Manufacturers Association of Florida, Regional Manufacturers Associations and Florida TRADE, are working to put Florida on the manufacturing map (once again) on a national level. FLATE’s Manufacturing Day strategy last year, both before, during after the event, served as an effective mechanism that enabled statewide participation. In that, FLATE’s statewide outreach last year successfully built in-roads for communities across Florida to create sustainable partnerships and outreach between Regional Manufacturers Associations, School Districts and manufacturers. As a result of those efforts and subsequent follow-up webinars that engaged statewide stakeholders, this year regional manufacturing teams are educated and better prepared to independently organize tours, proclamations, and sponsorship for t-shirts.
FLATE will work with regional “Manufacturing Day teams” to help connect schools with companies, arranging media publicity, designing and delivering t-shirts that students can wear as part of a 2014 manufacturing day industry tour. One of FLATE’s most important initiatives during manufacturing day is also successfully gathering data from students, educators and manufacturers across the state to assess the overall impact of the industry tours. In 2013, FLATE surveyed 1300 students across the state who mentioned their perception manufacturing careers were positively impacted as a result of the tours. The tours also impacted educators who expressed the tours gave them a better insight about integrating STEM into their curriculum. Manufacturers also stated industry tours served as an effective tool for them to educate and/or create a talent pool for a future workforce. “No other organization in the state has the data collection strategy that FLATE implemented during National Manufacturing Day in 2013” said Desh Bagley, outreach manager for FLATE. FLATE will once again implement a similar strategy this year to survey all tour participants with a bigger goal to increase participation of students, educators and manufacturers.