AMRoCFabLab continues to reaffirm for us the enduring value of the safe creative space we’ve built at University Mall in Tampa. It also continues to delight us with the friends and associates both old and new who make up the AMROC community.

Recently, we got to spend some time with some wonderful people we’ve known for quite a while – mentors from close to home like Coach Marian Manganello, now retired but still coaching FIRST Robotics Competition Team Hydra, of Hillsborough High School, and from far away, like Coach Henk Van der Wal of the Dutch FIRST Robotics Competition team Impossible Robotics, who came to visit while in Florida with his team for their Orlando competition.

And we’ve also come to cherish the company of newer friends, like Hector Luciano of Insight Enterprises, Inc. and Mike McGivern of MITREcorp who have been giving up some of their weekends to mentor and support the local teams working on their robot builds at AMROC, or to help with outreach programs like our STEAMFest exhibit at the Florida State Fair.

This community of support around children doing good hard smart work anywhere in the world is key not just to their success, but to the continued success of our human societies.

That’s not an overstatement.

We need a skilled future workforce across all industries and that requires people who at a young age are encouraged and inspired to explore their world, can use all types of tools, can work together with people of all backgrounds and ages, and have an entrepreneurial mindset, aren’t afraid to fail and know how to apply lessons learned.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Overall employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 15 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations; this increase is expected to result in about 682,800 new jobs over the decade. In addition to new jobs from growth, opportunities arise from the need to replace workers who leave their occupations permanently. About 418,500 openings each year, on average, are projected to come from growth and replacement needs.”

And that’s just Computer science jobs. Our youth robotics programs also prepare students for careers in manufacturing, mechanical and electrical engineering, prototyping and fabrication jobs, automotive careers and more.

Thank you to everyone who gets this!

In addition to our youth robotics programs, we have an entrepreneurship and small business support program called Equity in Entrepreneurship, automotive technician programs and more.

If you want to be part of building your future and collectively ours, visit our donor and volunteer page at or to learn how to get involved.