Best News of the Week – Repair Parts Sale Tax Rule Revision Suspended!
The Florida Department of Revenue informed us last week that because the Legislature will be introducing more business tax exemptions for 2013 (rather than less), work on the Manufacturing Machinery and Equipment Repair Parts Sales Tax Rule Revision has been suspended in order not to waste valuable time on a rule that would soon become obsolete! MAF is delighted that our lobbying work on this has paid off. If the proposed rule had been approved, many of the repair parts for your machinery and equipment would have become taxable costing you thousands of dollars. This is a huge win for manufacturers in Florida! MAF led the charge on this issue and we thank Enterprise Florida, the Florida Pulp and Paper Association, the Governor’s Office and the Florida Senate for their help with this issue and the Department of Revenue for their decision.
Closing in on the Manufacturers Summit
The deadline for making hotel reservations at the Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport Hotel in Orlando for the MAF Manufacturers Summit and Marketplace has passed. We hope you made your room reservations! Now it is time to turn in your meeting registration form. You may register at www.mafmfg.com. An updated agenda is also posted there for your convenience.
Chemical Industry Focus for Upcoming Year
Nancy Stephens, MAF Executive Director, attended the American Chemistry Council (ACC) annual meeting of state chemical and manufacturing association directors and chemical company state government lobbyists in Orlando on November 14-15. Topics of discussion were nationwide election results, environmental justice, risk perception communication, product attacks, chemical regulation, and energy development. ACC is a member of MAF. Thank you to ACC for the invitation!
60 Minutes Highlights the Manufacturing Skills Gap
On November 11, 60 Minutes ran a story featuring two NAM member companies – ClickBond and Alcoa – on the manufacturing skills gap. The piece highlighted that despite high unemployment rates, hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs remain unfilled because employers like Click Bond can’t find the workers to fill open positions. In addition, companies like Alcoa find it hard to train their current employees to keep up with advances in technology. The skills gap can make it difficult for manufacturers to innovate their products and grow their businesses. It is concerns such as those highlighted on 60 Minutes that drove the Manufacturing Institute to establish programs like Dream It. Do It., Right Skills Now and the Manufacturing Skills Certification System, which attract, qualify and develop world-class manufacturing talent. The story sparked calls to MAF from the press in Florida and we expect to see an upcoming story in Southwest Florida and Orlando
DEP Recycling Recognition Program
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is expanding its Recycling Recognition Program to encourage businesses, schools, public groups and citizens to increase recycling in order to reach the Florida recycling goal of 75% by 2020. Florida’s 75 percent recycling goal was set by the state Legislature and focuses on municipal solid waste and does not include industrial solid waste. Some common types of municipal solid waste include newspapers, office paper, glass and plastic bottles and food waste. The most recent data shows the residential sector has about a 42 percent recycling rate, while the commercial sector is at roughly 44 percent and overall, Florida recycles at about a 43 percent rate. In order for Florida to meet the 75 percent goal, it is critical for both the private commercial sector and residential sector to increase recycling rates.
The Department is hopeful that the expanded recognition program will encourage the commercial sector to not only recycle more, but increase their reporting. DEP has an easy tool for companies to track and compare recycling efforts to that of other businesses – the Florida DEP Business Recycling Tracking Tool. This can all be done online through the website. After you complete the free registration online, you can track different types of recycling efforts and produce reports on how those efforts are helping to shrink your carbon footprint. The tracking will help the Department determine which companies should receive recognition. DEP is seeking candidates for statewide recognition and needs help in spreading the word. To nominate a business contact Ron Henricks at Ron_Henricks@dep.state.fl.us or 850.245.8717 or visit the webpage https://my.re-trac.com/floridadep.
Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Awards
The Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Awards are the nation’s highest Presidential honor for performance excellence through innovation, improvement and visionary leadership. This year’s manufacturing award winner is Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Grand Prairie, Texas. Congratulations to Lockheed Martin.
ERC Approves Numeric Nutrient Criteria in Panhandle
The Florida Environmental Regulation Commission has approved numeric nutrient criteria for Florida’s six major Panhandle estuaries, further building on the already comprehensive nutrient standards set for Florida last year. With this latest approval Florida has set rigorous nutrient criteria for more than 3,100 of the state’s 4,290 coastal miles of estuaries or 72% coverage.
These are the numeric nutrient standards for the Panhandle estuaries, which includes Perdido Bay, Pensacola Bay (including Escambia Bay), Choctawhatchee Bay, St. Andrew Bay, St. Joseph Bay and Apalachicola Bay. The nutrient water quality standards adopted in 2011 included a schedule for the development of estuary specific numeric nutrient criteria for the Panhandle estuaries by June 30, 2013, and the Department has developed nutrient standards for total phosphorus, total nitrogen and chlorophyll a for individual estuary segments in each of the estuaries.
The numeric nutrient standards come nearly seven months before the Department's own deadline and 10 months before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's schedule for setting standards. They come five months after the Department's overall numeric nutrient standards set last year were upheld by an Administrative Law judge in their entirety and submitted to EPA for review. EPA confirmed last year that the Department's rules are accurate and will serve to protect and improve Florida's water quality. For more information visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/water/wqssp/nutrients
- United Technologies Corp. announced last week that Pratt & Whitney will expand its manufacturing capabilities at its West Palm Beach facility, which will entail a $63 million capital investment and result in 230 new jobs. The expansion involves Pratt & Whitney’s most advanced commercial and military engines and builds upon the great work already being done in Florida.
- The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has appointed Susan Grandin as Director of State Lands. Susan formerly served as President of The Preservation Law Group, Inc., a group specializing in the preservation and protection of military installations and civilian airfields. Prior to that she was with The Trust for Public Land.
· Interested in adopting a school through the MAF Center’s Dream It Do It Program? Contact your regional manufacturing association or June Wolfe at email@example.com. For more information about Dream It Do It, visit www.mafcenter.org.
- Know someone who should be a member of MAF? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to provide the contact information.
Florida Administrative Register
The Florida Administrative Register report for November 12-16, 2012 is attached.
December 5 MAF Executive Committee Lunch Meeting, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport Hotel, Orlando, FL
December 5 MAF Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., (Center Board of Trustees and invited guests), Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport Hotel, Orlando, FL
December 5 Joint Reception for MAF Board Members and MAF Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence Board of Trustees, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport Hotel, Orlando, FL
December 6 MAF Board of Directors Breakfast Meeting, 7:00 – 9:30 a.m. (MAF Board Members, MAF Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence Board Members and invited guests), Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport Hotel, Orlando, FL NOTE BEGINNING TIME CHANGE!!!
December 6-7 MAF Manufacturing Summit and Marketplace and Manufacturers of the Year Awards Dinner at the Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport Hotel, Orlando, FL. Now accepting sponsors and exhibitors. Go to www.mafmfg.com for more details or contact email@example.com.
December 13 MAF Environmental Teleconference, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. E.T. Dial in number is (712) 775.7000; PIN 317371#.
December 13 Volusia Manufacturers Association 32nd Annual Awards Banquet at the Speedway Daytona 500 Club. Register at www.VMAonline.com.
February 4-5 Florida Manufacturing Days at the Capital, Governors Club and the Capital, Tallahassee, FL. More info coming soon.