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MAF Manufacturer of the year Award Nominations due August 30th!

July 24, 2013 12:14 PM | Anonymous

2013 Manufacturer of the Year Award

Nominations are due August 30th for MAF’s Manufacturer of the Year Award. Eligible manufacturers are those who are MAF members, or members of regional manufacturers associations that are MAF members.  Nomination is simple:  just send the company name, contact person and contact information to Phil Centonze. Nominate your own company!  If you have already been nominated please submit your questionnaire as early as possible to ensure you are scheduled for your opportunity to compete for the award. Contact Phil Centonze, lead Judge, at with your questions and nominations.


Make Plans to Use State Quick Response Training Funds

MAF members were invited on July 18 to participate in a teleconference with Debbie McMullian, Workforce Florida, on the topic of how to access the Quick Response Training (QRT) Funds for training new hires and existing employees.  Attached is a fact sheet about the program.  As you may know, Workforce Florida set aside $2 million of the QRT funds solely for manufacturers, $2 million solely for logistics and distribution companies and the remaining $8 million for any company that qualifies. 


MAF is serving as the facilitator for the Regional Manufacturing Associations to apply for consortium QRT grants that will allow them to aggregate manufacturers into a consortium to access this funding.  Large companies have the ability to qualify alone if they are creating 10 new jobs, but small companies might only create 1 new job and still qualify as part of the consortium.  By small companies joining together in a region and grouping their applications with others, they will qualify to access this training money.  Also, if new jobs are created, existing employees may also be trained.  We encourage all of our Regional Manufacturing Associations (RMA) and the manufacturers in those regions (whether RMA members or not) to join together and apply for this money.  Each company may design its own training package.  After you have reviewed the attached fact sheet, call Debbie McMullian, QRT Program Director at or 850.922.8647 if you have more questions.  Let’s get started!!!


Made in Florida:  Put Your Company on TV!

Made in Florida is a weekly, syndicated television series that showcases companies and products made in Florida.  Crawford Entertainment will produce thirteen shows, each one focusing on three manufacturers and production will be free to your company.  Here’s what they are looking for:


1. Companies that are headquartered in Florida.

2. If a company is not headquartered in the state, they should be doing major operations here and/or doing something unique in the state.

3. Companies that have either an interesting history of pioneering entrepreneurship, long history in the state, huge economic impact, cool unique Florida products, products that are sold worldwide or impacting the world in a positive way, high technology, any company that would make a very visual story…or any combination of the above!


If you are interested in having your company highlighted, contact Nancy Stephens at or contact Mark Greenwald, Producer at 407-32-3460 or


This is a great opportunity to showcase our interesting and successful manufacturers!


Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) Legislation, H.R.  2708

On July 18, MAF signed a letter to U.S. Representative Southerland requesting support of the passage of this bill. Manufacturers of all sizes use the vital tariff suspensions contained in the MTB to obtain raw materials, inputs and other products that are not available domestically. Without the now-expired MTB, manufacturing production costs are higher.  Failure to act on the MTB will result in a $748 million tax on manufacturing in the United States, and economic losses amounting to $1.857 billion over the next three years.  If you are interested in signing on individually, see


Florida Rankings

The Florida Chamber Foundation publishes a Weekly Scorecard Report, the latest one indicating that if Florida expands its exports, manufacturing could become a critical driver of Florida’s economy.  The graph below shows Florida manufacturing coming back to life after four straight years of contraction, but still with much room for improvement.


Florida Manufacturing Growth Rate 2002-2012. Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis



The 2013 Manufacturing and National Logistics Report shows how Florida ranks among other states in areas key to manufacturing and logistics success.  The report, using an A-F scale, gives Florida a D in manufacturing industry health, a C+ in logistics, and an A in tax climate.


CNBC’s annual state ranking placed Florida at a low of 30 out of 50 states.   States were measured on 51 metrics, with input from the Council of Competitiveness and NAM. Those metrics were grouped into categories, which were then weighted by how the states used them to market themselves.  Florida achieved a 4 in workforce and an 11 in technology and innovation; a 40 in the cost of doing business and 38 in the economy.


Florida is 30% more entrepreneurial than the Nation as a whole.  Babson College’s 2012 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor U.S. Report says that on the positive side, this means that Florida is more globally focused than the rest of the nation, while on the negative side, most of Florida’s entrepreneurs say they’re in it out of necessity, rather than for opportunity. Find the GEM Report at


In the way of a commentary from MAF, this shows that the work MAF has done on manufacturing tax climate has made a big difference, but it also shows that we have a lot more work to do to help improve Florida’s manufacturing sector as a whole.


NAM’s July 2013 Manufacturing Economic Update:  “Good But Not Great”

MAF participated in NAM’s Webinar hosted by Chad Moutray, NAM’s Chief Economist last week.  In summary, NAM reports that currently, both U.S. and global manufacturers are experiencing very slow growth.  For the U.S.:

·         Manufactured goods exports were only up a disappointing 1% in the first 5 months of this year.

·         Manufacturing hiring lost sector jobs in the last 4 months.

·         Industrial production rose 1.8%, but much below its potential.

However, U.S. manufacturers are cautiously optimistic for the next 6 months:

72% of manufacturers expect sales to increase 2.7% in the next year.


According to Moutray, challenges for manufacturers for the next six months include:

·         Higher interest rates in the housing market and high petroleum prices will dampen consumer confidence.

·         China’s economy has slowed, which has affected our export market.

·         Uncertainty over the costs of premiums under The Affordable Care Act.

·         Fiscal situation.

The presentation is attached.


Florida Legislature Recommends Immediate Withdrawal from PARCC

Senate President Gaetz and House Speaker Weatherford signed a letter to Education Commissioner Bennett last week recommending that Florida no longer implement the student assessments proposed by the national academic consortium, Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).  They outlined their concerns about the national standards, and the impact they could have on students’, schools’ and Florida’s competitiveness.  Gaetz and Weatherford recommend a Florida plan for reliable testing of student performance, including assessments for the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.  For the full text of the letter:


Notes from NAM

Expanded Trade.  NAM’s primary Growth agenda goal is to help manufacturers reach 95% of non-U.S. customers.  NAM supports the renewal of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) that expired in 2007, which would create a congressional framework for complex trade agreements.  The priorities include eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers and protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights. NAM is also working to address Indian trade practices that discriminate against U.S. exports and to promote positive solutions.


Tax Treaties. The Senate has not approved any new treaties or updates since 2010 and NAM has recommended immediate action via a letter sent to members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Tax treaties promote U.S. bilateral trade and investment while protecting U.S. businesses from double taxation on income from selling goods and services in foreign markets. Agreements pending or in the pipeline include those with Chile, Hungary, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Spain, Poland, Japan, Norway and Britain. NAM has set up an ad hoc, tax-treaty working group to address the issue.


Mid-Market Manufacturers Can Drive the Economy. Middle-market manufacturers are defined as those with revenues between $10 million and $1 billion, and comprise 33,000 manufacturers. According to a new report issued by the NAM and the Center for the Middle Market, 47% of mid-market manufacturers using advanced manufacturing techniques experienced a 20% profitability increase over the past five years. However, these advanced manufacturing techniques have exposed a widespread workforce skills gap in STEM.


Gas Prices.  The NAM advocates for increased supply, a more reliable permitting process, and streamlined regulations as methods for easing the barriers to reduced gas prices. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on July 16 held a hearing to “explore the effects of ongoing changes in domestic oil production, refining and distribution on U.S. gasoline and fuel prices.” Read NAM’s Member Focus interview with House Energy and Power Subcommittee Chair Ed Whitfield here:


Matching Grant Program

The University of West Florida, Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, is soliciting proposals from institutions of higher education and other qualified organizations to serve as a regional Florida SBDC host partner for Southeast Florida. The Florida SBDC Network is sponsored and funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and regional private and public partners. This is a competitive match grant contract program. All interested parties must submit a proposal by October 4, 2013.


GE’s Ideas Lab:  Recommended Summer Reading List

The Ideas Lab brings together experts and thought leaders to address some of today’s most important issues from manufacturing to technology to jobs. They’ve suggested eight texts to help you stay current with critical issues making an impact locally and globally.  The list includes the book “Producing Prosperity:  Why America Needs a Manufacturing Renaissance,” and a report from the McKinsey Global Research Institute that highlights 12 key technologies that could “drive truly massive economic transformations and disruptions in the coming years.” For the full list and a short description of each one, visit:


Florida Chamber Events

·         The Upper Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce will host a manufacturers’ focus group on Tuesday July 30 in Oldsmar. Tony Carvajal, Executive Vice President, Florida Chamber Foundation, will be accompanied by a transportation and logistics expert and will explore the options and opportunities to increase Florida’s exports and grow the manufacturing sector by opening new markets

·         Florida Chamber of Commerce will host a talent caucus.  The 2013 Solutions Summit will focus on the issues of talent supply on September 26, 2013 in Orlando.


Senate Forms Indian River Lagoon Panel

Indian River Lagoon extends 156 miles along the Atlantic Coast inshore from Titusville to Stuart, and is one of the most biologically diverse estuaries.  The area has noted significant die-offs in manatees, pelicans, dolphins, and sea grasses.  Two months ago, Governor Scott vetoed the $2 million request to purchase advance water monitoring equipment.  The Senate has now formed a panel to study the die-offs in the area.  “The purpose of this select committee is to determine what progress has been made and what changes in policy, if any, should be recommended to the Legislature and the Congress,” said Senate President Gaetz.


Short Notes

·         The MAF Center and St. Pete College are now working on a contract to implement the TRADE grant to provide manufacturing education at twelve colleges in Florida and to identify internships for industry certified students.  We are hopeful that negotiations can be completed by mid-August. We have been waiting for 10 months to get to this point!  Stay tuned!

·         Workforce Florida Inc. and the MAF Center are negotiating a contract that will allow the MAF Center to distribute the MSSC CPT curriculum to high schools in Florida. We should be able to complete this contract just in time for the new school year.

·         Metropolitan Environmental Training Alliance (METRA) is s a not for profit environmental partnership whose objective is to provide little or no cost, professional environmental education to the central Florida small business community and local government agencies.  They are now offering $1,000 scholarships to juniors and seniors majoring in Environmental Studies or Sciences.  Applications are due August 31.

·         South Carolina among the Best in the East. Industry Today writes that in a recent federal report, South Carolina’s economy was listed as the 12th fastest growing in the U.S, and its Real GDP growth rate of 2.7% is above the southeastern regional average of 2.1%.  It also mentioned that SC has the fasted growing manufacturing GDP on the East Coast.

·         Game changers for US growth. New McKinsey research indicates five catalysts in energy, trade, technology, infrastructure and talent development that would quickly and substantially boost GDP by 2020.  Check out:

·         Interested in adopting a school through the MAF Center’s Dream It Do It Program? Want a Quick Start guide? 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


August 5              MAF Center Research Council Meeting in Orlando, FL


August 15            MAF Environmental Teleconference, 2p.m. – 3p.m. E.T.  Dial in number is: 712.775.7000; PIN 317371#.


August 30            Last Day to Nominate Manufacturer of the Year!


October 4            Manufacturing Day. Plan your celebration!


December 4-6   10th Annual Manufacturers Summit, Vinoy Renaissance Hotel, St. Petersburg, Florida.  Registration is open! Visit


December 5       MAF President’s Manufacturer of the Year Awards Ceremony and Dinner, 10th Annual Manufacturers Summit, Vinoy Renaissance Hotel, Ste. Petersburg Florida

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