Polk State College is celebrating Manufacturing Month with upcoming Manufacturing Days, the recent International Organization of Standardization (ISO) 9001 certification of Polk State Corporate College, and the College’s many programs and partnerships that serve the manufacturing industry.
These efforts align with Governor Ron DeSantis’ resolution declaring October as Manufacturing Month in Florida and his initiative Charting a Course for Florida to Become Number 1 in the Nation in Workforce Education by 2030 and ensuring Florida Students are Prepared for the Jobs of the Future.
“Polk State is dedicated to providing students with the higher education and workforce training they need to secure in-demand, high-wage careers that fulfill the needs of our local workforce,” Polk State President Angela Garcia Falconetti said. “With more than 20,500 manufacturers with 371,500 employees in Florida, we know that advanced manufacturing training is beneficial and critical for our students and the community.”
Polk State Corporate College provides approximately 12,000 students each year with high-tech degree programs and short-term training options that fulfill local workforce needs in industries including advanced manufacturing. Corporate College operates its Advanced Manufacturing Institute, the College Alliance for Advanced Manufacturing (CAAM), and the Industrial Maintenance and Machining Program.
“With more than 20,500 manufacturers with 371,500 employees in Florida, we know that advanced manufacturing training is beneficial and critical for our students and the community.”
Polk State President Angela Garcia Falconetti
Additionally, through partnerships with local businesses and manufacturers, Corporate College provides training for national certifications that allow employees to advance in their careers. Polk State’s partnership with The Mosaic Company, for example, has resulted in more than 220 apprentices earning more than 2,000 national certifications through Corporate College since 2010.
“The educational partners are uniquely positioned to be the training solutions providers to ensure the industry has the qualified and certified team members that will allow them to maintain and expand their competitive advantage,” Polk State Corporate College Director Howard Drake said. “The advanced manufacturing industry is poised for explosive growth and we applaud the Governor for leading the way through his proclamation.”
Manufacturing Month comes on the cusp of Polk State Corporate College’s achievement of ISO 9001 certification, which is popular in the manufacturing industry and puts Corporate College in a prestigious group of ISO 9001-certified organizations including SpaceX, Samsung Telecommunications, Intel, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Shell Global, and ExxonMobil.
ISO 9001 is the international standard for quality management systems, and it is used by a variety of organizations to demonstrate their ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements. It was important for Corporate College to achieve a certification that aligns with the industry it largely serves.
“The partnership between education and industry ensures that we are aptly preparing our students for the technical demands and professional rigors of the manufacturing workforce,” Vice President of Workforce Education & Economic Development Orathai Northern explained. “Declaring October 2019 as Manufacturing Month in Florida sends a salient message to all of the economic development stakeholders in Central Florida that we are unified in our pursuit to sustain a talent pipeline for manufacturing.”
Each year, the College partners with local manufacturers and high schools as part of the national effort to address the industry’s skilled labor shortage. The tours expose students to careers in the manufacturing industry and provide information on educational pathways that are available to them to achieve degrees, certifications, and employment.
The College will host 400 Polk County high school students on tours of 14 local manufacturers in October.
“Polk State remains on the cutting edge of workforce education and training and is committed to working under Governor DeSantis’ leadership to create a pipeline of highly skilled professionals to fill Florida’s workforce needs,” Falconetti said. “We are thrilled to celebrate Manufacturing Month and to highlight the College’s success in serving the manufacturing industry year round.”