“Drive to 1,000”
Campaign to Place Students in
Advanced Manufacturing Jobs

Clearwater, Florida - The Florida TRADE Consortium, a coalition of 13 state and community colleges across Florida, is announcing the launch of a statewide campaign to place 1,000 Florida TRADE students into jobs in advanced manufacturing by April 1, 2016. The campaign will be highlighted by job fairs, campus events, manufacturing days and forums, and other activities over the next 12 months.  Read entire Press Release here.


Join the "Industry Certifications Preferred" Team!

When prospective employees arrive at your doorstep with an industry certification on their resume that is relevant to your business, it will undoubtedly save you time and money when you hire that individual.  You can help drive students to earn industry certifications by putting “industry certifications preferred” on your employment applications and packages.  Then go one step further and list the industry certifications you are looking for.

MAF and the MAF Center are working with state agencies and the TRADE college consortium to coordinate the universe of industry certifications for manufacturers in Florida.  Attached is a flyer that lists the industry certifications being offered at Florida colleges (and some high schools and tech schools) now.  We encourage you to pull the ones off the list that matter to you and put them on your employment applications!

We don’t have to have the “chicken or the egg debate” if we just start putting “industry certifications preferred” now on our employment materials! The preference will drive prospective employees to earn those certifications. Click here for more details.


Educating and Training Future Employees

You've said it, we've heard it - We need properly educated and trained individuals to fill manufacturing positions in Florida. So what are we doing about it?

The MAF Center, MAF and the MAF regional manufacturing associations are working with twelve colleges and regional workforce boards under a U.S. Department of Labor grant in Florida to establish manufacturing education programs and industry certifications that will properly prepare students for manufacturing careers in Florida. The colleges involved in the TRADE project include: 

  1. Broward College
  2. Daytona State College
  3. Florida State College at Jacksonville
  4. Gulf Coast College
  5. Hillsborough Community College
  6. Indian River State College
  7. Palm Beach State College
  8. Pasco-Hernando Community College
  9. Polk State College
  10. St. Petersburg College
  11. Tallahassee Community College
  12. Valencia College

The  Manufacturing Associations engaged in this project, in various capacities, are:

Bay Area Manufacturers Association
Capital Region Manufacturers Association
First Coast Manufacturers Association
MAF Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence
Manufacturers Association of Central Florida
Manufacturers Association of Florida
Manufacturing Supply Chain Alliance of Mid-Florida
Marion Regional Manufacturers Association
Northwest Florida Manufacturers Association
South Florida Manufacturers Association
Southwest Florida Manufacturers Association
Upper Tampa Bay Manufacturers Association
Space Coast Economic Development Council

Through this unique consortium, manufacturers, educators, and workforce professionals are coming together to implement courses and opportunities for industry certifications that will prepare students for manufacturing careers.  And that is not all!  The project goes a step further to identify manufacturers who will provide internships or permanent jobs to the students from these programs.  There is room for every manufacturer to engage.  To find out how you can be part of the solution, contact


Dream It! Do It!

Florida's Dream It! Do It! program focuses on introducing high school student to manufacturing careers. This is being done around the state through the adoption of high schools by Florida manufacturers.  If you would like to adopt a high school, contact the Dream It! Do It! Project Manager for Florida, Nancy Stephens at


Manufacturing Pipeline

Looking to fill a manufacturing position?  Check The Manufacturing Pipeline matches military job descriptions to your job descriptions, sorts geographically, and provides you with names/contacts for veterans that match your needs.  This is a pilot project between the Manufacturing Institute and the MAF Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence, Inc.  Check it out and tell us how it works for you! Questions? Contact


Looking for Qualified Manufacturing Entry Level Workers?

 Manufacturers in Florida are looking for qualified, experienced workers…but cannot find them because candidates for jobs do not have the required skills. So now we have a solution! 

 Students from around the state are now ready to accept a 4-week paid learning experience (or longer) at your company.  You might ask them to tackle a project for you, utilizing the skills they have just acquired, or pair them with a seasoned worker to provide additional manpower for a job.  No obligations beyond the learning experience, but if you try them you might want to keep them!  For more information check here

Visit to view students now available with one or more of the skills above and contact the designated college to interview the individuals.


Hiring Florida's Heroes

MAF encourages Florida manufacturers to hire our veterans.  Our  top six  reasons why you should hire a veteran:

  1. Veterans lead and work with integrity
  2. Veterans are adept at technology and globalization
  3. Veterans respect procedures and accountability
  4. Veterans work efficiently and perform well under pressure
  5. Veterans are fast learners who possess a broad range of applicable skills
  6. The military teaches skills valuable to the manufacturing sector - teamwork, dependability, communication, punctuality, safety, cleanliness, punctuality and more!

It's easy.  Go to the Employ Florida Vets web portal or call 1-800-438-4128 to access online services and information on Florida's nearly 100 One-Stop Career Centers. The Employ Florida Vets web portal provides 24/7 access to post job listings, search resumes and find information about employment tax incentives.  Through the Employ Florida toll-free number, employers can connect with a local workforce specialist for recruitment and hiring assistance.  

MSSC Certified Production Technician Certification

Many manufacturers through the US and – specifically – right here in central-Florida today are seeking skilled workers who are ready to start work with the knowledge and skills necessary to bring results right away. Some manufacturers have realized that there is an easy way to determine if their potential employees have what it takes: Simply screening for applicants who have earned their Manufacturing Skill Standards Council’s (MSSC) Certified Production Technician (CPT) certification.
This national certification – referred to as the CPT – is awarded to learners who have passed four comprehensive exams in each of the categories of (a) Safety, (b) Manufacturing Production & Processes, (c) Maintenance Awareness, and (d) Quality Practices and Measurement.  Passing all of the assessments leads to attainment of the nationally recognized CPT certification, which many employers are now listing as a preferred qualification for new hires. Additionally, certification holders can receive 15 credit hours towards their Engineering Technology AS degree or 9 credit hours towards their Electronics Engineering Technology AS degree at many community and state colleges throughout Florida.
The certification was created to be applicable to all manufacturing sectors, from potato chips to microchips.  In Florida it is now available to high school students in manufacturing career academies, college students in engineering technology and advanced manufacturing AS degree programs, and to workforce trainees (either incumbent or displaced). Learners from throughout the state have sat for and passed the exams, and many of those have either found gainful employment or been promoted into skilled trades.  At the national level, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has identified the MSSC CPT as one of five core certifications in their talent development blueprint - the "Skills Certification System".

The benefits are many, for both employers and employees.
·         Decreased recruitment costs by providing job candidates with industry-recognized credentials.
·         Elimination of remedial training costs by providing well-prepared workers.
·         A diagnostic tool to benchmark incumbent workers against a high-performance national standard.
·         Increased ROI for training by targeting gaps identified by diagnostic tool. 
Workers and students:
·         Offers the only nationally portable, industry recognized skill certifications for front-line production workers (entry-level through first line of supervision) in all sectors of manufacturing.
·         Improves career advancement opportunities and earnings by obtaining high-performance skills through MSSC training.
·         Improve job security through document certification of proven skill sets.
·         The certification articulates for college credit at community and state colleges.

If you are an advanced manufacturing employer, please consider adding this credential as a preferred condition of employment or promotion.


Comprehensive Industry Certification List

Click below to download the current industry certification list used by agencies to plan high school curriculum to prepare students for industry careers.

Postsecondary Industry Certification Funding List
2014-2015 Approved Comprehensive Certification List
CAPE Industry Certification List


Targeted Occupations List

CareerSource Florida utilizes data from the State’s Workforce Estimating Conference to define specific occupations needed for the workforce system and then publishes a Targeted Occupations List (TOL).   Each CareerSource Region customizes this list based on local workforce needs to develop Regional TOL’s.  Once developed and approved, these TOL’s govern the funding and provision of training programs being offered to individuals needing training assistance within the workforce system in compliance with federal and state law. It is essential that manufacturers make sure that occupations related to manufacturing are on their regional TOL’s.  MAF is always recruiting manufacturers to help review these lists and make sure they are relevant to today's jobs.  If you would like to volunteer, contact