SCF Makes National Manufacturing Institute List

(Bradenton, Fla., June 14, 2013) — State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) has been named a charter member of the Manufacturing Institute's "M-list" that recognizes schools for excellence in manufacturing education. The Manufacturing Institute is an organization dedicated to improving and expanding manufacturing nationally.

SCF was one of 11 Florida College System institutions to be selected, helping Florida lead the nation with the most schools on the list.

SCF has been recognized for meeting the need for a skilled workforce in the local manufacturing community and offering certification programs endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers that allow students to earn job promotions and advance into for-credit academic pathways.

For the past two years, SCF has collaborated with local workforce agencies and state and community colleges on the Engineering Technology and Advanced Manufacturing (ETAM) grant project to provide manufacturing education and training. Academic partners include Polk State College and Tallahassee Community College.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, the program gives local entry-level and highly skilled workers the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills and earn certifications and college credits to expand future career opportunities.

SCF also partnered with Suncoast Workforce to provide Florida Ready to Work credentials to unemployed and underemployed workers in the manufacturing industry. More than 200 participants have completed a training program through the grant project, participating in courses that lead to certifications including the Lean Bronze Certification, Certified Quality Improvement Associate Certification and Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC). About 80 participants, both employed and unemployed, have completed training and passed required examinations to receive a nationally recognized MSSC Certified Production Technician (CPT) certificate that can be used to obtain 15 credit hours toward an Associate in Science in Engineering Technology degree at SCF.

Designed with an emphasis on sustainability and alternative energy, the A.S. in Engineering Technology Program is aligned with the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council and connects the pipeline of manufacturing education from the certification to the bachelor's degree.

Students entering the A.S. in Engineering Technology Program can build their credentials in the field by taking the core courses to earn their Production Technician Certification and completing their degree to qualify for positions as manufacturing production technicians, solar energy system designers, CAD designers and electronics engineering technicians. Graduates of the program also may continue their education at SCF in the new B.A.S. in Energy Technology Management Program.

"SCF and its partners are ahead of the curve in the alignment of affordable short-term training in partnership with manufacturing employers with national industry certification that can be applied toward a degree. This recognition shows that SCF and its partners pulled all those pieces together to provide seamless manufacturing training and education to the area," said Dr. Eric Roe, an SCF alum, principal investigator for the ETAM grant, and director of applied technology, at Polk State College.

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