Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ignite Your Business: The One-Two Punch of Sales & SocialMedia Marketing in a Recession

Ignite Your Business: The One-Two Punch of Sales & Social Media Marketing in a Recession

WHEN: Wednesday, August 5th, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
WHERE: Sheraton Orlando Downtown
60 South Ivanhoe Blvd, Orlando 32804
Pre-Registration Rates:
Members $20
Non-Members $35
(On-Site Registration:
Members $25
Non-Members $40)

Click Here to Register < uK8P4KH7VGuhmIG36PXXfJQmFJ6gmZj1w599nerk9WhvjV6re-sWBOW3fdHJouaTwBJYQWZ_CN5kSTJjvVDPp5v8tV_zQhs74zkWI-ASRO_A7RBQ=>

For Questions Regarding TiE Florida Registration, Membership or Chapter
Information Contact: 407.286.1921

Punch One...Make social media marketing work for YOU! You'll learn the ins-and-outs ofsocial media as part of your marketing mix - from development andimplementation to measurement. Social media and branding expert Nick Nantonwill share best practices, case studies, research and takeaways to help youfigure out the best social media strategies and tactics for your own business.

Punch Two...What if you had the opportunity to learn the skills that would make animmediate and lasting impact to your sales results - even in these toughtimes? What if you could increase your sales by 5%, 10% even 25% in 2009?Eric Shulman, a time tested and results driven sales guru, will deliver theproven sales secrets to allow you to unlock your full potential. In one intensive event, you'll engage with sales and marketing gurus andwalk away supercharged with skills you can apply the next day to increaseyour sales and marketing efforts in any business large or small. As alwaysnetworking, appetizers, learning...

Moderator: Andy Martin

President, Al Dente - Strategy & Marketing Consulting Andy Martin

Andy Martin is an international marketer and entrepreneur withover 20 years of experience in both start-up and established organizations.He has a broad range of expertise that includes strategy development, brandmanagement and internet media. Said plainly, Andy's passion is marketing.To him every business challenge starts and ends with marketing. Brands rulethe day and everything comes second to selling. In his world, if you getthe marketing right, sales naturally follow. Or as he often says, "I'm theguy you call when you want to sell more stuff."For most of his early career, Andy worked in the consumer marketing world.

He's led a wide variety of organizations - big and small - in thedevelopment of breakthrough new products, services and communications.Companies served include well known names such as Kraft Foods, Disney andNickelodeon. On the heels of his corporate experience, in 2003 Andy co-founded Utopia - a successful B2B services start-up with internationaloperations the US, Middle East and India. More recently Andy has focusedhis attention on internet marketing and how to exploit "new" media with the"tried and true".Andy is a West Point graduate and also holds a MBA from NorthwesternUniversity. He has authored numerous articles on topics ranging fromEntrepreneurial Success to Marketing in a Recession, and routinely speaks touniversity and business association groups. Today Andy runs Al DenteMarketing - a niche marketing consultancy - and resides in Orlando, Floridawith his wife, three children., two dogs and a cat named Snoop.


Nick Nanton, Esq.CEO, Celebrity Branding Agency

Known as "The Celebrity Lawyer" for his role in promoting,marketing and creating Celebrity Experts across such diversified fields asentertainment, health and fitness, law, medicine, personal development,finance, and real estate, Nick represents many top Celebrity Experts andserves as the Producer of America's PremierExpertsT television show. He alsoproduces The Next Big ThingT radio show, designed to recognize the topCelebrity Experts and bring their solutions to consumers and media outletsalike. Nick is the co-author of the best-selling book, Celebrity Branding YouT andserves as editor and publisher of Celebrity PressT, a publishing companythat produces and releases books by top Celebrity Experts. Nick and hislongtime business and law partner, JW Dicks, Esq., use their proprietaryCelebrity BrandingR process to help entrepreneurs, professionals, CEOs,authors and professional speakers realize their dreams of becoming CelebrityExperts, create multiple revenue streams through IDEA MarketingT, andultimately grow their organizations based on their teachings and systems.

Eric Shulman Owner, Sandler Sales Institute

Eric Shulman is no stranger to sales with over 35 years ofprofessional sales, sales management and training experience behind him. Hehas sold both tangible items and intangible services, moving to the top of anational sales organization (200+ people) in only 3 weeks. He was appointedNational Director of Sales for a major consulting firm as well as havinglaunched and built several small businesses of his own right here inOrlando. Eric has over 25 years of Sandler Training, starting in 1983 when he wasfirst exposed to David Sandler's methodology. He has been studying andusing the Sandler Sales System exclusively for the last decade. During thattime, he had made over 3,000 sales calls and consistently maintained a closeratio of over an industry that averaged 4%. His close ratio wasconsistently three to four times the industry average

TiE Florida Mentor Program

Are you a TiE Member and would like to apply to participate and be matchedwith one of our mentors?The purpose of the TiE Florida Mentor Program is to provide access to theknowledge and experience of TiE Charter Members to the next generation ofentrepreneurs.The TiE Florida Mentor Program is open to those with a solid business ideaand those running a business with plans to expand. This program covers anyand all aspects of a member's needs including business plan refinement,fundraising, operational guidance, business development, and career counseling.

Harris selected as one of the 25 best large companies in Florida

Congratulations to Harris Corporation in Melbourne, Florida, whose Electro-Optic Solutions unit is a member of the Florida Photonics Cluster. The company has been selected as one of the 25 best large companies in Florida by Florida Trend magazine. See the full article in the August 2009 issue:

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Disney Entrepreneur Center: 4th Annual Entrepreneur Fair - August 26

The UCF Business Incubation Program would like to provide this information to you on behalf of one of our partner organizations. If you wish to register please call and register through the information found below in this email.

The 4th Annual Entrepreneur Fair Wed. August 26th



1:30 -5pm Education Seminars:

- Sharpen your Selling Skills - Joe Pici
- Managing in times of Change - Jack Veale

- Navigating the Money Maze - Regions Bank, Bank First, Banco Popular & SBA
- 10 Tested Tactics for Tough Times - Jerry Ross
- 5:00-7 pm - Open Networking & Vendor Displays
- 6:00 pm Special Announcements

Your business card is your ticket into this event. Space is limited - first come first served !

8 Vendor Display Tables & 1 Seminar Sponsorship still available. Call Julie @ 407-4204848

Visit for event updates.

Entrepreneur Magazine Rates Orlando!

The August Issue of Entrepreneur Magazine rates Orlando as one of the top 10 cities in America for Entrepreneurs. The magazine highlights 10 different cities and cited the cooperative efforts of our entire community as a big reason that Orlando is a great place to grow a small business. We've known this for a long time, but now the secret is out!In addition, one of our local entrepreneurs was also featured in the issue. Catherine Ojeda from Redi-Pedi Cab Company was interviewed about her success and has a great picture in a national publication!Check it out...Read Article

Visit our website at

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bob Breault comments on value of Clusters

Read some interesting comments on (IOP website) by Bob Breault, head of the Arizona Optics Industry Association (AOIA) and who I have sometimes referred to as the "Cluster Evangelist" for his pioneering efforts to establish photonics clusters around the USA and the world. Go to to see the article.

Jim Pearson
FPC Executive Director

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Winter Springs Incubator: Seminar on the New Tax Law and How It Affects You and Your Business

This seminar will highlight many of the business and individual tax provisions and incentives from the new Tax Act, as well as tax strategies that clients have successfully applied.

Presented by Marni J. Spencer, CPA, a Tax Principal with LarsonAllen LLP, with over 19 years experience working in public accounting with a special emphasis on domestic tax issues.

When: Tuesday, July 28, 2009, 9:00-10:30 a.m.
Where: UCF Incubator-Seminole County
1511 E. S R 434, Suite 2001
Winter Springs, FL 32708
Cost: (Incl. Breakfast) No Charge for Incubator Clients; $20 for Non-Incubator Clients

To register, please contact Rafael Caamano at 407-278-4880 or via email

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Solar America Cities Program

The Department of Energy invites grant applications under the Solar America Cities program to accelerate solar energy deployment. The selected recipients will proactively address the solar-related information needs of significant local markets, as well as provide a mechanism by which individual local governments can receive and share timely information on solar energy. One award totaling $10.5 million is anticipated. All types of U.S. domestic entities are eligible to apply. Responses are due Oct. 15. More information regarding DE-FOA-0000086 is available at:

Courtesy ERAU Grant Opportunities Update

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE): Recovery Act - Solid-State Lighting

The DOE recently released 8 funding opportunities related to the Recovery Act. Eligibility for all 8 are unrestricted domestically (unless otherwise noted). More information regarding each of these opportunities is available by searching for the solicitation number (in parentheses below) through the open solicitations on

Recovery Act: Solid-State Lighting Product Development - Round VI (DE-FOA-0000055) invites proposals for product development of general illumination Solid-State Lighting sources, luminaires, and enabling products. Achieving this goal through the systematic use of knowledge gained from basic and applied research to develop or improve commercially viable materials, devices, or systems. Responses are due Aug 17.

Recovery Act: Solid State Lighting U.S. Manufacturing-Round I (DE-FOA-0000057) is announcing funding to achieve cost reduction of solid-state lighting for general illumination through improvements in manufacturing equipment, processes, or techniques. A secondary objective is to maintain, in the case of light emitting diodes, or establish, in the case of organic light emitting diodes, the manufacturing and technology base within the US. Proposals are due Aug 24.

Recovery Act: Solid-State Lighting Core-Round VI (DE-FOA-0000082) is the sixth in a series of announcements projected to span the next decade. As the relevant Solid-State Lighting technology base matures, it is anticipated that the present level, applied research, will advance to market conditioning once the targets for efficiency, cost, longevity, stability, and control are demonstrated in a product environment. Proposals are due Aug 10.

Courtesy ERAU Grant Opportunities Update

Sunday, July 12, 2009

SEIA Webinar: Treasury Grant Analysis

SEIA has summarized the Department of Treasury guidance on the grant program created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

While this document is valuable, it only scratches the surface. You should join SEIA's webinar on Monday, July 13 at 1 p.m. ET to hear the definitive analysis of the Treasury guidance. This webinar is available for free to SEIA members and $95 to non-SEIA members.

Space is limited, so please RSVP today. SEIA members can RSVP to Catherine Burke. Non-SEIA members can register at

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Productization Workshop




Fee: $40 (Waived for FPC Members)

12201 Research Parkway
July 22
2nd Floor Training Room
8:00 am - 12:00 noon
Central Florida Research Park

Limited to 25 participants due to highly interactive nature of event

1st Hour Setting The Rules For Successful Productization
Defining and designing the product
Dealing with intellectual property
Marketing strategy development
The Productization model

2nd Hour Exercise - Defining Your Product
Completing the Productization Questionnaire
Execute the product pricing model
Establishing the production plan
Delivering the product

3d Hour Using The Productization Template
Product definition
Intellectual Property

4th Hour Exercise - Developing Your Marketing Strategy
Constructing a pre-launch campaign
Product launch
Customer support

Register: call 407-882-0202 or email


John J. Anton

John J. Anton is the Principal Investigator for Information
Visualization and Innovative Research Inc. in Sarasota, Florida. He is
responsible for conducting independent test and evaluation for medical
simulation, learning management design and assessment for medical
education, and productization services for medical education simulators
and devices for both commercial and government customers.

Anton has over forty years experience in military and educational
training and simulation. He is the former Chief Technology Officer, and
Vice-President of Engineering, Education and Training, and Government
Systems for Medical Education Technologies Inc (METI). A retired United
States Army Officer, he has served as the Director of Research for the
Aviation Test Bed Simulation Facility at Ft Rucker, Alabama, adjunct
faculty member for Troy State University, and the Requirements
Engineering Manager for Loral Corporation in the Advanced Distributed
Simulation Technology (ADST) Program. He also engineered Combat
Instruction Sets for the United Kingdom Combined Arms Tactical Trainer
with Lockheed Martin.

He is a former chair of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Defense
Modeling and Simulation Office (DMSO), Industry Steering Group, and a
former chair of the Modeling and Simulation Committee of the
Inter-service/ International Technical Training Simulation, and
Education Conference (I/ITSEC).

John has a BA from Tulane University, and a Masters Degree in
Psychology from Troy State University. He has published numerous
articles on medical modeling and simulation, learning management, and
independent test and evaluation.

"Excellence in Entrepreneurship Certificate Course: "Excellence in Entrepreneurship Certificate Course"

The UCF Business Incubation Program and UCF Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation announce the next offering of the

"Excellence in Entrepreneurship Certificate Course"

This dynamic, intense short course explores the realities of planning and starting a company and helps you learn how to successfully develop and launch a business.


Taught by experienced entrepreneurs, professional service providers and entrepreneurship faculty from the University of Central Florida, the course will help you clarify your business concept and walk you through the steps of planning and starting a business. The course will introduce you to resources and advisors that provide invaluable support in laying the foundation for a successful company. Below are comments from some of the participants in our last class:

"This course has been extremely helpful and beneficial. I really appreciate how 'the good, the bad and the ugly' were presented and the wealth of resources in Central Florida I learned about."

"We've had an amazing restructuring due to what we learned in class and are experiencing an increase in business."

"The class really helped to crystallize what I was doing, how to do it better and who I am doing it for. Thanks!"

"I'm better prepared to build a quality team and I'm excited about the marketing ideas I learned. The course is an outstanding value!"


The course begins Tuesday, October 6, 2009 and concludes Thursday, October 29, 2009. Classes will be held from 6-9pm at the UCF Office of Technology Transfer facility located at 12201 Research Parkway Suite 201, Orlando, FL 32826.

The course fee is $400 for the first participant from a company and $200 for each additional participant from the same company. A registration form for the class is attached. Please complete and return it to the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization no later than October 1, 2009. We strongly suggest that all individuals involved in management of the company participate together in the course.

If you have applied to or expressed interest in being considered for acceptance to the Business Incubation Program, this course is a required element of the application process.

Class Schedule

Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Session 1 - Developing Successful Business Ideas

Is your business concept an idea or truly an opportunity? Learn how to tell the difference. Learn how to analyze the opportunity to develop an effective business model.

Thursday, October 8, 2009
Session 2 - Building a Strong Business Team

The product or service you will offer is important. Even more important is the team you build - management, employees, Board, investors, service providers. Learn how to build the best team possible to drive the success of your new venture.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Session 3 - Proper Legal and Ethical Foundations

Many decisions are involved in establishing a new venture. Learn what the legal options are. Explore how to establish high standards of business ethics.

Thursday, October 15 2009
Session 4 - Marketing Strategies and Effective Sales

No matter how beneficial your product or service is, if you don't know who the customer is and tell the message in an effective way to get their attention, you won't have sales.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Session 5 - Funding and Financing

You've analyzed the opportunity and begun to build a team to drive success. You've written a great business plan. How do you secure the financial resources to make it all happen?

Thursday, October 22, 2009
Session 6 - Entrepreneurial Insights

A panel of experienced entrepreneurs will share their insights "from the trenches". What have they learned? What would they do differently? What is their advice to you?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Thursday, October 29, 2009
Session 7 - Business Presentations

You will have the opportunity to make a presentation to a group of experienced entrepreneurs and get feedback about your business, market and financial opportunities.


University of Central Florida Opportunity for a Free Summer Intern

Pictures Represent Opportunities for Inspiration in Technology (PROFIT) is a research grant funded by the National Science Foundation between UCF’s College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Orange County Public School District (OCPS) with the goal of increasing the number of students in the STEM-IT pipelines. The project had a very successful first year and is moving into the second year of the three year project.

As PROFIT moves into year two there are a select few students of the 60 involved in the first year of the project that have acquired enough skills in computer programming to be marketable and valuable in the workplace. We are reaching out to local businesses in an effort to provide job-shadowing opportunities for these students. Our goal is to help the top 5% of the group, who will be entering their junior year of high school in the fall, find such opportunities this summer in industry-related positions so they will continue their interests in and increase their skills in information management/technology at the same time.

Our idea is to have one of our students work for 30 hours per week in a shadowing position during the time period of July 15th through August 15th 2009. PROFIT will pay the students a stipend - the company will incur no cost. Our students will become more skilled and will understand the value of putting forth an early effort to gain potential long-term earning power in the field.

These opportunities may include job-shadowing, simple office work, or actually working with programming. Each company can tailor the position of the students to meet their individual needs. We will be willing to coordinate the students’ application process and to help arrange interviews between the students and the companies. Please contact Kim Anderson at or 407-882-2073 for further information.

UCF Incubator: How to Make Huge Reductions in Your Operating Costs

Don’t miss this information-packed seminar on insider sourcing secrets from a Procurement and Supply Management specialist. Peter Wincup has over 25 years of senior management, purchasing, and sourcing management, and business advisory experience in several industries, including the private and public sector, chemicals, plastics, and the oil industry.

When: July 21, 2009 (9:00 to 10:30 AM)

Where: UCF Incubator-Seminole County

1511 E. State Road 434, Suite 2001
Winter Springs, FL 32708

Cost: (Includes Breakfast) No Charge for Incubator Clients and FPC Members; $20 for Non-Incubator Clients

To register, please contact Rafael Caamano at 407-278-4880 or via email

ONR Affordable Modular Panoramic Photonics Mast Future Naval Capabilities Program

The Office of Naval Research is seeking proposals for the development of a modular photonics mast housing as part of the Affordable Modular Panoramic Photonics Mast Future Naval Capabilities Program. Eligibility is open to academia and industry. The estimated total amount of awards is $33 million anticipated to be made available over a five-year period. Awards will be made in four areas:

Modular Photonics Mast Housing - 1 or more awards with $13 million available over six years;

  • Broad Spectral Band Window Technology - 1 or more awards with $2 million available over five years beginning in FY10;
  • Low-Light-Level Short-Wave Infrared Video Camera - 1 or more awards with $10.85 million available over six years; and,
  • Short-Wave Infrared Hyperspectral Sensor - 1 or more awards with $7.2 million available over six years.

Proposals are due Aug 11. More information about ONR BAA 09-027 is available at:

ONR Seeking Proposals for E-O IR Sensor Technology

The Office of Naval Research is seeking proposals for electro-optic/infrared surveillance sensor technology for use in a wide-area persistent surveillance and targeting payload for a small Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) netted with other small UAS's to achieve persistent surveillance. Eligibility is open to academia and industry. The estimated total amount of awards is $3.4 million anticipated to be made available over a three-year period. The amount and period of performance of each selected proposal will vary depending on the research area and the technical approach to be pursued by the awardee. White papers are due Aug 4; full proposals are due Oct 19. More information about ONR BAA 09-028 is available at:

Courtesy ERAU Grant Opportunities Update

DARPA Solication - Photonics Emitters

DARPA is soliciting proposals in the area of Short-Range Wide-Field-of-View Extremely-Agile Electronically-Steered Photonic Emitters. These awards will help develop chip-scale integrated photonic coherent beam-forming technologies that overcome the limits of opto-mechanical and electro-optical systems while being constrained to small size, weight, and power. Eligibility is open to academia and industry. Federally-funded R&D centers and government entities may only apply if they demonstrate that the work would not otherwise be available from the private sector. Multiple awards are anticipated, with award amounts depending on the quality of the proposals received and the availability of funds. Abstracts are due Jul 24; full proposals are due Sep 24. More information about DARPA-BAA-09-66 is available at:

Courtesy ERAU Grant Opportunities Update


NASA plans to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. The NASA SBIR program is designed to provide small businesses with opportunities to compete for federal research and development awards and to stimulate the commercialization of the resulting technology. Eligible small businesses are invited to submit proposals under technical topics and subtopics that support the NASA Mission Directorates of Space Operations, Aeronautics Research, Science, and Exploration Systems. It is anticipated that the NASA 2009 SBIR solicitation will identify specific product areas within each subtopic that NASA wishes to emphasize. Visit

NASA plans to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the NASA Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program. The NASA STTR program is designed as a vehicle for converting the nation's investment in research carried out by research institutions into new commercial technologies in order to advance U.S. economic competitiveness and high-tech development. Phase I proposals submitted in response to this solicitation must be jointly developed by a small business concern and a research institution with not less than 40% of the work being performed by the small business as the prime contractor and not less than 30% of the work being performed by the research institution. Visit

Courtesy ERAU Grant Opportunities Update

TechAmerica Webinar: Economic Stimulus Package

Friday, July 17, 2009

Time: **12:00 p.m. (EST) - 1:00 p.m. (EST)

** No entrance after start time

Location: 12565 Research Parkway, Suite 360,

HR Training Room 123, Orlando, FL., 32826

Fee: $95 if joining webinar online.

($25 for AEA/Tech America members If Joining online)

FREE to all joining the event in person.

Bring your lunch

The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) contains a significant amount of investment in technology projects (and therefore a significant amount of opportunities for

technology companies). Key topics will range from broadband and health IT to smart grid/green energy, workforce development and increases in basic research funding
This program will provide the most current analysis of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and its likely impact on state and federal government technology budgets. Don't miss this key opportunity to better understand the federal stimulus package, government procurement processes and regulations, opportunities at the state and local level, and how to position your organization for success.

An estimated $50 billion in federal stimulus funding with significant technology spending potential will be flowing down to the state level. On July 10th expert speakers will provide an overview of the allowable technology expenditures under each funding stream, and the impact on state, local and federal contracts.

To register and to obtain information on how to join this webinar online, please contact:

Jennifer Gabriel

Florida Program Director

(407) 882-2447

Enterprise Florida Call for Nominations: 2009 Governors Business Diversification Awards

Enterprise Florida, Inc., on behalf of the Governor’s Office, is announcing a “Call for Entries” into the 2009 Governor Business Diversification Awards program. Eligible for participation are Florida companies in all industries, particularly emerging and high-technology fields: aviation/aerospace, homeland security/defense, life sciences, information technology, marine industries, manufacturing, and alternative energy fields. Corporate headquarters and financial/professional services are also encouraged to apply.

This year marks the 26th annual Industry Appreciation week. The Governor’s Business Diversification Awards event will be held in September, 2009 (actual date of awards ceremony TBD). Historically, this has been a popular event and Governor Crist recognizes its importance to local businesses and economic development organizations.

The program overview and 6 nomination forms are posted at:

Businesses will compete with others in similarly sized markets. These Awards will be given in each of the following categories (total of 18 awards)

  • Governor’s Business Expansion Award- to companies that expanded its operations in 2008, investing capital and creating jobs for Floridians
  • Governor’s Newcomer Award- to new-to-Florida companies that began operating in 2008
  • Governor’s Export Excellence Award- to businesses that significantly increased documented export sales in 2008
  • Governor’s Entrepreneurship Award- to start-up companies (less than 5 years old) that set the standard for entrepreneurship and creativity
  • Governor’s Innovation Award- to companies, organizations or institutions* that, through product or process, best exemplifies innovative leadership
  • NEW! Governor’s Green-to-Gold Award- to companies, organizations or institutions* that, through product or process, best exemplifies Green leadership as it pertains to Florida's goal to become a leader in this emerging field. Please see the program overview for additional information at:
  • Mid Market – county population up to 150,000
  • Major Market – county population 150,001 to 800,000
  • Mega Market – county population 800,001 and higher

(Web link for businesses to check their county population: )

Nominations are to be mailed to EFI’s headquarters and must be received by 5 p.m. EST Friday, July 24, 2009.

Winners and a local economic development representative will be invited to attend the awards reception at the Governor’s mansion in Tallahassee and are permitted to bring one guest.

Please direct questions and applications to:

Veronica Serrano or Liefke Cox

Phone: (407) 956.5600 or (407) 956-5688
Fax: (407) 956-5599

Mailing address:

Enterprise Florida
Attn: Veronica Serrano
800 North Magnolia Ave
Suite 1100
Orlando, Florida 32803

*The Governor’s Innovation and Green-to-Gold Award may be awarded to a company, university or college, or other organization.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Northrop creates photonics training program at Wekiva High

Take a look at the Orlando Business Journal article on the Photonics Academy that is resulting from FPC member Northrop Grumman Laser Systems work with Valencia Community College and Orange County Public Schools. This program should be a real asset to the Florida photonics community, helping to increase the local supply of technicians and bring more students into the field early in their educational studies.

Northrop Grumman Laser Systems — tired of spending money to recruit out-of-state photonics technicians — is creating a home-grown training program. It’s a move that may benefit up to 150 other local companies.

The Apopka branch of the Reston, Va.-based firm, along with Valencia Community College and Orange County Public Schools, will launch the program in August at Wekiva High School. The goal is to fill the 20 to 40 photonics technician jobs created in Central Florida annually.
About 150 area companies employ a total of 170 photonics technicians, said Jim Pearson, executive director of the Florida Photonics Cluster, an Orlando-based industry trade group that represents 22 Central Florida members. Such jobs typically pay between $45,000 and $70,000 annually.

To continue reading, go to: