The increasing number of jobs tell the story: Florida and the Tampa Bay area are experiencing a resurgence in manufacturing jobs. The resurgence, which appears to be mostly concentrated in smaller, high-tech or “niche” companies, is occurring after years of gradual but steady decline in manufacturing, made worse by a crash during the latest recession.
Now with more than 333,000 manufacturing jobs across Florida, more than 61,000 just in the Tampa Bay region and growing companies hiring again, you can actually see the industry's comeback on the high-tech factory floors of local manufacturers.
You can see the comeback at Southern Manufacturing Technologies situated in a small industrial park just off the Veterans Expressway in northwest Hillsborough County. There you’ll see lathes operated by computers and workers using microscopes in fabricating ultra-precise valves, actuators and other parts for jet and rocket engines.
You can also see it at the headquarters of Heat Pipe Technology off Orient Road, a company that was founded in 1983 with a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop an innovation that makes air conditioning systems more efficient and keeps satellites safe from the broiling heat and deep cold of space.
And it’s also in the headquarters of Creative Sign Designs off Racetrack Road, where workers design and fabricate one-of-a-kind exterior and interior signs, including the unique “sign” on the new Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg – actually the artist’s signature recessed into a section of the building’s exterior concrete wall.
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