FloridaCommerce Press Releases

FDEO and ICTC Governing Board Announce Tampa Bay Advanced Manufacturing Skills Initiative

Nov 13, 2014

TAMPA BAY – The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and the Industry Certification Training Centers (ICTC) Governing Board of Pasco, Hernando, and Pinellas Counties today announced a new Tampa Bay Advanced Manufacturing Skills Initiative to provide high school students in Pasco, Hernando, and Pinellas Counties with apprenticeship training and certifications in advanced manufacturing careers.

The Tampa Bay Advanced Manufacturing Skills Initiative is a $2.35 million state and county funded three-year initiative bringing the world class internationally recognized German/European apprenticeship program to Florida. The initiative is a collaborative effort in three Tampa Bay counties (Pasco, Hernando and Pinellas) and is governed by the ICTC Governing Board that consists of an eleven member board, including county commissioners (one from each county), school district superintendents from each county, a primary manufacturer from each county, and President appointees from Pasco Hernando State College (PHSC) and St. Petersburg College (SPC). Five Training Centers will be co-located with education and industry in the tri-county area.

DEO Executive Director Jesse Panuccio said, “DEO is honored to be a partner in the Tampa Bay Advanced Manufacturing Skills Initiative to support Florida’s manufacturing workforce and businesses. This initiative will further promote Florida as the perfect environment for manufacturing industries to grow, relocate, and expand.”

During her speech at the announcement, DEO’s Director of Strategic Business Development Cissy Proctor said, “Florida manufacturers and exporters are a powerful combination for the state's economy as manufacturing accounts for 85 to 90 percent of Florida's exports. This is why preparing today’s youth for jobs in this high-skill, high-wage industry is so important to our economy and this new initiative will greatly support these efforts in the Tampa region."

Student apprentices will begin a very intensive, hands-on, four year apprenticeship program starting at age 16, as juniors in high school. Upon completion of the program, the student apprentices will earn a two year post-secondary degree at a local state college and will have obtained both international and U.S. industry recognized certifications in advanced manufacturing.  More importantly, local manufacturers are sponsoring the apprentices through the Training Center program at their expense, as well as paying the student while working at their facility. This program will enable students at the age of 20 years old to be debt free with a two year college degree and a full time job upon graduation.

Florida Senator Jack Latvala said, “The Tampa Bay Advanced Manufacturing Skills Initiative will allow Pasco, Hernando, and Pinellas counties to further enhance this sector of the region’s workforce demanded by the growing manufacturing industry and will provide employment opportunities for our young constituents. This partnership is evidence of what can be achieved when the private sector collaborates with government and academia to foster a brighter future for our students with high-skill, high-wage jobs.”

Florida Senator John Legg said, “High school students in Hernando, Pasco and Pinellas Counties face exciting opportunities, due to the Tampa Bay Advanced Manufacturing Skills Initiative. Through this initiative, students are eligible to receive advanced training and earn apprenticeship certifications for high-paying, in-demand jobs.  Our manufacturing sector needs qualified workers for technically skilled positions, such as machinists and engineers, and our students will be able to compete in the global market. This new workforce creates economic growth that will benefit families and businesses throughout our community.”

Additionally, these credentials will match any of the major German manufacturers workforce worldwide, such as BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Bosch, Siemens, and Airbus, who all have major production facilities in the U.S., as well as local suppliers to these companies. Also, implementing these world class training centers in Florida will also help to attract other German/European companies to the area seeking a high skilled workforce.

German Consul General Juergen Borsch said, “I am excited to see these five apprenticeship training centers being implemented in the Tampa Bay area and believe these centers will become the role model for future training centers to follow throughout the Tampa Bay area, as well as other regions in Florida.”

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to kick off this three county innovative program for workforce training,” said Pasco County Commissioner Kathryn Starkey. “This program will allow badly needed training for our students so we can attract manufacturers who need highly skilled workers, and provide a place for existing workers to gain a higher skill level.”

The ICTC will focus on the implementation of German IHK/international occupational standards and certifications that will be tested and certified by the German American Chamber of Commerce, which is the third party industry certifying party responsible for mid- and final certifications in the U.S. This adds a higher standard of occupational certifications in advanced manufacturing and aligns well with the direction of the CAPE act that fosters and encourages the development of High School Career Academies specializing in workforce skills and apprenticeship training for specific industries.

ICTC Executive Director Bryan Kamm said, “Advanced manufacturing today offers a highly technical and rewarding career in a highly sophisticated and clean working environment. It is a far cry from the dirty shop floors that are typically the image we have in America. It is no longer blue collar, in fact, most technicians have to be very competent in math using trigonometry and calculus on a daily basis. We are seeking students with the passion and drive to create products and new innovations, who want to make an earlier investment in training and get a head start in their career!”

PharmaWorks President Peter Buczynsky said, “Talent development is the most critical issue to U.S. manufacturing. The aging workforce of qualified craftsmen is leaving a gap that the traditional educational model is not filling. This dual system of education where industry and the educational system work together utilizing industry refined curriculums, allows priceless transfer of knowledge via organized mentoring - teaching not only practical skills but work ethic as well.”

For more information visit: http://www.tampabayictc.com/

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