MAF Weekly Report-December 16, 2012

December 16, 2012 10:28 AM | Anonymous

Book Your Hotel Room for Manufacturing Days

Manufacturing Days at the Capital is scheduled for February 4-5, 2013 in Tallahassee, beginning the afternoon of February 4.  It will be preceded by an MAF Board of Directors meeting on the morning of February 4.


This is an annual event to educate legislators about Florida manufacturing and share our legislative agenda with them. The event begins at the Governor’s Club in Tallahassee, FL on February 4 after lunch with briefing sessions on all the hot topics of interest to manufacturers, followed by a legislative reception to which all the legislators will be invited.  On February 5 the group will break up into teams, each with a team leader, and will visit legislators with pre-arranged appointments until mid-afternoon.


We have reserved a small group of hotel rooms at the Aloft Hotel for $139/night in downtown Tallahassee (four blocks from the capitol) and at the Governor’s Inn for $159/night (across from the meeting location and the Capitol).  First come first served.  Reservations at the Governor’s Inn must be made by December 21 by calling 850.681.6855. Reservations at the aloft Hotel must be made by January 14, 2013 by calling 850.513.0313. The room block is under MAF or Manufacturers Association of Florida. You might want to do this before you leave on holiday this month!  At the same time don’t forget to register for the meeting at Event registration fee is $150/members and $200/non-members. 


We are still accepting sponsors for the event.  Join PCS Phosphate and CF Industries as our event sponsors for 2013. Please contact with questions.


Follow Up from Manufacturers Summit

All of the presentations from the Manufacturers Summit have been posted to our website under Events in case you missed something.  The Governor will be sending a letter of congratulations to all of the 2013 Manufacturers of the Year. Thank you again for everyone who helped make it such a great event.  In 2013 we will be moving the location to provide opportunities for additional manufacturers to easily attend. 


MAF Center Charts a Path for Your Workforce

For the past three years MAF has been preparing to help you develop the workforce you need.  Now we are prepared and are in “action” mode.  At this year’s Summit the early session was entitled Your Workforce: How to Make It the Greatest – Use Florida Resources. It focused on developing a skilled and certified manufacturing workforce and was designed to help manufacturers obtain, train and retain the best workforce for maximum productivity by using resources available throughout the State of Florida.


The two-hour Session was divided into three segments - recruitment, talent development and education - with Q&A after each segment. Topics included:, Made-in-Florida, Dream It Do It – Adopt-a-School, apprenticeships, training grants, and public and private education opportunities. Each speaker talked about the opportunities available to manufacturers to get involved in creating their own customized workforce. Manufacturers spoke out on how they have benefited by using these resources.


After all three segments, the Workforce Session ended with a call to action for the manufacturing community – how they can/must get involved in creating their future workforce. Manufacturers can serve on curriculum councils, recognize manufacturing certifications and hire accordingly, adopt-a-school, hire interns and more. MAF and the MAF Center will be there to help along the way.


Engaging our Manufacturers in Workforce Development

It wasn’t so long ago that employers sat on the sidelines while educators taught students what they thought employers wanted.  That is changing. Now employers are engaging with educators to prepare students for their jobs.  The MAF Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence (MAF Center) is in the thick of it.  With the roll out of Dream It Do It in 2012, we now have 34 manufacturers signed up to adopt a high school under the Dream It Do It program in Florida.  In 2013 we want to grow that to 100 adopters.  That is where you come in.  June Wolfe, Project Manager, is willing to work with you individually or through your regional manufacturing association to help you adopt a school.  We have produced a handy Quick Start guide to help you understand how to engage with the schools.  Each of the regional manufacturing associations associated with MAF have been asked to engage in the program.  Once you decide you would like to adopt a school, let your regional manufacturing association or June Wolfe know,  There is a simple commitment form to sign and you are off and running.  Help us reach our goal for 2013 and help yourself at the same time!


But that isn’t all we will be doing in 2013.  We are also engaged with twelve community colleges in a U.S. Department of Labor Trade Grant to provide manufacturing education and industry certification training to those interested in a manufacturing career through twelve Florida colleges. The MAF and MAF Center’s role is to serve as a liaison between educators and manufacturers, help review courses and curriculum to make sure the colleges are teaching the right things, connect manufacturers to colleges, identify 1,000 manufacturing internships over the next four years with manufacturers in Florida and place students in 500 permanent manufacturing jobs. We will need your help on this too!


The MAF Center will be working with the regional manufacturing associations and others to meet the goals and provide trained, educated and certified students for you.  If you would like to serve on our curriculum review committee, drop an email to  If you would like to adopt a college or offer an internship in 2013, please contact us.  Look for us to be in touch with all of you on your level of engagement in this commitment.


Report on Water Minimum Flows and Levels

Section 373.042, Florida Statutes, requires all of the water management districts to adopt rules setting forth minimum flows and levels (MFLs) below which significant harm may occur from water withdrawals.  Pursuant to this directive, the SWFWMD staff had been working for over a year on rules setting minimum flows for the Chassahowitzka River and the Homosassa River located in Hernando and Citrus Counties.  After much work, the SWFWMD staff recommended a minimum flow for the Chassahowitzka River of 91% of the river’s natural flow, meaning that consumptive uses could reduce the flow by 9% before the regulation would prohibit any further reduction.  The SWFWMD staff recommended a minimum flow for the Homossassa River of 97% of the natural flow, which would allow for a 3% reduction from consumptive uses.


These rule recommendations were presented to the SWFWMD’s Governing Board at the Board’s October 30, 2012, meeting.  A large crowd of citizens attended the meeting and objected to the staff’s recommendation and instead asked the Governing Board to set the minimum flow of both rivers at 99% of natural flow, allowing only a 1% reduction due to consumptive uses.  The staff explained the legal and technical problems with the public’s request.


After hearing a lengthy debate, the SWFWMD Governing Board voted to set the rule so that the minimum flow for the Chassahowitzka River was 97% of natural flow (rejecting the staff recommendation of 91% of natural flow) and the minimum flow for the Homosassa River was also 97% of natural flow.  While no one currently withdraws water from these rivers, several farms in this area withdraw groundwater which can affect the springflow that feeds these rivers.  As a result, the SWFWMD Governing Board directed the staff to develop the framework for establishing a Water Use Caution Area in Hernando and Citrus Counties and bring a recommendation on such Water Use Caution Area back to the June 2013 SWFWMD Governing Board meeting.  A Water Use Caution Area designation will make it more difficult to obtain consumptive use permits in this area.


This should be of concern to any entity operating in Hernando and Citrus Counties and potentially the surrounding counties who uses groundwater as part of its operation. (Submitted by Eric Olsen, Hopping Green & Sams)


Business Identity Theft in Florida is a Real Threat

Last week three employees from the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, visited the MAF office to talk about a serious and growing problem in Florida and nationwide – business identify theft.  As it stands today anyone can log into the Division of Corporations and change your business information – it is not password protected.  The good news is they are working on the password issue and many more steps they need to take to protect Florida businesses.  Below is information they asked us to share with our members.


Business Identity Theft, is essentially the same as personal identity theft except, the identity stolen is that of a company or other business entity and the damage is usually much more severe. Criminals have identified creative methods for exploiting this form of identity theft.  Most businesses are not aware of the crime or how they can protect themselves from it.   With business identity theft the average loss is $5000.  And in many instances, perpetrating business identity theft is much easier than personal identity theft.


Small business owners are particularly vulnerable.  Thieves are after small businesses because they do not possess strong IT departments or multiple finance staff members with the resources to manage and check corporate filings, bank accounts, or credit ratings.  A small business is vulnerable because it typically has two distinctions that make it a great target; a small and very busy staff, and readily available credit.


Business identity theft is perpetrated in a number of ways.  In many instances thieves simply use information gathered from the Department of State’s records.  Additionally, they fraudulently alter those same records, and then use the altered records to purchase easily fenced products.  In other cases, they use the altered information to get contracts and collect cash for work performed leaving the original entity with the tax burden.   Regardless of the method, the original business entity is left fighting for its life in the aftermath of the crime, and statistics indicate that as many as 60% will close their doors within one year.


Florida’s Department of State is working on a multi-pronged plan of attack with the goal of protecting the state’s business owners from identity theft.  As soon as these strategies are in place, they will be announced to the public.


In the meantime, there are multiple steps you should do to protect your business.  To begin with, learn about business identity theft.  The National Association of Secretaries of State has an excellent website with a great deal of information on the subject.  You can find out more at by going to and clicking on the business identity theft link.  Second, go to the Department of State’s business filings portal, and check your entity, even if you have dissolved it, for errors or problems.  If you see records that are incorrect, contact the Division of Corporations.  While you are on our website, make sure the email address on file is correct and one you check regularly.  Finally, contact your business creditors, to make sure there is nothing suspicious going on with your accounts.  Most creditors have the ability for you to put a hold on your credit, preventing someone from opening a new account without your authorization, so ask your creditor(s) to turn on this feature.


Short Notes

·         On December 13, 2012 Deloitte Consulting LLP published a report entitled Manufacturing Skills Gap: Economic Implication and Strategies for Narrowing It. It is posted on the MAF web site under Resources.

·         Florida has chosen Tony Bennett from Indiana as the new Florida Commissioner of Education. His background in education: teacher, superintendent and coach.

·         Selected solid waste facilities will be permitted in Tallahassee beginning in 2013.  See memo from Hopping Green & Sams attached.

·         Hopping Green & Sams has prepared a memo on the results of the DEP Solid Waste Webinar of 12/11/12. It is attached.

·         For the purpose of benchmarking or determining what you would have to pay in wages if receiving economic incentives from the state, Enterprise Florida has prepared a report on average annual wages by county and by metropolitan service area.  That information has been posted to our website under Resources.

·         Florida Commerce Secretary Swoop announced 160 economic incentive business deals signed this year, a 23% increase over last year with pledge capital investment of $1.7 billion, an increase of 32% over last year.  These deals are expected to net 25,144 jobs for Florida.

·         The Florida Revenue Estimating Conference has revised the forecast for total state general revenue in FY 2013-14 and is now expecting growth of nearly $1.2 billion (or 4.7%) over the revised FY 2012-13 estimate. The 2013 Legislature is now forecast to have $28.3 billion available for the next budget. This is $3.7 billion (15%) more than the recurring general revenue appropriations in the current budget.

·         Governor Rick Scott announced this week that more than 27,000 Florida veterans have found jobs with the help of the state’s workforce system.

·         Florida has increased the number of STEM job openings this year with more than 65,825 job openings posted in November 2012. That is a 14% increase over 2011.

·         Interested in adopting a school through the MAF Center’s Dream It Do It Program? Contact your regional manufacturing association or June Wolfe at For more information about Dream It Do It, visit  

  • Know someone who should be a member of MAF? Contact to provide the contact information.
  • The Florida Administrative Register report for the week is attached.


Upcoming Events - 2013


January 30-31    Enterprise Florida Board, Committee, Manufacturing Task Force  and Stakeholder meetings, DoubleTree Hotel, 101 South Adams Street, Tallahassee, FL 


February 4-5      Florida Manufacturing Days at the Capital, Governors Club and the Capital, Tallahassee, FL.  Guest room blocks reserved at aloft Hotel (850.513.0313) and Governor’s Inn (850.681.6855.  


May 28-31           Florida Sterling Council Annual Conference, JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, register at

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1936 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Suite 428

Wesley Chapel, FL  33543


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