FLATE was established in 2002 with the aim of helping Tampa Bay Region Community Colleges develop two year degree programs that would support manufacturing with the region. In 2004, FLATE, was designated a National Science Foundation Center of Excellence in high-technology manufacturing to address the needs of technician education within Florida. FLATE continues to receive NSF support to assure that it is the go-to organization related to manufacturing and advanced technical education that includes best practices and resources to support the high performance skilled workforce development for Florida's manufacturing sectors.
FLATE facilitates exemplary industry partnerships, technician workforce opportunity, and educational synergy throughout Florida. this is accomplished by grass roots efforts that connect industry identified workforce skills to targeted educational endeavors among the State and Community Colleges across the State. FLATE also uses its resources to develop extensive sTEm and manufacturing outreach activities for K-12 students and professional development for sTEm educators to support the engineering technician workforce in Florida.
The A.S. Engineering Technology (ET) degree and certificate programs conceived, engineered, and coordinated by FLATE is the first of its kind to offer a cohesive, comprehensive, fully articulated inter-institutional program which focuses on a set of core courses covering introductory computer-aided drafting, electronics, instrumentation and testing, processes and materials, quality and safety. These core skills support the Florida workforce, and align with the national Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) Certified Production Technician certification, providing value added benefits to industry. The Engineering Technology Core coupled with a second year degree specialization prepares students for jobs in manufacturing and high-technology industries. The award winning A.S. ET degree is approved by the Florida Department of Education and is offered by all of the State and Community Colleges within the Greater Tampa Bay Region.