Did You Know?

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. Carlos Soto. It occupies 1500 square feet of office space and shares the laboratory resources of the manufacturing/engineering technology program.


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FLATE Impact


FLATE was established in 2004 through a National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Center grant and funded to date with $9.3 million. FLATE is NSF’s Florida Regional Center of Excellence and is one of 40 ATE Centers across the country focused on improving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education to meet the technician workforce needs of American advanced technological industries. FLATE has been recognized both locally and nationally for its innovative best practices in curriculum, outreach, and professional development.


FLATE’s impact on its educational, industry, and workforce partners is captured in a variety of metrics. FLATE data comes from stakeholder and participant surveys, Florida Dept. of Education databases, various web statistics, anecdotal comments, and other sources. These define our activity successes and impact as well as provide feedback for process improvements.

  • Industry defined/endorsed Engineering Technology Degree (AS/AAS) degree approved by FL DOE in May 2007
    18 frameworks for 15 certificates and 8 specializations of the degree

    - Developed with 12 partner colleges, 44 Florida manufacturing companies, FL Department of Education, Workforce Florida, Manufacturers Skill Standards Council, Manufacturers Association of Florida, Regional Mfg. Associations

    - 14 college ET Degree implementations as of December 2012

    - One articulated high school framework submitted to FL DOE aligned with MSSC certification (two more in progress)

    - 1,109 students enrolled in Engineering Technology college degree programs in 2012-13

    - Awarded over $220,000 to ET degree awarding college partners for laboratory upgrades
  • A statewide articulation agreement for high school students and incumbent workers for 15 credit hours by achieving MSSC
    Automation Production Technician (APT) impacting six high school programs
  • Provided language for Career Academy legislation and testified before the FL House and Senate subcommittees
  • Crafted the award for Banner Center for Manufacturing for related workforce training initiatives (2006-08, $700,000)
  • Awarded $1 million in additional funding from NSF ATE for requested special projects
  • FLATE has been leveraged by its partners to obtain over $75 million in state and local funding
  • Provided 14,874 hours of professional development to 22,697 educators and 7,579 workforce, economic and manufacturing personnel as well as to community members at hundreds of events in Florida, nationally, and worldwide
  • Over 70,000 Florida students and educators reached by the Made in Florida outreach campaign
    - 4,472 students and 483 teachers and parents have participated in 209 Made in Florida Industry Tours

    - MFG Day Partnership reached 67 Florida schools in 23 counties, taking 2,307 students, 110 teachers and 66 parents to 71 Manufacturing Sites and Hi-Tech college facilities

    - 92% of students taking tours responded that tours helped them understand the use of STEM subjects in industry

    - 20 “Made in Florida” industry-sourced, integrated STEM middle and high school lesson plans
  • Online footprint includes 43,711 visitors to www.fl-ate.org and 51,405 visitors to www.madeinflorida.org since 2009
  • Annually provide leadership and content for MAF’s Manufacturers Summit Workforce & Education program track
  • Annually recognize 3 outstanding Educational and Industry stakeholders who are champions of manufacturing education
  • Supported 827 middle and high school students in summer STEM robotic camps since 2005: Camps include introductory, intermediate, all girls, high school engineering tech and serve mainstream as well as gifted students, underserved, and at-risk student populations
  • Awarded 12 statewide recognitions since 2010 including six Best Practice Awards for the ET Degree Program, sTEm at Work Puzzles, ToothPick Factory, Career Pathways, MIF Industry Tours and Professional Development, Association of Florida Colleges Exemplary Practice for Occupational and Workforce Education, and stem Florida award for online curriculum and resources, and business and industry partnerships




  • League of Innovation 2013 Community College Program of the Year; Hi-TEC 2010 Innovative Program Award; Best Practice Awards for FLATE FOCUS online newsletter blog and FLATE’s “Made in Florida” Video
  • Published Best Practices guides for: STEM-based Summer Robotics Camps, Tours to Advanced Manufacturing Industries, Strategic Communication, and Building Effective School-Industry Partnerships
  • 79,740 FLATE Focus newsletters have been distributed since 2009 and have been viewed nationwide and by 11 countries
  • Public dissemination through Made in Florida and FLATE websites, blogs, and educator resources have served over 118,528 visitors to FLATE online resources since 2009
  • Model for integrating national skill standards into technician 2-year degree curriculum
  • Model for industry endorsed 2-year curriculum for A.S. degrees in Engineering Technologies
  • Seamless articulation to Florida BSET and BAS degrees
  • National advisory boards for Technical and STEM Education including ATE Centers, NAM, MSSC, NCPN, ACTE
  • The FLATE developed Toothpick Factory (a simulation game-based soft skills module) delivered to 666 participants
  • Tknika international partnership in Spain exposed 23 Engineering Technology (ET) students and faculty to global perspectives and best practices in technician education


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