The Foundation for Community Driven Innovation (FCDI) recently opened our Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics Center (AMRoC) Fab Lab, at University Mall, providing a living laboratory to serve our mission of supporting academic achievement, economic development and the spirit of innovation through inspiring programs and active learning projects. Principal among our efforts is the development of a more seamless academic and workforce talent pipeline, especially in the productive field of manufacturing.

To that end, FCDI is pleased to announce the Manufacturers Summer Institute (MSI) at AMRoC Fab Lab, kicking off July 22 with a full day of Professional Development for area manufacturers, followed by shorter, more focused training and information sessions throughout the summer.

July 22 MSI Professional Development Day

Where: AMRoC Fab Lab – 2149 University Square Mall, Tampa, FL 33612
When: July 22, 2019 – 11am to 5 pm
Who: Great for small, medium and large Manufacturers, their leadership, staff, hiring and operational managers
Why: To provide Professional Development opportunities for area manufacturers relating to latest trends, and resources to improve expertise, efficiency and economic outcomes.
Cost: $75 per person– includes lunch, beverages and snacks throughout the day – Register by July 15 



Event Agenda

11:00 am – AMRoC Fab Lab Welcome & OverviewTerri Willingham, Executive Director of the nonprofit Foundation for Community Driven Innovation, which operates AMRoC Fab Lab.

11:15 am – Byron Clayton, CEO of ARM Institute – De-Risking the Adoption of Robotics for Manufacturing – A Step-by-Step Process
Today’s manufacturers must adopt various forms of technology to stay competitive. However, understanding, evaluating and implementing new technology for manufacturing can be a daunting task that carries a lot of risk. Join us to explore a five-step process that greatly reduces the complexity, uncertainty and risk of implementing robotics and related technologies.

Presenter Bio: Dr. Byron C. Clayton serves as the CEO for Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) located in Pittsburgh, PA. It is one of fourteen public-private partnerships launched by the federal government to revitalize U.S. leadership in advanced manufacturing. ARM’s primary goal is to increase the adoption of robotics and AI to accelerate U.S manufacturing competitiveness, growth and jobs. The organization launched in January 2017 with an $80 million commitment from the Department of Defense in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University and a nationwide ecosystem of innovators to advance robotics technology and workforce education.

Noon – Lunch (Inside the Box Catering) , Networking & Fab Lab tours

1:00 pm – Kenneth Jones, Hillsborough Economic Director, Manufacturing – Manufacturing Alliance of Hillsborough County
The manufacturing industry is a significant economic driver for the state of Florida and the Tampa Bay area. Learn about how local public sector partners are working together to cultivate the next generation of manufacturing sector workers and leaders.

Presenter Bio:  Ken Jones is an Economic Development Manager within the Hillsborough County Government’s Economic Development Department where he focuses on workforce development strategies. He is a military veteran (U.S. Air Force) and has more than 20 years of experience in economic development and corporate executive leadership.  In his current role, he works with educational and workforce development partners such as Hillsborough County Public Schools, Hillsborough Community College and CareerSource Tampa Bay, to develop effective and sustainable solutions to produce skilled workers for Hillsborough County manufacturers.

1:30 pm –Jeff Kondel with Roots Engineering, and David Ferguson, of Florida Makes, co-present on Florida Makes and Collaborative Robots (Cobots) in Manufacturing

Presenter Bios: David Ferguson is a Florida Makes Business Advisor for manufacturing companies throughout Southwest Florida. Dave began his career in manufacturing in 1982 after graduating from the University of Virginia with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. During his career he has held positions as Plant Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer, Project Manager, Manufacturing Engineering Manager, and General Manager for companies including Westinghouse, ABB, Amerace Electronic Components, and Ultra-Tech Enterprises.

Jeff Kondel, of Roots Engineering, has over 20 years of experience between the Automotive, Medical Device and Food Industries, and assists manufacturers in achieving their goals to build efficient, data driven manufacturing operations. To serve the specific needs of Academia, Roots Engineering has created a product and curriculum to advance industrial skills in manufacturing using automation, with the goal of bridging the gap between local industry and the competencies of our future workforce.

2:00 pm – Steven Roberto, Business Center for Diversity & Inclusion (BCDI) – Diversity and Inclusion Hiring – Learn about potential contributions of Job Seekers with Disabilities and no-fee services available to help employers connect with this under-the-radar talent pool.

Presenter Bio: Steven Roberto (TDI/BCDI Project Manager) has presented employer disability awareness trainings to Business Owners, Hiring Managers and H/R Professionals throughout the Tampa Bay area. During the past three years, he has also consulted with hundreds of companies in various industries on how to increase their choice of qualified applicants plus utilizing no fee resources for employers.

3:00 pm – Greg Schuman, Regional Sales Manager , Bluegrass Educational Technologies, LLC – Industry 4.0 and Relevant Certification Programs

Presenter Bio: Greg Schuman is the Bluegrass Educational Technologies Sales Manager in Florida. He is also the third in the Bluegrass trio of employees who began their careers as electricians. Greg’s vocational background, educational experiences, leadership roles and entrepreneurial spirit bolster allow him to provide exceptional customer service and technical support to the potential, first-time and long-term Bluegrass clients in Florida.


3:30 pm – Anura Fernando – UL Innovation Architect – Cybersecurity in Manufacturing
Cybersecurity has been a growing concern over the past few years as nation-state attacks and organized crime continue to threaten the data and brand reputation of both new and established companies. The protection of critical infrastructure is a particular concern as our power distribution, water supply, and even healthcare system are targeted by “threat actors.” In this session, you will learn about the threat landscape, the technologies used for hacking, and the things you can do to protect your company and your clients in the face of this growing and ever-changing threat.

Presenter Bio: Anura Fernando currently has global responsibility for medical device software certification programs at Underwriters Laboratory and serves as UL’s technical lead for the development of the AAMI/UL 2800 family of standards for interoperable medical device safety and platform security, and the UL 2900-2-1 product-testing focused cybersecurity standard for healthcare. He also represents the U.S. in many international standards development efforts. Mr. Fernando also leads UL’s cybersecurity collaboration efforts with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and co-chaired the UL-VA Cybersecurity Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) project.

For questions or more information, please email