Congratulations to the 2023 FLATE Award Winners!

This is the sixteenth year FLATE has recognized educators at the secondary and postsecondary level and industry partners for their outstanding contributions to promote manufacturing related technical education in Florida. “The Awards represent FLATE’s effort to showcase and recognize the contributions of educators and industries in advancing technical education and training on a regional and statewide level” said Marilyn Barger, Ph.D., Senior Education Advisor of FLATE. 

FLATE (Florida Advanced Technological Education Center), FloridaMakes and FAITE (Florida Association for Industrial and Technical Educators) are pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 FLATE Manufacturing Awards.

This year’s Awardees include:

  • Kevin M. Davenport, Instructor of Engineering & Manufacturing at The Academy of Engineering & Environmental Science at Creekside High School in St. Johns, FL, will receive the Distinguished Manufacturing Secondary Educator-of-the-Year Award.
  • Gregory A. Lewis, Professor in Engineering Technology at St. Petersburg College in Clearwater, FL, will receive the Distinguished Manufacturing Post-Secondary Educator-of-the-Year Award
  • Orville L. Dothage, III, Sr. Manager at Northrup Grumman in St. Augustine, FL, will receive the Distinguished Manufacturing Partner Service Award
  • The Manufacturers Association of Central Florida (MACF), Most Innovative Manufacturing Month Student Event Award for their Made in Central Florida Expo and Student Design & Build Competition featuring 27 local manufacturers in the Expo and a design and build student competition impacting over 250 students.
Ernie Friend, Executive Director of FLATE, adds "The work of FLATE award winners is making a real difference in the lives of students and the future of our state's manufacturing industry. We are grateful for their dedication to excellence in manufacturing education and to their collaborative work with industry partners, community leaders, and other educators to create a robust manufacturing ecosystem in Florida. Their work is helping to ensure that our state has the workforce it needs to compete in the global economy."

FloridaMakes CEO, Kevin Carr, agrees that these award winners move manufacturing workforce forward. “Educators play an important role in inspiring the next generation of manufacturing workers. It is our honor to recognize the 2023 FLATE Awardees for their outstanding work in manufacturing education in Florida.”

Awardees were selected from a distinguished pool of nominations submitted from across the state and were judged by an awards committee comprised of industry representative(s), FAITE board member(s), past awardee(s), and member(s) of the FloridaMakes Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Leadership Committee (AMWLC).

Awardees for the first three awards will be recognized at the Florida Association for Career and Technical Education (FACTE) Annual Conference & Trade Show that will be held July 17-19, 2023 at the SeaWorld Renaissance in Orlando, FL where they will also serve as panelists for the Best Practice Award Winners Panel. The Most Innovative Manufacturing Student Event Award winners will be recognized at the 2023 Florida MakeMore Manufacturing Summit held annually in the Fall in Orlando.

About the Florida Advanced Technological Education (FLATE) Center 

FLATE is a Center of Excellence for advanced technological education and is committed to ensuring that Florida has a well-prepared workforce for advanced and emerging technologies in manufacturing by providing educational resources and strategies for curriculum, professional development and student recruitment in secondary and post-secondary education. FLATE was created in 2004 through a grant from the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education Program which is focused on improving STEM education to meet the needs of American advanced technology industries. In 2020, FLATE became a part of the FloridaMakes network. For more information visit 

About FloridaMakes 

FloridaMakes is a statewide, industry-led, public-private partnership operated by an alliance of Florida's regional manufacturers associations with the sole mission of strengthening and advancing Florida’s economy by improving the competitiveness, productivity and technological performance of its manufacturing sector, with an emphasis on small- and medium-sized firms. FloridaMakes is the official representative of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) National Network in the state of Florida, a program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. For more information visit

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