Date ArticleType
4/10/2018 Member News

Tampa Bay manufacturers and St. Petersburg College collaborate to bring mechatronics and electromechanical jobs to Florida

This is a press release from St. Petersburg College. For more information, contact Rita Farlow, Assistant Director, Marketing and Strategic Communications, 727-302-6526 or Marilyn Shaw, Public Relations Specialist, 727-341-4712.

Tampa Bay manufacturers and St. Petersburg College collaborate to bring mechatronics and electromechanical jobs to Florida

St. Petersburg College (SPC) will be working with Tampa Bay area manufacturers to launch an innovative workforce program in which participants will receive paid training to become mechatronics and electromechanical technicians.

Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity created a $85 million initiative to improve public infrastructure and enhance workforce training in order to promote economic development. Officials expect the efforts will create more than 18,600 jobs in the Sunshine State.

From the initiative, St. Petersburg College was awarded a $1.6 million grant from the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to launch the program.

“We are excited to have a dynamic group of industry and educational partners collaborate on this high-impact workforce training program that will drive our local and state economies and strengthen our community,” said SPC President Tonjua Williams.

Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Cissy Proctor visited the college last week to formally award the grant.

“The new Mechatronics and Electromechanical Technician training program stood out as a program sure to provide transferable, sustainable workforce skills to those who participate,” said Proctor. “We look forward to the opportunities this funding will bring to the families in the St. Petersburg area.”

SPC worked with a number of employers, including aerospace and defense global leader Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and international beverage manufacturer and distributor Monin to design the program using industry-led, competency-based curriculum, which will ensure that participants receive quality training to help them succeed in a number of high-demand advanced manufacturing positions.

Representatives from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics attended last week’s event on campus, noting the growing demand for skilled advanced manufacturing technicians to advance operations and automation.

“As a result of an expansion at our Pinellas Park facility in particular, we are realizing a need for 80 to 100 technicians to support assembly and fabrication over the next 12-18 months as we move towards peak production over the next several years,” said André F. Trotter, program director and general manager at Lockheed Martin’s Aeronautics Pinellas Park location. “This is exactly the type of educational partnership that allows us to enhance our skilled workforce.”

SPC’s Mechatronics and Electromechancial Technician training program will be an open entry/open exit, self-paced hybrid program of online coursework and hands-on lab work. The curriculum was created through an industry-education collaboration sponsored by a National Science Foundation Advanced Technical Education Center. Contributors included Ford, General Motors and Toyota and 55 active college partners. Fifty international companies, including Amazon and Boeing, currently utilize the training for its competency-based approach to tailor and accelerate learning. SPC will be the first institution in Florida to use this curriculum to deliver training.

Electromechanical manufacturing and mechatronics, an emerging, high-demand field, is the synergistic application of mechanical, electrical, and automation skills. Workers can earn as much as $71,000 a year.

The College anticipates training about 300 people over the two-year grant period. During this time, participants can receive paid training.

The program will kick off June 1. Additional details will be available soon at