made a big splash across the state. On Oct. 4, as part of national manufacturing day in Florida, over 2000 middle and high school students toured nearly 80 high-tech manufacturing facilities across Florida. The Made in Florida tours were made possible by FLATE (Florida Advanced Technological Education), the National Science Foundation Center of Excellence, Regional Manufacturers Associations, manufacturing-related professional organizations, school districts, plus many manufacturers and educators across the state. The manufacturing day tours celebrated more than 14,000 manufacturers across Florida, and served as an educational opportunity for students to expand their knowledge about high-tech careers & educational pathways available right in their backyard.
regional organization, college or school. Regional partners that coordinated local efforts included Bay Area Manufacturers Association (www.bama-fl.org), Northwest Florida Manufacturing Council (www.nwfmc.org); the First Coast Manufacturers Association (www.fcma.org) in the Jacksonville area; Marion Regional Manufacturers Association (www.mrma.org); Sarasota-Manatee Manufacturers Association (www.sama.org); Pasco-Hernando Community College (www.phcc.edu); Tallahassee Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing Training Center (www.tcc.fl.us); and South Florida Manufacturers Association (www.sfma.org) partnered with FLATE to organize great experiences for hundreds of students in their regions. A full list of schools and manufacturers that participated are listed at http://madeinflorida.org/manufacturing-day.
and to showcase the high-skilled, high-paid manufacturing jobs available in Florida, Gov. Rick Scott took a leading role in declaring Oct. 4 as Manufacturing Day in Florida. Several counties through individual County Commission Proclamations also declared Oct. 4 as “Florida Manufacturing Day.” Pinellas and Sarasota counties issued county proclamations in September, Hillsborough County issued the county proclamation on Oct. 3, Manatee County on October 4, with several proclamations announced in Marion, Santa Rosa, Escambia and other counties across the state. For a complete listing of county proclamations visit Made in Florida website.
for many of the students who went on tours. FLATE also worked with regional “Manufacturing Day teams,” to arrange media publicity, designing and delivering t-shirts, and surveying students to assess the overall impact of tours. The t-shirts served as a tangible and long-time reminder of the significance of manufacturing in Florida, and, of course, helped put the “fun” in manufacturing. Given the number of tours by FLATE and its partners across the state, FLATE was contacted by National Manufacturing Day organizers and acknowledged on a national arena as a key partner in making the national event a huge success.
Florida 2013 is not over. Over 2000 students who visited manufacturing facilities in Florida were surveyed to gauge the impact of the tours on them. That data will be compiled and distributed to FLATE’s regional manufacturing day partners to assess regional impact, and also to note improvements for future events. FLATE will also share manufacturing day in Florida photo galleries which will be posted on our Facebook profile, Facebook page and on Twitter. Be sure to connect with us on Facebook and subscribe to our Twitter handle @Made_InFlorida. A special Manufacturing Day curriculum piloted in Hillsborough County will also be evaluated for future use in more regions, and plans for a debriefing is in the pipeline.
opened their facilities and generously contributed to make Manufacturing Day in Florida a resounding success. Your participation and contribution has gone a long way towards changing the image of manufacturing and raising community awareness about its high-wage, high-skill careers as well as all the awesome things that are “Made in Florida”. Together we have also positioned Florida as a leader of technician training and education.