Higher Education Coordinating Council

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Al Stimac Named to Higher Education Coordinating Council

TALLAHASSEE – Al Stimac, head of the Manufacturers Association of Florida was appointed today to the council that oversees and coordinates new educational programs offered by Florida's colleges and universities. Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) announced the appointment of Mr. Stimac, owner and president of Metal Essence Inc. in Sanford, FL, to the Higher Education Coordinating Council.

Mr. Stimac was recommended to the Senate President by Senator Andy Gardiner (R-Orlando).

Florida’s Higher Education Council was established to work with the state’s postsecondary education sector to identify unmet needs, facilitate solutions to disputes among and between educational institutions, and approve creation of new degree programs and the establishment of new institutes, campuses or centers. The Council makes policy and budget recommendations relating to higher education to the Legislature, the State Board of Education and the Board of Governors.

“Florida's manufacturing industry is the quiet leader in our state’s economy. Small and medium-sized manufacturing companies are creating tens of thousands of high wage, high demand jobs every year. The challenge is making sure Florida graduates have the skills to compete for these jobs,” President Gaetz said. “As a long-time leader in manufacturing, Al Stimac understands the tools graduates need. His role on the Council will be to ensure aggressive implementation of the Career and Professional Education Act to align Florida higher education with the realities and opportunities in Florida's economy."

Mr. Stimac has worked in the manufacturing industry since 1970, when he began an apprenticeship in precision sheet-metalworking with General Dynamic in New York. Later, Mr. Stimac started Machining Solutions, LLC, a consulting business tailored to manufacturing companies. Metal Essence, the company he now owns and manages, specializes in production of high volume; high tech parts used in the automotive, aerospace and electronics industries. He is a board member of Workforce Florida, the Manufacturing Association of Central Florida, having previously served as its president, and the National Association of Manufacturers and the Board of the Manufacturing Association of Central Florida.

Al Stimac currently serves as President of the Manufacturers Association of Florida and was a key resource to President Gaetz in developing and passing the Career and Professional Education Act (CAPE). The legislation requires K-12 school districts and higher education institutions in the state to embed into their curriculum courses that allow students to earn national industry certifications in more than 200 career fields linked to the state's economic growth. These CAPE courses are designed by industry, instructors are trained or credentialed by industry, testing is performed by industry and certifications are awarded by the private sector.

Mr. Stimac’s appointment begins immediately and expires June 30, 2015.

For more information on the Higher Education Coordinating Council, Diane McCain at (850-245-9632 or visit www.floridahighereducation.org.

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