New Training Tools for the Manufacturing Sector

In today’s fast-paced world, new automobiles sport high-tech features that make our lives on the road easier and safer. Touch screen navigation systems, back-up cameras, satellite radio and many additional features that were simply the stuff of movies twenty years ago are now a reality. Imagine the possibility of taking all of this technology and blowing it out of the water with a decked-out Mobile Training Unit (MTU) powered by the Florida Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Florida MEP) and TimeWise.

The Florida MEP Mobile Outreach Skills Training (M.O.S.T.®) customizes its job training program to respond to the immediate needs of Florida’s manufacturers, the local area and job candidates. Facilitated out of a high-tech Mobile Training Unit (MTU), the program provides portability, cost effectiveness and on demand logistics. Outfitted with the newest, high-tech equipment, the MTU boasts computer stations lining each side, along with a number of virtual machines where trainees can apply learned skills. These tools allow trainees to virtually build a CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) machine, weld, design parts, select appropriate tools, or perform a wide variety of functions such as metal forming and die cutting.

From Training to Working

M.O.S.T. graduates have been placed as CNC machine operators, electronic assemblers, mechanical assemblers, parachute riggers, composites fabricators, quality inspectors and pharmaceutical and food product mixers. The program has served manufacturers in alternative energy, automotive, aerospace, biotechnology, building materials, heavy equipment, heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC), marine, pharmaceutical, precision metal and many other sectors. This broad flexibility has allowed M.O.S.T. to cast a wide net both for job search and trainee recruitment.

The revolutionary process is made simple for employers and candidates alike through coordination by the Florida MEP. Here’s how it works:

Recruitment & Outreach. Job openings are secured upfront and qualified candidates are screened for minimum program requirements. Employers interview and select the trainees with a promise of a job upon completion of the two weeks of initial training.

Phase 1 – Fast-Track Intensive Training. The select group of trainees enters a two-week intensive customized training on the mobile training unit and trainees receive a Lean to Green Certification. Upon training completion the trainees enter paid employment.

Phase 2 – On-the-Job Training. Candidates participate in eight weeks of structured, customized on-the-job training.

Phase 3 – Career Mentoring and Retention. Then, a 4-month mentorship and retention program begins. The employer and employee collaboratively develop a Career Blueprint that will become a living guide to continued career growth within the industry.

Making the Connection

The M.O.S.T program has played a large role in Brevard County in connecting manufacturers with employees. The target workforce for this initiative has been many of the displaced workers in the aerospace industry. The MTU has made many stops along the Space Coast recently, finding new roles for a large group of workers who were affected by the shutdown of the Shuttle program. Through a partnership with the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, regular classes are held at the EDC’s offices and other locations across the county, and are also promoted to the local manufacturing base.

Not only is the M.O.S.T. program utilizing technology at its finest, but it’s also providing a new avenue for job seekers who have been down the familiar route of traditional training programs. It’s customizable and can reach the areas hardest hit by economic shifts with little more than a driver and gasoline. This proven training program doesn’t just train, it places people in jobs in just two weeks of intensive training.

Hands-free driving is a thing of the past. Get all the hands-on training you’ll need for a career in manufacturing on the M.O.S.T. Mobile Training Unit.

To learn more about this innovative program, contact Julie Song at julies@floridamep.org or (321) 305-5666.


Julie Song is a project manager for the Florida Manufacturing Extension Partnership, an Investor in the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast.