FLATE at the 2023 MakeMore Summit

The MakeMore Manufacturing Summit is hosted each year by FloridaMakes to bring together Florida’s manufacturing ecosystem. The Summit is designed to help strengthen Florida's manufacturing sector, including identifying and solving key issues. The MakeMore theme changes each year to reflect the priorities of the manufacturing community, focusing this year on Unleashing Digital Transformation. Summit presentations and panels included Transforming Small and Medium-Sized Manufacturing: Lessons from the Digital Frontier, Engaging National Assets for Technology Adoption, and The Implications of Industry 4.0 in Engineering Technology Education.  The full program can be found here.

The Implications of Industry 4.0 in Engineering Technology Education panel was facilitated by Ernie Friend, Executive Director of FLATE. The panel included:
  • Cecilia Larsson, Program Manager/Professor of Engineering Technology at Seminole State College; 
  • Shirley Dobbins, Engineering Technology Assistant Professor, Hillsborough Community College; 
  • Rod Jaeger, President & CEO, D.C. Jaeger Corporation; and 
  • Jeff Kondel, Owner & Executive Director, Roots Education.
The panelists answered a broad range of questions and gave the audience a good perspective on:
  • how Industry 4.0 is impacting educational vendors and educators, 
  • the challenges in attracting and retaining top talent or new adjuncts and faculty, and 
  • how the ET Forum helps address the needs of manufacturers at the state level.
The discussion led to many audience questions and comments during and after the panel. FLATE appreciates the panelist's participation and for bringing their expertise to Florida’s manufacturing community.

FLATE also honored the 2023 FLATE Most Innovative Manufacturing Month Student Event Award at the MakeMore Summit.  Ernie presented the award to the Manufacturers Association of Central Florida (MACF) for their 2022 Made in Central Florida Expo & Student Design & Build Competition.  Donnie Casey, Executive Director, accepted the award on behalf of MACF.  Several MACF officers and manufacturers were also on hand to celebrate the award. FLATE awards recognize outstanding contributions to promote and support technology education and career awareness in manufacturing. 

The 2022 Made in Central Florida Expo featured 27 local manufacturers in the Expo and the design and build student competition impacted over 250 students from across four school districts in Central Florida: Orange County, Lake County, Citrus County and Sumter County. 

Congratulations to MACF!

Engineering Technology and Manufacturing Related Program Student Enrollment in Florida

Every year FLATE makes a formal request to the PERA Data group from the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) for student enrollment and completion data for the associate degree in engineering technology (A.S. E.T.) and manufacturing-related programs. Since the implementation of the E.T. program in Florida in 2007, FLATE has prepared an annual “five-year Student Enrollment and Completion” Report. Annual improvements to the report have included new data requests and building in our own comparatives with other related technical programs. To help us better understand the pipeline from secondary programs, data for the high school programs that best align with the A.S. E.T. and manufacturing-related degrees that support manufacturing were included in the report. Many of these are aligned to the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council Certified Production Technician (MSSC CPT) credential and take advantage of the statewide articulation using that MSSC CPT to acquire 15 credits towards the ET Degree. 

As technologies evolve, the way FLATE reports student enrollment and completion data has also evolved to provide a more complete and efficient way to access this information. In February 2023, FLATE launched the Manufacturing Matters Dashboard - a data visualization tool that monitors and displays Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs that support manufacturing industries in Florida. The dashboard includes data on student enrollment and completion for high schools, technical/state colleges, and Universities with programs supporting manufacturers. It also provides data important for business intelligence and for situational assessment within the three main sections: Education and Skills Demand, Manufacturing Workforce and Industry Growth as well as Diversity. In addition, the data dashboard provides access to advanced interactive reports that include overall trends as well as breakdowns by educational institutions and by program and includes ethnicity and gender analysis for degree and college credit certificate enrollment and completion.

A.S. E.T. Degree Florida College Network

Figure 1.
FLATE, part of the FloridaMakes Network (the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center in Florida), serves Florida to enhance and promote the 2-year manufacturing technician workforce education programs across the state. Currently, 23 out of the 28 member colleges of the Florida College System (FCS), represented in Figure 1, offer the A.S. E.T. program. These programs respond quickly and efficiently to meet the demand of employers by aligning certificate and degree programs with regional workforce needs.

Student Enrollment

Manufacturing education statewide enrollment for the A.S. E.T. degree continued to build in 2021-22 and now tops 2,078 students registered in 23 Florida colleges representing a 5% (102) increase when compared to the previous academic year. Overall, there has been a favorable increase trend over the past 5 years (see Figure 2 below). The decline in student enrollment, from 2019 to 2021, appears to be stabilizing, suggesting that the possible COVID-19 negative impact on student enrollment is over.

Figure 2.

Enrollment for the A.S. E.T. degree currently represents 46% of the total A.S. degree enrollments under the manufacturing career cluster.

Gender and Ethnicity Enrollment

Currently, 14% (282) of A.S. E.T. degree students enrolled are female and 86% (1,752) are male. This number represents a 5% (15) decrease in female enrollment from 2020-21 to 2021-22.  Female participation in the A.S. degree programs, offered under the manufacturing career cluster, represents nearly 24% (1,072) of the total students enrolled (4,519) in the 2021-22 academic year.  The 5-year student enrollment trend in the A.S. E.T. degree program indicates a slight increase from 238 in 2017-18 to 282 students in 2021-22. As shown in Figure 3, females still represent a minority of both E.T. and other A.S. degree programs under the manufacturing cluster.

Figure 3.

Minority enrollment has grown 16% for the A.S. E.T. degree program from 944 in 2020-21 to 1,101 in the 2020-21 academic year. Overall, 5-year student enrollment for the A.S. E.T. degree program shows an increase from 944 in 2017-18 to 1,101 students in the 2021-22 academic year. Overall, the ethnicity distribution, shown in Figure 4, indicates that white students currently represent 40% of the total enrollment for the A.S. degree programs followed by Hispanic and African American students with 40% and 32% respectively.

Figure 4.


Enrollment for students with disabilities has decreased from 83 students in 2020-21 to 71 students in 2021-22 representing a 14% reduction. Students with disabilities represent nearly 3% of total enrollment in A.S. E.T. degree programs and nearly 4% in other A.S. degree programs under the manufacturing cluster respectively.


Enrollment has remained stable with 146 students enrolled in 2021-22, since 145 students were enrolled during the 2020-21 academic period. Currently, students with military/veteran status represent approximately 6% of the A.S. E.T. degree and 7% of the total A.S. degree programs under the manufacturing cluster.

College Credit Certificate (CCC)

CCC enrollment under the A.S. E.T. degree has decreased by approximately 8% from 799 in 2020-21 to 729 in the 2021-22 academic year. Overall, 5-year student CCC enrollment for the A.S. E.T. degree program shows an increase from 418 in 2017-18 to 729 students in the 2021-22 academic year. Enrollment for the A.S. E.T. degree currently represents nearly 25% of the total A.S. CCC degree enrollments under the manufacturing career cluster.

Student Completion

The A.S. E.T. degree student completion showed a 5% decrease from 2020-21 (190) to 2021-22 (183); however, the overall completion from 2017-18 (163) to 2021-22 (183) shows a positive trend within the 5-year period. Currently, the A.S. E.T. degree student completion represents about 49% of the total student completion reported under the manufacturing A.S. degree programs.

The A.S. E.T. degree program female student completion number for 2021-22 is nearly 16% above the 2020-21 academic period. Female students now makeup 15% of all who complete the A.S. E.T. degree program and 24% of all students who complete any A.S. degree program in the manufacturing cluster.  Since 2017-18, female enrollment has increased by nearly 21% for the A.S. E.T. degree program. Although the rate of female enrollment and completion has slightly increased, the gender disparity in both E.T. and other A.S. degree programs under the manufacturing cluster remains significant.


The data assessment provided in this report is intended to serve as the basis for a new, statewide recruitment and outreach campaign for all district and FCS institution's engineering/manufacturing/advanced technology programs. Continuous efforts should be focused on economically disadvantaged residents/students and students for whom manufacturing/engineering/advanced technology is a nontraditional program for their gender.

With the advances in advanced manufacturing requiring constantly new skills from technicians and all professionals involved, it is imperative to continue strengthening the state’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and pathways to develop a robust ecosystem of innovation, entrepreneurship, and cross-sector partnerships.

To learn about FLATE and manufacturing education in Florida visit Flate.org or contact FLATE executive director Ernie Friend (Ernie.Friend@Flate.org).