Post Event Survey from National MFG Day Earmarks Key Successes

TAMPA, Fla. - Nov. 26, 2013 - PRLog -- National Manufacturing Day in Florida was one of the biggest events coordinated by FLATE this year, and concluded with resounding success. The details are in the numbers. As part of national manufacturing day in Florida, 2,331 students from 68 middle and high schools, 71 parents and 110 teachers toured nearly 72 high-tech manufacturing facilities across Florida. The tours represented a cohesive effort between FLATE and its regional partners that included 225 employees from 71 manufacturers and colleges, Regional Manufacturers Associations, manufacturing-related professional organizations, and school districts across the state.

Activity varied across the state, but some regions took Manufacturing Day in Florida by storm. Twenty-three counties participated with highest number of student participants in a single county  being 492 in Marion County.  The northwest Florida region of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Walton, Okaloosa, Bay and Gulf counties also ranked the highest in terms of number of schools, teachers and tour hosts that participated in national manufacturing day tours. The tours represented a unified effort between FLATE, school districts, companies, regional manufacturers, professional organization and individuals and proved meaningful to every child. A full list of schools and manufacturers that participated can be found at

Regional partners that coordinated local efforts included Bay Area Manufacturers Association ( (, Northwest Florida Manufacturing Council (;  the First Coast Manufacturers Association ( ( in the Jacksonville area; Marion Regional Manufacturers Association (; Sarasota-Manatee Manufacturers Association (; Pasco-Hernando Community College (; Tallahassee Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing Training Center ( (; and South Florida Manufacturers Association ( partnered with FLATE to organize great experiences for hundreds of students in their regions.

To underline the value manufacturing brings to Florida’s economy, Gov. Rick Scott took a leading role in declaring Oct. 4 as Manufacturing Day in Florida. A total of 12 counties through individual County Commission Proclamations ( also declared Oct. 4 as “Florida Manufacturing Day.” Some of these are posted at the Made in Florida website. ( In addition to arranging tours, FLATE together with industry partners raised $5,000 for manufacturing day T-shirts. FLATE designed and delivered t-shirts to manufacturers in the greater Tampa bay region, and surveyed all students to assess the overall impact of the tours.

FLATE also worked with regional “Manufacturing Day teams,” to arrange statewide media publicity. This effort yielded news stories in statewide press that  included the Jacksonville Business Journal, Manufacturers Association of Florida newsletter, News-Press, Sarasota Herald Tribune, Tampa Bay Times, The Lakeland Ledger, Pensacola News Journal, Orlando Business Journal, Ocala Star Banner, and Northwest Florida Daily News. Given the number of tours coordinated by FLATE and its partners across the state, FLATE was contacted by National Manufacturing Day organizers and acknowledged on a national arena as a key partner in making the national event a huge success.

Out of a total of 1,163 post tour student surveys returned to FLATE, 91% agreed or strongly agreed that the tour made them think about careers in advanced manufacturing. Ninety six percent surveyed agreed/strongly agreed they learned about technologies used in advanced manufacturing industries; while 88% agreed, or strongly agreed the tour helped them understand how STEM subjects learned in school are applied in advanced manufacturing industries. The tours also enabled 95% of survey participants to learn something new and interesting about manufactured products. Same percentage also agreed/strongly agreed they would recommend the tour to other students. Based on individual student responses, student interest in advanced manufacturing careers increased statewide by 32.8% following the tours.

FLATE conducted several post event survey of manufacturing day industry hosts. Of the 24 industry hosts that responded to the survey, 26% have hired students from schools tours as interns, or employees. Industry hosts also unanimously agreed that the tour was a good use of their company’s time and resources. “We enjoy having visitors, especially students, who are the future of not just Tampa Bay’s workforce, but America’s future workforce,” stated a respondent. Another tour host stated that the tours allowed them to showcase what the company manufactured and opportunities it could offer to regional students.

In addition to industry hosts, FLATE also surveyed educators who went on the tours. Of the 30 who responded to the FLATE survey, 100% said the tour provided their students with the opportunity to see how STEM subjects learned in school are applied in high-tech industries and careers in advanced manufacturing. When asked about the impact that manufacturing day had on students, educators responded that the tours gave their students real-world connection to STEM, and provided insight into technology and manufacturing opportunities that are available locally. “This is my second manufacturing day tour. I find it very valuable tool for promoting post-secondary education and careers,” said another responding teacher.

FLATE has compiled an extensive gallery of photos capturing student tours and activities across the state. These can be viewed across our social media platforms that include our Facebook profile (!/MadeInFlorida), Facebook page ( and on Twitter ( Be sure to connect with us on Facebook ( and subscribe to our Twitter ( handle @Made_InFlorida.

Looking ahead, FLATE and its partners are already planning for next year, building on this year’s success and lessons learned. A special Manufacturing Day curriculum was developed by FLATE and piloted in Hillsborough County.  After compiling feedback from these teachers, the new curriculum will be evaluated for future use in more regions next year. In addition to engaging more regions in the state, “next year, we’d like a higher level of engagement from the community and parents” said Dr. Marilyn Barger, executive director of FLATE.

For more information on National Manufacturing Day, visit the Made in Florida ( website. To arrange tours to local high-tech facilities for middle and high school students in your region contact Desh Bagley, FLATE outreach manager at, or (813) 253-7838 and Dr. Marilyn Barger, executive director at

Dr. Marilyn Barger
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Page Updated Last on: Nov 26, 2013

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