FLATE Speed Networking Event in Duval County

As the FLATE team travels around the state, working with educators and manufacturers, we often hear the industry say they would connect with educators but don't have a personal contact in their area. The same is often true for educators, who would welcome a presentation or tour from a manufacturer but don't know a manufacturer personally.

To help create meaningful and lasting connections with educators and the manufacturing industry, FLATE works with communities to host Speed Networking events. At the end of the event, every educator will have a personal connection, business card, and contact from each manufacturer to help with industry tours, mentorships, classroom visits, etc. The industry representatives can build a regional group of educators to work on talent development, manufacturing career awareness, mentorship, business advisory committees, and sponsorships. Following each event, follow-up surveys are sent periodically to all participants to document the interaction between the educators and Industry to benchmark the number of events held and students impacted.

The latest Speed Networking event was held in partnership with the First Coast Manufacturing Association (FCMA) Workforce Committee at Florida State College at Jacksonville (FCSJ) on October 16, 2023,11AM - 1PM. Over 40 people attended the FCMA Speed Networking event from schools and companies in Duval and St. Johns counties. Each educator met with each industry person for about five minutes to learn about each other, exchange contact info, and build a professional relationship.

The event was a huge success and feedback from the attendees was very positive. The participants were so engaged in talking with each other that they didn't want to rotate to the next table each time the timer went off. We look forward to monitoring the many outreach events that will be created due to these new professional connections and the impact that it will have on students' understanding of the career options in manufacturing.

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