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 over $5.8 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.


  • Industry defined/endorsed Engineering Technology Degree (AS/AAS) degree approved by FL DOE in May 2007
    • 17 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 Associations
    • 11 college ET Degree implementations through December 2011
    • 1 articulated high school framework submitted to FL DOE aligned with MSSC certification (2 more in progress)
    • 6,152 students enrolled in Engineering Technology and related college degree and certificate programs in 2010-2011
    • Awarded over $210,000 to ET degree awarding college partners for laboratory upgrades through 2011
  • A statewide articulation agreement for high school students and incumbent workers for 15 credit hours by achieving MSSC
  • Production Technician Certification impacts aligned high school and community college programs and incumbent workers
  • Productive working partnership with Florida Department of Education and Workforce Florida, Inc.
  • Providing language for Career and Prof. 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 workforce grant from USF Biomolecular Identification for Targeted Therapeutics (BITT) (2008-2011, $500,000)
  • Legislatively identified as the FESC (Florida Energy Systems Consortium) resource for community college curriculum (2009-2011,$300,000)
  • Awarded $400,000 additional funding for NSF ATE for requested special projects
  • FLATE has been leveraged by its partners to obtain over $55 million in state and local funding
  • Facilitated 43 summer externships for STEM & Manufacturing teachers in partnership with TRDA Teacher Quest
  • Program; FLATE named 2010 and 2011 TRDA Business Partner
  • Provided 8,249 hours of professional development to 17,966 educators and 6,770 workforce, economic and manufacturing personnel as well as to community members at hundreds of events nationwide and in Canada
  • $257,000 cash donations from Florida companies for advertorials, student tours, DVD production, & FLATE awards
  • $128,000 in kind contributions by industry personnel and school districts (tours, curriculum, professional development)
  • Over 59,975 Florida students and educators reached by the Made in Florida outreach campaign
    • 3,474 students, 425 teachers, hosted by 49 different manufacturers in 153 “Made in Florida” Industry tours
    • 78% of students taking tours responded that tours helped them understand the use of STEM subjects in industry
    • 17 Made in Florida industry-sourced, integrated STEM middle and high school lesson plans
    • Responded to 19,952 students from 5 annual advertorials distributed to all Florida high schools since 2006
    • 33,000 students viewed “Made in Florida” video with 1,000 + DVDs distributed
    • 26,943 visitors to www.madeinflorida.org and 22,127 website hits on www.fl-ate.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 416 middle and high school students in summer robotic camps including a “girls only” camp, service to underserved populations, and a Junior Achievement high school cohort
  • Awarded 2 statewide recognitions for innovative education programs (Education Chancellor and FACC Workforce
  • Award), and 3 Best Practice Awards for the ET Degree Program sTEm at Work Puzzles and the ToothPick Factory
  • Using the industry endorsed (Baldrige/Sterling) evaluation model for center and Project evaluation

  • Awarded Hi-TEC 2010 Innovative Program Award
  • Published Best Practices documents for STEM-based Summer Robotics Camps and Tours to High Tech Industries
  • 39,445 FLATE Focus Newsletters distributed nationwide since January 2007
    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
  • Dissemination by over 150 national presentations, posters, and published papers on center activities and best practices
  • National advisory boards for Technical and STEM Education including ATE Centers, NAM, MSSC, NCPN, & HAS 200
  • The FLATE developed Toothpick Factory (a simulation game-based soft skills module) delivered to 547 participants


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