Early in 2010, FLATE, along with representatives from the Florida Energy Systems Consortium (FESC), was invited to give testimony to the Florida Legislature regarding the best path towards educating a burgeoning energy technician workforce. Follow-up work culminated with the Florida Department of Education approval of a new College Credit Certificate curriculum framework in July 2010 for an Alternative Energy Technology Specialist.
In July 2010, FLATE sponsored a workshop entitled “The Science and Technologies of Energy Efficient Buildings” at the well-attended HI-TEC conference in Orlando. The HI-TEC High Impact Technology Exchange Conference brought together technical educators, counselors, industry professionals and technicians focused on the high-tech sector workforce from all parts of the country.
Of major importance in 2010, Brevard Community College, Florida State College at Jacksonville and Tallahassee Community College, with FLATE as a grant partner, were awarded an NSF grant, “Creating an Energy Systems Technology Technician (EST2) workforce in Florida.” Through this effort, FLATE has been facilitating the adoption of an Alternative Energy Specialist AA/AAS program at the organizations listed above.
Work on course content development continues at FLATE. To date, initial efforts have been made at producing modular content for the course EST1830 Introduction to Alternative/Renewable Energy. There are currently a total of 13 modular topics for the course in completed draft form. The long-term plan is to upload modularized content to the FLATE website and make available to any state/community college that wishes to supplement its course materials, as well as to anyone that desires to learn more about alternative/renewable energy.
The State of Florida has the third largest population in country, with an official 2020 estimate of 21.5 million persons and approximately 58% of the population is in the civilian labor force (12,600,000).