Aligning Skills Between Industry & Education for Robotics and Automation

FANUC partnered with D.C. Jaeger Corporation and FLATE to host the day-long Aligning Skills Between Industry & Education Workshop at the College of Central Florida (CF) in Ocala on April 20, 2023.  The event was intended to facilitate lively discussions among technical educators, community, and government and industry leaders about how automation is changing the landscape of the manufacturing sector. 

Over 50 attendees participated in the very interactive panel discussions after hearing about:
  • programs at CF by Sam Ajlani, Engineering Technology Department Head at CF; 
  • an overview of FANUC’s history and products by Joe Baldiga; 
  • the robotics High School program by Michael Stepp; 
  • working with robotics and automation at Lockheed Martin from Roxanne Storms; and 
  • about FLATE from Dr. Marilyn Barger. 
Many issues were identified, and potential solutions suggested, but the big takeaway was that industry and education really need to work together on local and regional solutions that meet the needs of local communities. After lunch provided by FANUC, the attendees divided into two groups to tour the Engineering Technology Laboratories at CF, including CF’s impressive FANUC Authorized Satellite Training (FAST) Center. Two educators traveling home together reported that “the event was EXCELLENT and that they had lots to talk about connecting what they had learned to their own programs” on their drive home. FLATE will be following up with the educators who attended to capture their next steps.

The need for skilled workers with automation training and certifications continues to grow across Florida and the nation in manufacturing and many industry sectors. FANUC has identified some current urgent needs of industry including more automation, more Computer Numerical Control (CNC) and implementing digital thread technology. They will be hosting additional “Aligning Skills” events across the country to help raise awareness of regional industry needs and bring industry and educators together to develop solutions. 

For more info, contact Dr. Marilyn Barger, Senior Education Advisor at FLATE at

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