Palos Hills, IL, and Mike Quaissaunee, from Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, NJ. These two subject matter experts provide hands-on training and access to free online curriculum and resources for cyber security and IT skills. This collection of “emate” online modules also included Tinker cad templates and the Cryptool platform which are used to explore various vulnerabilities in electronic systems and to set up and break encryption codes, respectively. The attendees were invited to join the team by proposing any real real-world workplace scenarios that could become the basis of manufacturing and automation modules and student exercises to be shared with the current modules. All attendees enjoyed the fast pace and hands-on activities and were excited to bring these tools back to their classrooms.

With the continuous addition of Industry 4.0 technologies into manufacturing facilities, required connections to the internet with extended cybersecurity needs escalate. The workshop also included a presentation by Rich Weeks of NDG (Network Development Group) on the growing intersection of operation and information technologies ((OT-IT). The focus of this talk was to emphasize that technicians working in OT environments will very soon be needing subsets of appropriate IT skills and vice versa. Both types of discipline technicians will require specific training and educators preparing these technicians will also need to integrate these specific OT-IT skills into their classrooms.

The workshop is part of a national project of the NCyTE National Cybersecurity Training and Education Center housed at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham Washington. This NSF ATE funded center also delivered this academy and others for other technical disciplines with funding from the Microsoft Accelerating Community College Cyber Excellence Grant. (MACCCE). Funding included at $500 stipend for attendees meeting all requirements. FLATE and its NSF grant (Award 2148138) brought this workshop to Florida to support the grant goals to update the state curriculum Frameworks to better address the industry 4.0 technician skills needed top support Florida companies.

Dr. Marilyn Barger Receives 20 Year Service Award from Society of Manufacturing Engineers of Tampa Bay

Congratulations to Dr. Marilyn Barger, Senior Educaton Advisor of FLATE, who was presented with a 20-year Service Award by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) of Tampa Bay at their 2022 Awards & Recognition Event on December 15, 2022. SME has served practitioners, companies, educators, government and communities across the manufacturing spectrum for more than 80 years. Through its strategic areas of events, media, membership, training and development, and the SME Education Foundation, SME is uniquely dedicated to advancing manufacturing by addressing both knowledge and skill needs for the industry.

James Moore, one of FLATE’s long-time supporters and partners, was also recognized for his service to the SME Tampa Bay Chapter at the 2022 Awards & Recognition Event. James is the Medical Device Manufacturing Director for CardioCommand, Inc.  He also serves on the Hillsborough Community College Engineering Technology Advisory Committee. Pictured here with his wife, Dr. Kim Moore, Assistant Superintendent for Career and Innovative Programs in the Pasco County School District, and also a long-time FLATE partner.

Dr. Barger had previously been awarded the 2014 SME Education Award by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, a national-level award recognizing significant contributions to the field of manufacturing engineering in the areas of manufacturing technologies, processes, technical writing, education, research, management and service to SME. It also honors the educator most respected for the development of manufacturing-related curricula, fostering sound training methods, or inspiring students to enter the profession of manufacturing.  Read full article on the 2014 award here.

FLATE Award Winner Attends AVS Science Educators Workshop at International Symposium

Ed Fry, 2022 FLATE Post-Secondary Educator of the Year Awardee, attended the AVS Science and Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processes annual Science Educators Workshop (SEW) during the Society’s Annual International Symposium and Exhibition held this year November 6-8 in Pittsburg, PA. The 2-day SEW is produced by the Education and Outreach Committee to support the awareness and importance of vacuum technology in today’s world. Ed was supported by the International Society and the Florida Chapter of the AVS, which covered his travel to Pittsburg and a $1200 vacuum equipment voucher for Ed’s home high school, Nature Coast Technical High School in Brooksville, Florida.

The workshop, first developed in the early 1990’s, is a high impact, intense experience for the teachers attending. The workshop starts with pump operation basics and simple demonstrations, current industry applications, but evolves to the interplay of experimental data, theory, and models. Teachers get hands on experience with these ideas using vacuum pumps and equipment that they will receive from the society. The workshop includes a guided tour of the exhibition hall with visits to vendors of pumps, vacuum components, and process systems and a tour to a local company that uses vacuum equipment. This year’s tour was at an international company, the Kurt J. Lesker Company, with its headquarters and major manufacturing of chambers, components, as well as process equipment facilities in the greater Pittsburg area. The final session of the workshop might be the most important- pump assembly and maintenance, was specifically for the pumps the teachers will be receiving.

In addition to the 2-day workshop itself, the teachers are registered for the full symposium and can attend the evening sessions (welcome mixer, poster sessions, and other sessions) if they have time. Many teachers take the opportunity to visit the poster sessions, talk to graduate students, and attend the Symposium mixer. At the end of the workshop, the Society President distributes the equipment vouchers, certificates of attendance and CEU (Continuing Education Units) for those requesting them.

Ed teaches a CTE (Career and Technical Education) Clinic where he sees great opportunity to integrate some of what he learned at the 2022 AVS SEW. He also thought the workshop provided a great overview of vacuum technology applications across many technologies. This highly rated educator workshop will be held November 5-7 in Portland, Oregon during the next AVS Symposium and Exhibit. Teachers from across the country can apply on the AVS SEW workshop webpages (https://avs.org/education/science-educators-workshop/) where the workbook, advanced experiments, photos, videos and other resources are also posted and downloadable for free. All teachers accepted for these workshops are 100% supported for attendance, travel, and the equipment vouchers. Florida teachers (and others) are also encouraged to nominate secondary and post-secondary teachers and industry or community partners for FLATE’s 2023 Manufacturing Education Awards on FLATE’s website.

FLATE Visits State College ET Programs: Polk State College

FLATE continues to visit college partners and meet with faculty around the state. The representatives from Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE), Dr. Marilyn Barger, and Ernie Friend’s goal is to visit all 23 colleges with ET-related programs. The latest partner college visited was Polk State College (PSC) in December 2022. Polk State College has fully engaged faculty and administration. The engineering technology labs are well-outfitted with current high-quality equipment.  PSC has a unique lab reservation system that allows students to reserve lab equipment and time with faculty. PSC has strong relationships with local companies and a robust Business Advisory Committee.

Increasing enrollments, finding quailed faculty, and engaging industry partnerships are challenges for colleges and many post-secondary education institutions in Florida and across the country. FLATE and FloridaMakes are 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 partner in their success.

Special thanks to all the faculty and staff that collaborated with us during the visit. The team at Polk State College included Dr. Mori Toosi, Director of Engineering Technology, Dr. Mehdi Miri, Professor of Engineering Technology, and Dr. Samuel Perez, Academics, Business, Engineering Technology.