In a Year of Change, FLATE and FloridaMakes Inspires Tomorrow’s Manufacturing Workforce

February 16th 2021

2020 will forever be remembered as a year of profound challenges for America, and the entire world. The manufacturing community adapted, pivoted, and responded to the Covid-19 pandemic. During this challenging time, the Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE) remained steadfast to inspire the next generation’s pursuit of manufacturing careers.

“Florida’s manufacturing sector is at the heart of our state’s dynamic and robust economy,” said Henry Mack, Chancellor of Florida’s Department of Education’s (DOE) Division of Career and Adult Education. “Florida’s educational institutions are also integrated into the sector. From STEM programs in our elementary schools to our colleges and technical colleges, Florida’s learning resources are the catalyst to careers in manufacturing.”

Cybersecurity Attacks: Stay Ahead of the Game and Protect your Manufacturing Company

January 28th 2021

If you follow the headlines, you’re likely familiar with recent news about major cybersecurity breaches worldwide. The security breach experienced is a wake-up call to the business community, manufacturers included. In the U.S., the breach affected the networks of the U.S. Treasury, Commerce, State, Energy, Justice and Homeland Security Departments. These networks were not directly attacked as we would think. According to reports, hackers gained access into their networks by utilizing a weakness in their supply chain. As the U.S. Department of Defense is rolling out the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), this breach should show us that everyone throughout the Defense Industrial Base, no matter where they lay in the supply chain, could be affected. The attackers do not just target the large prime contractors. Even small manufacturers need to realize that they are often the primary targets to gain access into larger systems.

Rethinking your Manufacturing Business Risk After the Great Lockdown

January 19th 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has made us more aware of the items we purchase on a regular basis and how they get to store shelves and to our doors. Anyone else still waiting two to three weeks longer for orders of sanitizing wipes and paper towels? Now, if we as consumers have experienced these longer wait times and find ourselves (still) refreshing the delivery notifications on our latest online purchases, imagine what’s going on behind the scenes!

Manufacturing leaders have told us this pandemic has really made them think about risk. Nearly all of the manufacturers we have spoken to mentioned that their immediate focus was on the risk to the health of their workers and their businesses. But beyond that, the spread of the novel coronavirus and the unprecedented Great Lockdown of the U.S. and world economies have shined a bright light on the weak links in their operations. They see risk in their supply chains, their workforces, their standard practices and in pulling back from innovation. Mitigating those risks, they say, comes in the form of local partnerships, long-term agreements, internalizing some outsourced supply, and automation.

How Florida Manufacturing Growth Stacks Up Nationally

January 6th 2021

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be difficult to predict or parse long term due to a number of variables, including sector, changes in demand and/or likelihood the manufacturer was deemed essential in the spring 2020 closures. However, despite these variables, we can safely assume that issues existing before the pandemic will still affect manufacturers during and after the pandemic.

We’ve heard this via a series of 11 listening sessions organized by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP) called the “National Conversation with Manufacturers” series. The focus of the conversations is on learning how manufacturers are handling the near-term jolt from the pandemic and preparing for success in the long-term.

Patti Gander: How a Manufacturing Expert is Paying it Forward

January 5th 2021

Patti Gander’s manufacturing career began at 18 years old when she started on an assembly shop floor. Accumulating over 40 years of industry experience to date, she worked her way up in the manufacturing world to Vice President of Operations. Having a passion for mentoring and teaching the future workers of America, she began teaching at the University of South Florida, instructing business management and MBA classes before joining the FloridaMakes team as a Business Advisor.

While serving the United States Marine Corps, Patti obtained an associate’s degree in electronics and is an expert in technical skillsets. With a bachelor’s in business management, a Master in Business Administration (MBA) specializing in marketing and management information systems and a Master of Management specializing in leadership and organizational effectiveness, Patti brings a unique perspective to her Florida manufacturing clients.



Learn how FloridaMakes works with Florida manufacturers – and how we can help unlock growth opportunities and cost savings for your business.