Florida Legislative Session Begins on March 3
The Florida Legislature will convene on Tuesday, March 3 officially and the Legislative Session will end on May 1, 2015. To date, MAF has 159 bills on its Watch List. Looking ahead, in 2016 the Florida Legislative Session will begin in January (for your planning purposes).
Legislative Manufacturing Summit Held Last Week State Senator Latvala (Clearwater) and Rep. Peters (St. Petersburg) hosted a manufacturing summit at St. Petersburg College on February 25 to inform manufacturers about upcoming legislative issues and solicit their feedback on any issues of concern to them. Nancy Stephens (MAF) moderated the event and the St. Petersburg Collaborative Labs directed the discussion.
Thank you to so many of you who went out of your way to participate in this important event: Mosaic, AECOM, MRMA, BAMA, UTBMA, HeatPipe, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Metal Essence, Pharmaworks, MSCA, FloridaMakes, S4J Manufacturing, QTM, ConMed Linvatec, Florida TRADE Consortium members, CareerSource Florida and everyone else I missed! Thanks also to Dick Peck, QTM, for speaking at the event on the manufacturing sales tax exemption for machinery and equipment.
The complete results of the event will be available very soon, but in the interim the topics that got the most attention were: a) permanent sales tax exemption on manufacturing machinery and equipment; b) eliminating the sales tax on commercial leases and rents; and c) apprenticeships. As a result of the meeting, we have a sponsor for the FloridaMakes funding in the House, Senator Latvala is filing a bill to start the conversation on the commercial leases and rents, and he will support apprenticeship appropriations. Also, on March 20 the Tampa Bay Business Journal will be printing proceeds from the meeting in their Manufacturing section, as they had a transcriber there.
Manufacturing Skills Gaps
The Manufacturing Institute, in cooperation with Deloitte, has released two new parallel studies: The skills gap in U.S. manufacturing: 2015 and beyond (http://tinyurl.com/k5fqy7c) and Overwhelming Support: U.S. public opinions on the manufacturing industry (http://tinyurl.com/mmf23ac).
This research says that over the next decade nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled in the U.S. As a result of the skills gap, 2 million of those jobs will go unfilled. The big picture has not changed: gaps are being created by baby-boomer retirements and a negative perception of the industry among younger generations that do not see manufacturing as a career destination.
At the same time an overwhelming majority of Americans surveyed believe manufacturing is crucial to the country’s economic prosperity, standard of living and national security. Manufacturers reported that six of every 10 skilled production openings they have are unfilled today due to the talent shortage. Manufacturers can no longer afford to wait for an educated and trained next-generation workforce; they need to do more to develop their talent pool.
We are proud to report that MAF and the MAF Center are taking this matter into their own hands. It is slow going but we are making progress on many fronts. Thank you for your support for these organizations and their work!
TRADE College Activities
• To view students with manufacturing skills available for jobs or internships now, visit http://www.fltrade.org/student-internships.
• March 5, 7:30 – 8:30 a.m., manufacturing employers are invited to attend a breakfast meeting to learn more about Florida TRADE at St. Pete College. This event for manufacturers is designed to share stories of successes working with students on manufacturing careers. Contact BAMA or register at http://www.bama-fl.org/event-1852145.
• April 3 is the last day for TRADE RMAs to submit TRADE quarterly reports online to DropBox. Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
• April 22 is the official day for the Florida Manufacturing Career Fair to place TRADE students and others in manufacturing jobs. Employers should contact their regional CareerSource board to register for the event.
2015 STEP Ahead Award Honorees and Emerging Leaders
The Manufacturing Institute in Washington, D.C. will be honoring 130 women in manufacturing who have had great success and are proven leaders in the industry on March 26. Women represent 50% of the U.S. workforce, however they represent only 25% of the manufacturing workforce. To see the awardees, visit http://tinyurl.com/my5wnob.
We want to thank PCS Phosphate and Duke Energy for their generous contributions to the MAF Center student scholarship award program. Schools will be competing for recognition of their manufacturing or STEM program best practices and wining schools will be announced on June 4 at the Florida STEM TRADE Manufacturing Summit in Orlando. The winning schools will earn scholarships for students in, or going into, manufacturing programs. The student recipients from 2014 had some great testimonies on how much it meant to them. If you would like to make a contribution to the student scholarship fund, contact email@example.com.
• Bill Johnson, formerly with the Port of Miami, officially takes the helm at Enterprise Florida from Gray Swoope on March 2. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Gray Swoope has opened an economic development business, Vision First Advisors in Tallahassee, FL and his new contact information is gray.swoope@VisionFirstAdvisors.com, 850. 558.6910, He is President and CEO of the company.
• According to the National Association of Manufacturers, complying with the more conservative end of the EPA’s proposed ozone standard would cost $1.1 trillion. MAF is writing a comment letter to EPA to meet the March 17 deadline.
• Chemical manufacturers are using advanced analytics to improve their operations and cross-unit collaboration. In one example of data modeling, a chemical firm found ways to increase earnings by 55%. The company identified 600 factors and developed a mathematical model to reduce problems at the plant (American Chemistry Council).
• The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that exports from Florida reached $58.6 billion last year, helping set a record in the U.S. with $2.35 trillion in goods and services exports. Florida’s exports helped support about 275,000 jobs. Computer and electronic products led Florida’s exports with $14 billion, followed by transportation equipment with $8.7 billion and chemicals with $7.2 billion.
• Florida is #3 among the top 10 states with the most telecommuting jobs, with 5.1 percent of the state's population working from home, according to a new analysis by FlexJobs. Arizona is the top state with home workers, with other states being Texas, New York, Illinois, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia, California, New Jersey and Arizona.
• The state has released the 2015 Tax Handbook that shows all the sources of taxes for Florida. Visit http://tinyurl.com/mt582um.