Career Pathways

Advanced Manufacturing

Advanced Manufacturing Consists of: Agribusiness, Aircraft & Aviation Components, Aerospace & Defense Maintenance & Repair, Metal Products & Machinery, and Defense Technologies.

Industry Resources

Spotlight on Success

Northeast Florida is one of the largest manufacturing regions in the state, creating products required in aviation, automotive, food and beverage, rail, and medical equipment.

Earn Up
Earn Up

First Coast Manufacturers Association

Manufacturing, Measuring & Math


FloridaMakes-Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE) Community of Practice Workforce Development challenged institutions such as the First Coast Manufacturers Association and partners to create a project that increases awareness of manufacturing careers, pathways and earning potential with high school seniors to be implemented by December 1, 2019.

Manufacturers from the First Coast Manufacturers Association such as Vac-Con and Kaman Aerospace, along with community partners such as Remedy Staffing, Templeton Manufacturing Solutions, Career Source NEFL, and JAXUSA Partnership collaborated on this project. Overall, the team wanted to increase awareness of manufacturing career opportunities in Northeast Florida.

One of the skills job seekers often lack is how to use a tape measure. The team set out to create a curriculum which allowed area manufacturers to teach a lesson in measurement to high school math classes, ideally those with a large percentage of seniors who may be seeking to enter the workforce following high school graduation. The curriculum would provide instruction on proper use of a tape measure as well as emphasize the importance of this skill on entrylevel jobs as well as others along a career pathway. Students would be given tape measures to continue practice outside of the classroom. This real world, hands-on approach, titled Manufacturing, Measuring and Math, was intended to serve as a pilot project that could be replicated throughout the region.

Fletcher High School in the Duval County Public School system was selected for the pilot. The overall goal was projected to reach 200 students in a total of 5 classroom periods among 2 teachers, showing an improvement in measurement scores following the Manufacturing, Measuring and Math activity and presentation. Over 240 students were reached during 7 classroom periods with an improvement in scores.

Fletcher High School teachers Ebun Bolujo and Sandy Simpson permitted the team to present to their classrooms. Students were given a warmup activity, engaged in an activity in which they measured scrap components from a Kaman Aerospace, given a cool down activity to gauge progress, and learned about the industry via a PowerPoint presentation. The presentation highlighted demand, wage trends, success stories, and total compensation package information.

The project team intends to involve additional manufacturers and schools throughout the region to expand the Manufacturing, Measuring and Math project’s reach. Ultimately, the team wishes to increase connectivity between schools and companies and expand the awareness of career pathways within the industry.

Read More

Earn Up
Earn Up

SJR State

Apprenticeship Program


Student's dream of being aircraft electrician takes flight Beechum benefits from SJR State's partnership with Fleet Readiness.

ORANGE PARK – Shannon Beechum's interest in airplanes and how they work inspired her dream of joining the Navy and becoming an aircraft electrician.

Although she didn't enlist in the Navy, Beechum, 19, is still living her dream of becoming an aircraft electrician via a partnership between St. Johns River State College and Fleet Readiness Center Southeast, a program that began a year ago as SJR State and FRCSE sought a means for training the artisans of the future.

Through this hands-on, paid training opportunity, students begin at a rate of $15.60 an hour and are guaranteed a federal job upon completion of the program. The apprentices are prepared for trade jobs such as electronics mechanic, machinist, sheet metal mechanic, painting and aircraft mechanic.

"I'm doing exactly what I wanted to do," said Beechum. "And I'm getting paid to go to school. It's unbelievable. It's a blessing."

Beechum attends classes at the Orange Park campus, and although the course content is challenging and keeps her quite busy, she remains thrilled about her career path and is grateful for the program's exceptional instructors as well as the tremendous support from her classmates. Beechum said that working together on the material with her classmates makes all the difference for her.

Another plus for Beechum is having daily, relatable conversations with her dad about the apprenticeship. Beechum's dad, Terry, retired from FRCSE after working for the company for nearly 40 years. He was the one who introduced his daughter to the apprenticeship. Beechum said it's hard to put into words what it means to her to be following in her dad's footsteps. "I can't even describe the level of joy I'm feeling doing something that I know my dad's so proud of," she said.

Beechum believes the apprenticeship program is also a wonderful opportunity for those not sure about their future. "I think it's great for people who aren't sure what they want to do in life, especially if the military was their intended route or they just have a simple interest in airplanes," she said. "You don't need any prior knowledge. You just submit an application, and they train you. It's definitely great for your future."

According to Anna Lebesch, Vice President of Talent Development at JAXUSA Partnership, "Advanced manufacturing, particularly in the area of aviation, is an industry that JAXUSA identified as one of our region's assets, needs and opportunities. Therefore, it is vital that we support new business and education partnerships, which strategically develop an ongoing talent pipeline. This program with FRCSE and SJR State is an excellent example of our region's employers, colleges and school districts working together to change the future of workforce development," Lebesch said.

For more information regarding the apprenticeship program, call FRCSE at (904) 790-7536 or email them at Vincent.elston@navy.mil. For more information about additional engineering programs at SJR State, call 386-312-4232.

Read More

Testimonials

"This is where manufacturing is heading...what's better for my future than learning more about how equipment works."

John
Georgia Pacific employee and SJR State Associate of Science Engineering student

"The future and the pace that technology is moving inspired me to make this move to be skilled, knowledgeable and prepared to succeed in the 21st century."

Donnie
Georgia Pacific employee and SJR State Associate of Science Engineering student

“This successful partnership is employer-driven and demonstrates how schools and industry can partner to help students learn more about the Career Pathways available to them after high school.”

Roben Faircloth
Industry Manager, CareerSource Northeast Florida

“I can't even describe the level of joy I’m feeling doing something that I know my dad’s so proud of."

Shannon Beechum
Fleet Readiness/SJR State Apprenticeship Student

"We are always looking to attract and retain great talent and are proud to push initiatives like Manufacturing Month to bring awareness to the high-demand, good-paying careers in manufacturing. We are preparing for the future by engaging with the workforce of tomorrow today.” 

Lake Ray
President, First Coast Manufacturers Association

Advanced Manufacturing COMPANIES IN THE REGION