“I have always liked working with my hands” says Greg McGrew, recipient of FLATE’s Manufacturing Secondary Educator-of-the-Year award. McGrew graduated from Indiana State University with a B.S. and master’s degree in technology education, and has been teaching for over 25 years. His love for teaching stems from his teachers in school who instilled his love for designing, fabricating and simply building things. Currently he is a teacher at Lakewood Ranch High School in Bradenton, FL, and has been teaching engineering technology for over 15 years.
|Source: Bradenton Times|
Greg's enthusiasm and love for teaching prompts him to constantly adjust his curriculum so his students are abreast with latest technology. His suggestion to other educators is to visit as many manufacturing plants, companies, businesses, and other schools so “you can be better informed which in turn makes you a better teacher.” He compliments FLATE’s “Made in Florida” outreach program for assisting students and teachers to gain real-world exposure to high-tech manufacturing. This award, he says, confirms that he is teaching is what his students need. “I know there are many other great teachers in the state of Florida. I am just lucky enough to represent them for this year.”
To that effect, he proposes educators to showcase the role technology plays in innovation. He says educators should coordinate placement of students at local companies so they can use their technical skills to work on real-world projects. Deckon also developed the first mobile ET laboratory in Florida. His lab equipment consists of electronic test equipment, programmable logic controllers, instrumentation and process control equipment, and hydraulics and pneumatics trainers, lodged within a large 52ft triple axel trailer that can be towed to any school, or company site for training. “Education needs to borrow from industry and implement many of the same cost cutting, process improvement methods to their processes and reduce costs, eliminate redundancies and waste.” He adds “Education needs fewer chiefs and more Indians.”
On the industry side of the continuum, Mark Snyder, vice president of global operations & supply chain at ConMed Corporation in Largo, FL, will receive the Industry Distinguished Service award. In this capacity, Snyder is responsible for the co-ordination and optimization of world-wide operations and logistics which includes procurement, manufacturing and distribution, as well assuring quality, delivery & cost to customers both within and outside the United States. “I am passionate about manufacturing and the need to stay competitive. Constant improvement has been a consistent theme throughout my manufacturing career.” Over the last 25 years, Snyder has been at the forefront of affecting positive changes in the manufacturing sector in Florida. Most of what he’s been involved in entails bringing jobs to Florida and moving work to low cost region manufacturing areas.
Snyder notes the manufacturing industry landscape is constantly in flux. In Florida, the pendulum has shifted from Department of Defense manufacturing to medical device manufacturing. In light of these changes, Snyder encourages current and incumbent workers to streamline manufacturing processes by increasing their understanding and practice of lean and six sigma. These he says “are methods that challenge the status quo of a process.” He also calls on manufacturers to focus on quality and delivery improvements. He says the most important asset we can allocate is time, not money. “This is why companies that embrace Lean and Six Sigma succeed” Snyder said.