Orlando Sentinel writer Marco Santana and photographer Joe Burbank visited SIMETRI on July 29 to speak with president and CEO, Angela Alban, about her team’s developing work on training technologies and how she was one of the first Central Florida businesses to participate in the Florida High Tech Corridor’s stemCONNECT program. The program aims to increase interest in STEM careers, and it’s one of several ways businesses target younger students as tech companies try to identify and grow their future workforce.
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Central Florida businesses eye STEM education for future employees
By Marco Santana
Angela Alban stood beside what appeared to be disembodied limbs on a table as she spoke to a middle school class about her Winter Park-based tech company.
Angela M. Alban, President and CEO of SIMETRI, talks about the work her Winter Park tech firm does, Wednesday, July 29, 2015. The company specializes in creating critical injury body replicas for medical and military training, (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel) B584819493Z.1 (Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel)
She explained through a live online feed that mathematics and chemistry help her firm, SIMETRI, design and construct realistic body parts that help train first responders and front-line military medics.
Alban appeared as part of STEM Connect, a Florida High Tech Corridor program that aims to increase interest in STEM careers. It’s one of several ways businesses target younger students as tech companies try to identify and grow their future workforce.
Alban said she did not get that chance when she attended high school in Winter Park.
Professor Debashis Chanda has developed technology that could eventually result in flexible displays/screens.
“There were not enough opportunities to engage professionals and find role models,” Alban said. “Now, we are focused on retaining talent so we can continue to grow this economic cluster.”
The challenge is being taken on by smaller companies such as SIMETRI, which employs 15 people, as well as large defense contractors.