Marilyn Barger, Ph.D., principal investigator and executive director of FLATE says “the awards stand as a testament to Florida’s high-tech workforce,” and are an effective vehicle in recognizing outstanding educators and industry professionals who have made significant contributions in training/educating Florida’s next generation of high-skilled workers.
2011 marks the fifth year of the FLATE awards. Since the implementation of the awards program in 2006, FLATE has recognized 10 educators in secondary and post secondary educational institutions, and five industry partners. Greg McGrew will receive the 2011 Manufacturing Secondary Educator-of-
At the post secondary level, Robert Deckon, manager for operational excellence at Saddle Creek Corporation in Jacksonville, FL, and past director of engineering technology at Florida Gateway College (FGC) will receive the 2011 Manufacturing Post-Secondary Educator of the Year award. Deckon has been engaged in industry, engineering and engineering technology (ET) education for over 25 years, and was instrumental in revamping the ET program at FGC. He developed the news courses within the A.S.E.T. concentrating on Quality specialization including the six sigma black belt and green belt college certificates.
Deckon also designed the first mobile ET laboratory in Florida. His lab consists of electronic test equipment, programmable logic controllers, instrumentation and process control equipment, and hydraulics and pneumatics trainers that are lodged within a 52ft triple axel trailer that can be towed to any school, or company site for training. The core of the program he says is problem solving. To that effect, he says educators should coordinate placement of students at local companies so they can use their technical skills to work on real-world projects. “Employers want and need employees who can solve problems, and have the ability to apply these skills to a wide variety of situations” Deckon said. He adds “education needs fewer chiefs and more Indians.”
On the industry side of the continuum, Mark Snyder, vice president of global operations & supply chain at ConMed Corporation in Largo, FL, will receive the Industry Distinguished Service award. Over the last 25 years, Snyder has been at the forefront of affecting positive changes in the manufacturing sector in Florida. Most of what he’s been involved in entails bringing jobs to Florida, and moving work to low cost manufacturing areas. “I am passionate about manufacturing and the need to stay competitive.”
In addition to his industry expertise, Snyder has been a firm proponent of the statewide A.S. degree in engineering technology developed by FLATE. He has served as a speaker before industry associations advocating merits of the ET degree. “It benefits ConMed Corporation to assure these programs address the current and future needs of manufacturers”
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FLATE is a National Science Foundation center, committed to ensuring that Florida has a well prepared workforce for manufacturing and related technologies. Created in 2004, it is one of 39 centers in the United States focused on improving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education to meet the needs of American advanced-technology industries. For more information visit www.fl-ate.org/