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aMechatronics Forum with FLATE at St. Petersburg College in Clearwater, FL. The half day Forum represented an industry-led initiative to raise awareness and drive alignment towards the promotion of interdisciplinary field of Mechatronics. The goal, Buczynsky said, was to bring educators, industry, career advisors, students, parents together for an informative forum with plenty of time for Q&A so participants would walk away with a clear understanding of ongoing efforts to accelerate implementation.
perspectives on how communities have successfully implemented mechatronics programs and formulated mechatronics certifications. Maria Ferrante of PMMI (Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies) spoke of their development of the NAM endorsed PMMI Mechatronics certification (one of the industry specific TRADE certifications). Bryan Kamm, from the Florida chapter of the German American Chamber of Commerce, presented the German dual system of education model where critical, foundational skills are taught with industry heavily involved with the hands-on element of education. Kamm also discussed the concept of local ITC’s (Industrial Training Centers) in each county—currently a hot topic amongst local legislature. Dr. Marilyn Barger, executive director of FLATE highlighted current Florida mechatronics program at the secondary and post-secondary levels.
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).