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Manufacturing News

  • October 09, 2013 8:39 AM | Anonymous

    Throughout Florida, National Manufacturing Day was observed at more than 200 middle and high schools. At Middleton High School in Tampa, Hillsborough County officials issued a proclamation declaring Oct. 4 as Florida Manufacturing Day. Members of BAMA were on hand to show their support.

    Left to right: Kim Moore, Middleton High School; Steve Meitzen, BAMA; Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharp; Mike Ramsey, Hillsborough County Schools; Marilyn Barger, FLATE; Larry Plank, Hillsborough County schools; Shannon Sweatman, Southern Manufacturing Technologies; James Moore, Cardio Command; Middleton HS Principal Owen Young; Ken Jurgensmeyer, Heat Pipe Technologies

  • October 09, 2013 8:30 AM | Anonymous

    Students from Meadownlawn Middle School in St. Petersburg toured Jabil Circuit in
    observation of National Manufacturing Day, October 4, 2013.

  • October 06, 2013 9:01 PM | Anonymous

    The Bay Area Manufacturers Association (BAMA) and Upper Tampa Bay Manufacturers Association (UTBMA) are joining forces for the Dream It Do It initiative. Partnering with Hillsborough County Public Schools and Pinellas County Schools on the Adopt-A-School program, the manufacturing associations are working together to make the program a reality. Cliff Csulik, President of the Bay Area Manufacturers Association and Jerry Custin, Secretary/Treasurer of the Upper Tampa Bay Manufacturers Association, have announced an agreement to join association forces.

    Csulik explains, “Adopt-A-School is a program managed by the Manufacturers Association of Florida to engage manufacturers as mentors in area high schools. The goal is to expose students and parents to the rewarding and challenging opportunities of a career path in advanced manufacturing. The program involves mentorship with area school clubs and engineering programs, plant tours and possible internships and scholarship opportunities. We need to get that word out and what better way than to engage our area manufacturers directly in the process.”

    Custin continued, “Folks generally also do not realize the strength of manufacturing in our region and the level of education in some of our area schools. Nearly 25% of Florida’s 17,000 manufacturers are in the Tampa / Clearwater / St. Petersburg area employing over 57,000 workers at an average pay up to 20% greater than service industries. Our schools are focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) at some level and numerous have Engineering Academies that are well equipped. We have established working relationships with the Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas school districts to get our manufacturers involved in the development of these programs and to engage students in the exciting world of advanced manufacturing.”

    The Adopt-A-School program will establish a countywide model with four schools; Gaither and Middleton high schools in Hillsborough County and Eastlake and Gibbs high schools in Pinellas County. These schools use state of the art equipment including 3-D printers and miniature wind tunnels that are providing their students with advantages. Whether their near term goal is higher education or the start of a solid career that will involve continuous learning. Many in our community do not realize that high school students can gain basic certifications in various disciplines including cyber-security, Solid Works and others that could land them positions in advanced manufacturing with a high school diploma.

    “Joining forces between BAMA and UTBMA will allow us to leverage the membership and community connections needed to make an impact as well as develop a cohesive regional model for building a sustainable world class workforce right in our own community”, Csulik concluded, “ this is a win-win-win for everyone especially for our students looking for a great career.”

    If you’d like to make a difference contact BAMA at 727.536.5809 or the UTBMA at 813.855.4233.

  • October 04, 2013 12:54 PM | Anonymous

    Michael Keating is doing a brief write up for ThomasNet's Industry Market Trends, an e-newsletter that goes to 375,000 manufacturing executives, on how manufacturers can work together after a disaster to keep production humming. Are there any Florida success stories he can mention? He hopes to include at least a few sentences from our group.
    Contact: Michael Keating, 770-618-0193,

    Here is a link to his first in a series of disaster planning items.
    What Manufacturers Need to Do About Data Recovery After a Disaster

  • September 30, 2013 5:14 PM | Anonymous

    At a recent visit to the Pinellas Board of County Commissioners, Pinellas County Commissioner Karen Seals presented a Proclamation to BAMA Board members proclaiming October 4, 2013 as National Manufacturing Day. Working together with several other organizations, BAMA was able to receive the proclamation recognizing the 75,471 jobs that are provided by the manufacturing industry in Pinellas County.

    From left: BAMA President Cliff Csulik, BAMA Board Member Steve Meitzen, Pinellas County Commissioner Karen Seals, BAMA Board Treasurer Ann Paxton and FLATE Curriculum Coordinator Danielly Orozco-Cole.


  • August 15, 2013 9:14 AM | Anonymous

    Richard and Claire Knowles, currently of St. Petersburg FL and Youngstown NY, have made distinct literary news.  Richard is the author of “The Leadership Dance”, a Classic in Transformational Leadership, which became an Amazon #1 Best Seller on August 8, 2013.  Claire is the author of “Lights On! A Reflective Journey” which provides positive motivation for women to move forward in their personal and professional lives.  Lights On! became an Amazon Best Seller in December, 2012. 

    Each has penned another book as well.  Claire’s newest, “Can You See Them Now? (Elephants in Our Midst)” is a business relationship book, valued by Human Resource Managers, Supervisors and Team-Leaders.  It will be available on Amazon September 1st.  Dick’s second book, “Partnering for Safety and Business Excellence” is already available on Amazon, and is intended for Plant Managers, Supervisors and Leaders in industrial safety.

    Claire and Dick Knowles both are highly credentialed and experienced in the fields in which they write. Dick was a DuPont Plant Manager at several locations, including the Niagara Falls NY Plant and Belle WV plant; he currently consults worldwide in Safety and Leadership. Claire retired from DuPont’s Buffalo Plant as Human Resources and Labor Relations Manager in 2000 and now speaks and consults on Leadership and Success.

    Contacts:  Claire Knowles  716-622-7753;   Richard Knowles 716-622-6467

    Email:   or





  • August 13, 2013 2:40 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Regional Manufacturing Associations:

    We wish to remind you of one opportunity that has been presented to you and tell you about another one.

    First, a few weeks ago we hosted a teleconference with Debbie McMullian, Worfkorce Florida, Inc., on each region putting together a Quick Response Training Consortium.  As you might recall some $2 million has been set aside just for manufacturers and $2 milliion set aside for logistics and distribution companies.  This was a priority for MAF during the 2013 legislative session and we were successful in getting $12 million appropriated overall by the Legislature.  It is a priority for MAF again for 2014, but if we don’t use the funds that have been appropriated it makes no sense to ask for them again.  To date only the South Florida Manufacturers Association has contacted Ms. McMullian about setting up a consortium.  Please, contact her and get the ball rolling!  Her contact info is below.


    Debbie McMullian, QRT Program Director, at  or 850-922-8647. 

    Second, the Governorś Office has asked us to put together a calendar of manufacturing events for the remainder of the year.  We have already given him October 4 for a plant tour yet to be determined by your scheduled plant tours and his location on that day and December 5 or 6 during the Manufacturers Summit.  We would like to add your special events – annual meetings, plant tours or other major events in the hopes that he could attend.  Please send me your calendar of events for the remainder of the year at your earliest convenience and I will forward them to the Governorś Office.

    Thank you for your attention in these matters.

    Best wishes,

    Nancy D. Stephens, CAE
    Executive Director

    Manufacturers Association of Florida

    1625 Summit Lake Drive, Suite 300

    Tallahassee, FL  32317

    O (850) 402-2954

    F (850) 402-0139

    C (850) 445-1607

  • July 30, 2013 11:22 AM | Anonymous

    Click here for brochure

    What we 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!

    We will produce 13 shows as part of the series.Each 30-minute program will air at least once in every market in Florida and be posted on the show's website. It will have three company /product stories- two 7-minute versions and a 5-minute one, and a sponsored 1-minute "tip" segment. As the model stands now, the production will be free…sponsors and advertisers will help pay the cost of production. If a company wants to use their segment separately from the show, there would be a small licensing fee involved for us to provide them a digital copy of just their segment and the rights to use it wherever they want.

    I've spoken with Enterprise Florida and they've also expressed and interest in being part of the show.  We are starting production soon and expect to have the show on in summer or fall of 2014. As producers, we are excited to be working on this program...and look forward to telling the great stories about business in Florida!

    Contact Mark Greenwald []

  • 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

    # # #


  • June 18, 2013 5:03 PM | Anonymous


Manufacturing in Tampa Bay

Questions about manufacturing in Florida?

Search here for companies, small business help, infrastructure, employment, news...

Read the 2015 Florida Manufacturing Brief from Enterprise Florida

Labor Market Industry Profile

Florida manufacturers are critical to the state’s economy. In June 2013, Florida manufacturing
was 4.4 percent of the employment for all industries. Manufacturing is separated into durable
goods manufacturing and nondurable goods manufacturing. Durable goods manufacturing
accounted for 66.7 percent of June 2013 manufacturing employment and nondurable goods
manufacturing accounted for 33.3 percent.

There were 18,510 Florida manufacturers in June 2013, with employment of 323,341 jobs.
Employment was up 5,660 jobs (+1.8 percent) over the year.

Read the entire report here

Number of Establishments
Employment December 2013
Pinellas 1,297 30,317
Hillsborough 1,114 24,651
Pasco 317 3,185
Hernando 106 1,509
TOTALS 2,834 59,662

Information provided by

International Trade

Click here for the Slide Show from the tour of the
Tampa Port on May 14, 2016.

If you need information on how to sell your goods to other countries,
here are some contacts that can help you.

Dan Bjerk is a Senior International Trade Specialist at the Tampa Bay Export Assistance Center,
the local office for the U.S. Commercial Service of the International Trade Administration of the
U.S. Department of Commerce located in Clearwater, Florida.

Tampa Bay Export Assistance Center

U.S. Department of Commerce | International Trade Administration

13805 58th Street North, Suite 1-200, Clearwater, FL 33760


Brent Barkway joined the staff of Pinellas County Economic Development in August 2014, as a Business Development Manager specializing in Export Development, Foreign Trade Zone management, business expansion and relocation projects. He focuses on helping local companies discover new global markets for their products and services. Brent honed his economic development skills in Lee County, where he managed the relocation of Hertz Corporate Headquarters, which resulted in the creation of hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in economic impact in Southwest Florida.

Pinellas County Economic Development

13805 58th St. N., Suite 1-200, Clearwater, FL 33760


Lorrie Belovich is Director of International Business Development for the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation and partner in the Tampa Bay Export Alliance. She is responsible for both international trade and foreign direct investment. She works closely with the international stakeholders in Tampa Bay, such as the Tampa International Airport, Port Tampa Bay, Visit Tampa Bay and the Mayor’s office, to align the international business strategy for Hillsborough Country. Lorrie also manages the official outbound trade and business development missions led by Mayor Buckhorn and other elected officials.

Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation

101 East Kennedy Blvd. | Suite 1750, Tampa, FL 33602


Gonzalo Padron joined Port Tampa Bay as director of marketing and business development for Latin America in August 2014. Prior to joining the port’s executive team, Padron was manager of strategic customers at DHL Global Forwarding. Padron began his industry career extensively traveling the Caribbean and Latin America as a senior account executive for ocean carriers Tecmarine Lines and Seaboard Marine.

Port Tampa Bay

1101 Channelside Drive, Tampa, FL 33602

office: 813-905-5150

mobile: 813-361-2892

M. Javier Zuniga’s expertise includes corporate and partnership tax compliance, partnership structures, international taxation, individual taxation and forensic accounting. Javier is also part of PDR CPAs R&D tax credit and cost segregation studies practice areas.




The OSHA presentation from January 22, 2015

Click the logo to view the presentation

Bay Area Manufacturers Association

1936 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Suite 428

Wesley Chapel, FL  33543


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