Technology Grant Boosts Manufacturing-Related ET Programs in Florida
The College of Central Florida (CF) was recently awarded a $10 million, round three TAACCCT grant focused on information technologies, but which also includes capacity building for their manufacturing related engineering technology program as well. Advanced manufacturing is evolving with greater emphasis on programming, and automation/robotics. Essentially the consortium colleges will build capacity and offer training in programing and operating automation, production and related simulation equipment. Another partner in the consortium, North Florida Community College (NFCC) with it home campus in Madison, FL, will start a Manufacturing Technology post-secondary vocational program aligned to Manufacturing Skill Standards Council certificate to support a growing manufacturing sector with its funding from this TAACCCT award.
“We had no idea that there was enough manufacturing and production activity in our area to support a technical program until we did a comprehensive needs analysis” said Nancy Lils, coordinator of grants and institutional research at NFCC. “Even if we had not been awarded the TAAACCCT grant, our college had decided that it would go forward with the program in 2014, although at a much slower pace.” The engineering technology programs at CF and TCC, as well as FLATE, have been extremely helpful in helping NFCC develop its manufacturing program and identifying regional industries. “We really look forward to working with them all as we put our program into place” Lils said.
The State of Florida has the third largest population in country, with an official 2010 estimate of 19 million persons and approximately 50% of the population is in the civilian labor force (9,000,000).
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FLATE’s administrative core is a partnership between St.Petersburg College, the College of Engineering at the University of South Florida and Hillsborough Community College. The Center is housed at Hillsborough Community College on its Brandon Campus under the leadership of Campus President, Dr. Nancee Sorenson. It occupies 1500 square feet of office space and shares the laboratory resources of the manufacturing /engineering technology program.
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