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Manufacturing News

  • May 22, 2013 1:34 PM | Anonymous
    Good afternoon,


    The attached Tax Information Publication (TIP) was mailed to 126 active, required-to-file gross receipts tax accounts on May 21, 2013.  It will also be mailed or emailed the Florida Natural Gas Association, the Florida Gas Transmission Company, Gulfstream Natural Gas System, Florida Municipal Electric Association, Gulf South Pipeline Company, Southern Natural Gas, Florida Minerals and Chemistry Council, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Natural Gas Supply Association, Enterprise Florida, Bay Area Manufacturer's Association, Brevard Manufacturing and Technology Association, First Coast Manufacturer's Association, South Florida Manufacturer's Association, Volusia Manufacturer's Association, Associated Industries of Florida, the Florida Bar and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA).


    The TIP will be posted to the Internet and the Revenue Law Library, as well. 

    Gross Receipts Tax Index Prices for the Period July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014 


    Nicole Harvell
    Resource Management
    General Tax Administration
    Florida Department of Revenue


  • April 05, 2013 1:50 PM | Anonymous



    For Immediate Release

    For more information contact one of the following:


    Jan Russell, Sr. Vice President, Synovus Bank at 727-568-6544

    Claire Knowles, Owner, Lights On Leadership Success 4 Women at 716-622-7753

    Ivory Blackwood, Programs Coord., St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce at 727-388-291 

    Website Info (and to download flyer):


             Emotional Intelligence is the Other Kind of Smart!

    If there is one spring event every woman leader wants to attend, it is the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Leadership Council’s INSPIRE Event.  This year’s INSPIRE! Series kicks off with A Leadership Kaleidoscope: Connections, Collisions and Collaborations.  It is being held April 9, 2013 from 5 to 7 pm, at the prestigious Poynter Institute.  Reservations can be made through the Chamber’s website at www.stpete.com or by calling the Chamber office at 727-821-4069.

    CEO John Mackey of Whole Foods, in a recent video link[1], shared that Emotional Intelligenceundefinedbeing attuned to what is happening in you and around youundefinedis equal in importance to Leadership Savvy as Intellectual Prowess or Systems Knowledge (seeing the whole/anticipating the future) and to Spiritual Understanding of values, ethics, and having a sense of purpose.  This special INSPIRE! Event explores Emotional Intelligence, with decades of research pointing to it being the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. 

    Jill Geisler, Author of “Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know” and Kathy Potts, Founder of Destination Breakthru will headline this event.  Each registered participant will be provided with an Emotional Intelligence Assessment form. Knowing where you stand, and where you need to improve is important for your Leadership Success in this multigenerational, multicultural work world. This INSPIRE event is geared to executive women, women in middle-management leadership roles, and those women aspiring to key leadership positions.




  • March 21, 2013 8:45 AM | Anonymous

    The Bay Area Manufacturers Association Board announced today that Willy Schweikert (Director of Advanced Programs Engineering for Raytheon) has been appointed Honorary Chair of the Bay Area Manufacturers Association STEM Goes to Work initiative.

     “I speak for all of the officers and directors of the Bay Area Manufacturers Association Board in wholeheartedly welcoming Mr. Schweikert to this important roll “I’ve known Willy personally and professionally for many years, and his energy, integrity and keen vision will bring an increased strength to our STEM mission and programs.” Steven Meitzen Past-President said

    In recognition of the significant role of teachers in shaping their students’ STEM experiences, the Bay Area Manufacturers Association Board are partnering with manufacturers and schools to present the STEM students tours of locale manufacturers. Open to current 7th to 12th grade students.

    “Contributing to the great work of the Bay Area Manufacturers Association will be an honor and privilege.  Engineering plays a vital role in everything we do.”, said Willy, “I look forward to helping STEM students and their teachers realize the importance of Engineering and maximize their capability to provide the best and brightest workforce of the future.  It’s truly exciting to join the BAMA STEM mission and help accelerate the momentum of student tours of manufacturers and other STEM initiatives which will recognize one of America’s greatest treasures: STEM students and their teachers.” 


    For More information contact : Steven C. Meitzen, Clairson Plastics,   813.786.1125

  • March 12, 2013 2:13 PM | Anonymous

    Dear MAF Members:

    Thank you for what you have done to advocate for the manufacturing sales tax exemption to date and what you will be asked to do over the next eight weeks!

    The Governor’s Office has asked for your help, each one of you, MAF member companies, regional manufacturing associations and their members,  in impressing on all of our state legislators just how important it is to remove the last remnants of the sales tax exemption on manufacturing machinery and equipment.  Some feel that manufacturers are apathetic about this exemption.  Because it means a loss of $140 million to the state budget, it is a big deal!  “It doesn’t matter to me” is not an acceptable response from any manufacturer in Florida!

    I know that the paperwork burden of showing 5% productivity in order to get a sales tax exemption on manufacturing machinery and equipment may be more or less burdensome depending on your situation, but for the good of the whole, we need everyone’s help in writing a letter or making a phone call to their legislator.  We must let the Legislature know that if they allocate $140 million to the manufacturing sales tax exemption that your savings will propel the economy forward in many ways. 

    MAF is striving to make Florida the #1 manufacturing business destination.  In order to compete with surrounding states, this sales tax exemption is very important. 

    Attached are sample letters you can customize with company information and personal stories to send to your Senators and Representatives in Florida.  Also attached are Excel spread sheets with their contact information.  Lastly, we have attached a number of informative pieces written lately, the first color piece is from the Governor’s Office, the Naples News article ran earlier this week, and MANUFACTS is a document that we continue to update and add to, but might have a few gems in it for your letters.   

    Please don’t delay.  Lets make a big splash while its on everyone’s mind!

    Lastly, I would love to get a copy of your letter and know what feedback you got, good or bad.

    Best wishes and many thanks! 

    Nancy D. Stephens, CAE
    Executive Director

    Sample Letter for Manufacturers to Send to House Members

    Sample Letter for Manufacturers to Send to Senators

    Legislator Emails.xlsx
  • March 05, 2013 12:50 PM | Anonymous

    Governor Emphasizes Manufacturing and Education Priorities

    Tallahassee --- Today, the opening day of the 2013 Florida Legislative Session,

    during his address to the Florida House and Senate in a Joint Session, and with

    manufacturers in the audience, Governor Rick Scott announced his top two

    priorities for the 2013 Legislative Session. One is removing the sales tax on

    manufacturing machinery and equipment and the other is giving a pay raise to


    The Manufacturers Association of Florida applauds Governor Scott for

    his recognition of the ever increasing important role advanced manufacturing

    will play in diversifying Florida’s economy, providing well-paying jobs, and

    securing Florida’s position as a hub for international trade. At the same time,

    his education priority will serve to support the manufacturing industry by

    rewarding teachers for performing at the highest levels and inspiring their

    students to excel.

    “Florida is poised to be the #1 manufacturing state in the nation. With

    a little more help from the Florida Legislature on manufacturing tax policy,

    Florida can become competitive with other manufacturing destination states

    like Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Texas. We want

    people to come for the sun and stay for the manufacturing business, said Al

    Stimac, President, Manufacturers Association of Florida and President, Metal


    More than 60% of Florida manufacturers are small businesses. While

    this allows them to be more flexible in responding to changing market

    demands and conditions, it also means that they are adversely affected by tax

    red tape and un-level playing fields. “It is time to recognize that

    manufacturing tax reform converts to capital investment, community

    investment and employee investment,” said Nancy Stephens, Executive

    Director, Manufacturers Association of Florida.

    There are 18,107 manufacturers in Florida employing 314,800

    individuals paying an average annual salary of $52,378, which is $10,000 more

    than the average annual wage in Florida.

    Through the MAF Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence

    manufacturers are doing their part to invest in students. Through the Dream

    It! Do It! program, whereby manufacturers adopt high schools to engage

    students in the manufacturing world, and develop partnerships with colleges

    to design educational programs that prepare students for manufacturing

    careers, Florida manufacturers are helping prepare their future workforce.

    Governor Scott has it right with a little help, manufacturers and

    teachers can help lead this state to economic prosperity.

    The Manufacturers Association of Florida (MAF) was formed in 2006 to

    improve the business climate for manufacturers in Florida. The top

    manufacturing sectors in Florida include computers and electronics, food

    products, medical equipment, aerospace parts, nonmetallic mineral products,

    fabricated metal products, machinery, chemicals, paper products, and printed

    products. Visit www.mafmfg.com.

    The MAF Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence (MAF Center) is in its

    first year of operation. It was organized to promote an environment in Florida

    that produces an educated, skilled, trained and certified advanced

    manufacturing workforce for world class manufacturers. Visit


  • February 11, 2013 9:26 AM | Anonymous

    Turning Point

    Florida Business Observer
    February 1, 2013
    By: Denise Kalette
    [NTMA Featured]

    When a Navy pilot roars from a combat ship off the coast of Afghanistan, bound for a strafing run on an enemy firing at U.S. forces, there is a good chance that tucked away in the pilot’s equipment are essential parts from Tampa Bay that could save his life.

    Those parts are built into his parachute undefined sturdy metal housings and mechanical components. If the pilot is forced to bail out over the ocean and lands, unconscious, in the water, a sensor detects the fluid and blows his parachute away so it doesn’t drag him under. In rapid sequence, his head is lifted from the water and his life jacket inflates, while a second sensor triggers a flare so rescuers can find the pilot.

    The metal parts that house the sensors are manufactured at a little-known Tampa company that occupies a 20,000-square-foot building where the lights burn 24/7. At Southern Manufacturing Technologies (SMT), a private company celebrating its 30th year in business, workers churn out 20,000 highly precise components per month, for the aircraft, aerospace, and defense industries. Although the plant’s products have been used in high-profile places undefined the Mars rover, air-to-air missiles, communications and military satellites, and commercial aircraft undefined SMT President Roy Sweatman has been content to fly under the radar of public notice. But now, as his company reaches a critical turning point, the low profile is working against him.

    After growing his company for three decades, Sweatman, 66, is facing the inevitable need to hand over the reins to a new chief, within five to eight years. At the same time, he anticipates receiving a major contract in 2015 to manufacture parts for a new generation of fuel-efficient aircraft engines for Boeing 737s and the Airbus A320. Sweatman and his top managers are reconfiguring space at the plant to shoehorn in the new operations. They will need to hire machinists at a time when many young people seldomly consider manufacturing or skilled trades as a career. What makes it even harder to attract talented applicants is that despite SMT’s achievements and high standing in the aerospace world, many Tampa families and even business leaders have never heard of it.

    “Nobody knows we exist,” says Sweatman. “It’s partially because we don’t make the airplane, we just make some of the components.” Many Americans have the impression that most U.S. manufacturing has shifted to China, so kids see no future in it, and parents steer them toward universities, he says. “Everybody’s supposed to go to college.”

    Sweatman has a lot at stake. The plant owner, who grew up on a Pennsylvania dairy farm, has taken his machine shop from five employees when he bought it in 1983, to 110 skilled workers, and from $360,000 in revenue the first year, to $13.3 million in 2012. And even without the aircraft contract, the company is still growing, and searching for workers.

    With Tampa Bay’s unemployment rate dropping to 8% in December, one might conclude that plenty of willing workers could don a uniform at SMT. But along the Gulf Coast, many small and mid-size manufacturers share Sweatman’s dilemma of a shortage of workers with sufficient technical backgrounds.

    “It’s not uncommon,” says Cliff Csulik, president of the Bay Area Manufacturers Association. Companies are having a hard time finding technicians, welders, and machinists who can operate the computer numerical control (CNC) machines programmed to make precision parts for the defense, aerospace or medical industries.

    Small and mid-sized manufacturers of 25 to 100 employees supply essential parts to behemoths such as St. Petersburg-based circuit maker Jabil, which operates 60 plants in 25 countries; Raytheon, the aerospace and electronics giant; or Lockheed Martin, which builds military aircraft and defense systems.

    But as young people increasingly choose more lucrative or prestigious careers, small manufacturers struggle to keep up with the demand for products. “It’s not the glory type of job that some of these younger generations may want, but they’re still needed,” says Csulik. “That’s what made America’s backbone, these middle-class type of jobs.”

    Florida’s 18,099 manufacturers employ 317,690 people, according to the Manufacturers Association of Florida. Based on the number of facilities, the state ranks fourth in the nation in manufacturing. Plant managers are opening their doors to student tours, and hiring promising young candidates. They work with schools and training centers to strengthen STEM curricula undefined science, technology, engineering and math. But even as they reach out to educators to bolster their work force, manufacturers also are advancing in another directionundefinedtoward the brave new world of automation.

    Robots: more than a game

    As he pencils in plant changes in anticipation of the potential 2015 growth spurt, Sweatman knows that not only will a new generation of skilled employees help his plant carry on after he retires, so will the next generation of automated machines, including robots. Already, smart machines can select tools and mill metal parts with mathematical precision. They can move multiple pallets along the plant floor, shuttling along a metal rail.

    SMT uses about 20 Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines, and it employs a few basic robots. The Mars rover, after all, is a robot, and robotics are integrated not just in end-user military or space products, but also in the manufacturing process.

    Sweatman and his daughter Shannon, SMT’s systems administrator, work with local schools and colleges to encourage robotics programs, which make math and science fun. The students compete in robot tournaments in which their machines fight competitors.

    Girls enjoy bots as much as boys. “Down in the Miami area, there’s Catholic high schools with all-girl teams. In these competitions when they fight and the bots get damaged, [the girls] are back in the pits helping each other out” with pit-stop repairs, says Sweatman, laughing.

    Some Tampa kids come to the plant to perfect their bots, and occasionally, get hired part-time. New workers with no training generally earn $10 an hour, while those with some training get $14 an hour and skilled workers, $20 to $25 per hour, says Sweatman. “One-third of Southern Manufacturing’s workers earn more than $50,000 per year.”

    As he searches for workers who are precise yet innovative, Sweatman has raised his profile, taking lead roles in professional groups and serving on the U.S. Commerce Department’s Manufacturing Council, which advises the Secretary of Commerce on manufacturing issues. “Now I prefer not to be under the radar, so that people know there are good jobs and good opportunities and things other than going to college.”

    Racing the clock

    To see how far he has come as he nears the close of his stewardship, Sweatman has only to look into the glass case in his lobby, where metal parts undefined bronze, titanium, and steel undefined gleam like trophies. Each one tells a story.

    It wasn’t easy to become a key player in the complex world of satellite and aircraft production. At 17, he apprenticed at General Electric in Erie, Pa. and stayed to hone his skills before becoming general manager at a machine shop. In 1982, he brought his life savings to Tampa and bought the small machine shop. The owner provided financing, and Sweatman paid it off in two years.

    The shop made parts for locomotives and medical devices as well as aircraft, but soon settled into an aerospace and defense niche. Sweatman convinced customers his shop could make the parts they needed. He developed a pivotal relationship with Conax Florida Corp. in St. Petersburg, now a subsidiary of Cobham PLC. Conax explosives technology is used with the parachutes for which Sweatman’s firm provides housings.

    In 1988, just five years after Sweatman bought the machine shop, it made the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies. As it grew, he reinvested in SMT to improve efficiency. The latest investment, a $750,000 machining center, holds 180 tools, and boasts six pallets. To pay its cost, it runs 24 hours a day, contributing to SMT’s $17,000 monthly electric bill.

    The machine’s robotic arm plucks a tool from the new array, as a pallet shuttles along an enclosed rail. Amid the plant’s whine and hum of machines, workers study calculations or plunge their hands into a cleansing water spout. Shiny valves wait on flat surfaces for the next step, as a faintly acrid odor of treated metals wafts through the plant.

    In his office, Sweatman rolls off the names of missile defense systems to which SMT has contributed, including the Harpoon, Tomahawk and Javelin. As he hurries to meet the new deadline undefined the expected aircraft parts contract less than two years from now, with its influx of people, equipment, and production timetables undefined Sweatman is also planning for the longer term. He hopes his daughter, who has a master’s in management information systems, will take a leadership role at the company. And he has groomed a management team. But he remains firmly in charge.

    And highly competitive. His daughter recently gave him the gift of a Mario Andretti Racing Experience, a chance to race an Indy 500-style car around a Miami track. He sped at 154 miles per hour. Of all the day’s riders, Sweatman’s was the fastest lap of the day.

  • February 07, 2013 3:29 PM | Anonymous

    MAF Weekly Report-February 2, 2013


    New Economic Development Tool from Florida Power & Light

    During the January 30-31 Enterprise Florida quarterly Board meetings Florida Power and Light rolled out a tremendous tool for economic developers.  It is a resource website called Powering Florida (www.poweringflorida.com) and is intended to provide all the information economic developers need to know about helping businesses pick a location for their next business site in Florida.  Thank you Florida Power & Light for providing this tool to our economic developers.


    Lots of Excitement for Manufacturing Days - February 4-5, 2013

    More than 60 people have registered for Manufacturing Days at the Capitol – a record for MAF. Joining us for our briefing at Manufacturing Days this year on February 4 is: Enterprise FL, Workforce FL, Associated Industries of FL, Florida Chamber of Commerce, TaxWatch, Sen. Hukill, and Representatives Ray, Magar, and Patronis.


    On February 5 participants have appointments with more than 20 legislators and the Governor.  The group visit with the Governor will be a press event on the Governor’s manufacturing initiative.  Two local manufacturing companies will be bringing equipment in for a backdrop, participants will be invited to put their signatures on a sign for the event, we have buttons for participants to wear: “Let Manufacturers Lead,” we have a recognition spot planned for a legislative committee meeting and we will be interviewing willing participants on two questions:

    • Why it is important to belong to the Manufacturers Association of Florida and what has it meant to you and your company?
    • Why is it important to completely eliminate the sales tax exemption for manufacturing machinery and equipment in Florida?

    We hope you will participate in the interviews. One video will be turned into a membership promotional video and the other an advocacy video for our website and for use at the Capitol. If you didn’t have time to register, just show up on Monday!



    Enterprise Florida to Market Florida as a Business Destination

    At the January 30 Enterprise Florida Stakeholder meeting Melissa Medley unveiled Enterprise Florida’s business marketing plan – to market Florida as a business destination in addition to a tourist destination; however, they will tie the two together.  Using sand castles of business people as a backdrop in promotional events, the campaign will replace the “I” in Florida with a business tie. The slogan is “Florida is the Perfect Climate for Business.” The campaign needs angel investors, investing anywhere from $100,000 to $1,000 to reach the goal of $3 million for the marketing plan.  If you would like to invest, let us know and we will connect you with Melissa Medley.


    Internship Agreements

    The MAF Center is collecting internship agreements from various sources to develop a model internship agreement for our manufacturers.  If you have any materials for internship programs at your company that you would be willing to share, please send them to nancy@nstephens.com. Feel free to take your name off the materials before sending.


    Manufacturing Task Force Endorses Welcome Mat for Manufacturers

    The Manufacturers Task Force of Enterprise Florida, co-chaired by MAF Executive Director Nancy Stephens, had a lively meeting on January 30 in Tallahassee.  EFI staff gave a briefing on status of the Governor’s proposal on the manufacturing sales tax elimination, Workforce Florida briefed the group on Quick Response Training Fund uses and the proposal to double that funding, Nancy Stephens presented manufacturing facts so everyone would be on the same page in their advocacy, the group talked about what each of them could do to help pass the Sales Tax Elimination and the QRT Funding this year, and lastly the group decided to implement a program called the Manufacturing Welcome Mat.


    In the Welcome Mater program Enterprise Florida will issue a quarterly report to MAF on the manufacturing companies that have been recruited/retained/expanded in Florida via the Enterprise Florida recruitment programs.  MAF will set up meetings with those manufacturing companies and invite the regional manufacturing association, the local economic development partner, and Enterprise Florida to brief the company on resources and connections available to them in Florida. MAF sees this as another tool in our tool box to build membership for MAF and for the regional manufacturing associations, while providing a service to new manufacturers and the state. 


    Our first Welcome Mat event will be in conjunction with the March 6-7 Southern Advanced Manufacturing Tradeshow at the Orange County Civic Center in Orlando.  MAF and MACF will host a booth there and a Welcome Reception for participants to drop by and network with Florida manufacturers.  We hope you will attend. More details to come, but registration is open for the entire show for free using the code MZ at http://registration3.experientevent.com/showubm131/default.aspx?flowcode=ATT2.


    MAF Participates in Press Event with Governor

    On January 31 MAF President Al Stimac and Executive Director Nancy Stephens attended a luncheon and participated in a press announcement with Governor Scott.  At the luncheon the group of business leaders and educators heard from Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, Governor Scott’s Chief of Staff Adam Hollingsworth, the Governor’s Budget Director Jerry Daniels, and Governor Scott.  After an overview of the proposed 2012-2013 state budget proposal, Governor Scott answered questions from the audience.


    Following the lunch, the group moved to the Cabinet Room for a press conference on the budget.  Governor Scott announced his $74.2 billion budget and his two priorities – complete elimination of the sales tax exemption on manufacturing machinery and equipment and $2,500 pay raises for teachers.  In questions and answers between the press and the Governor there was not one question about the sales tax exemption!  Thank you Governor Scott!


     Short Notes

    ·         Tom Kennedy has left the South Florida Manufacturers Association for new opportunities.  June Wolfe will be assisting SFMA during the interim.  Thank you to Tom for his service to MAF as Secretary-Treasurer since MAF formed.  Tom’s last official MAF duties will end with the February 4 Board meeting in Tallahassee. Best of luck to Tom!

    ·         Making It Happen: How Career Academies Can Build College and Career Exploration Program was released in January by the MDRC, a Ford Foundation non-profit organization. It looks at Florida, Georgia and California Career Academies. The link to the report: http://www.mdrc.org/making-it-happen.

    ·         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 june.wolfe@comcast.net. For more information about Dream It Do It, visit www.mafcenter.org.  

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


    Upcoming Events - 2013


    February 4          11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. MAF Board of Directors Meeting, Governors Club, 202 ½ South Adams Street, Tallahassee, Florida


    February 4-5      Florida Manufacturing Days at the Capitol, Governors Club, 202 ½ South Adams Street, Tallahassee, FL and the Capitol, Tallahassee, FL.  Book a room at the aloft Hotel (850.513.0313) 


    February 18        DOT Florida Mobility & Trade Plan Review Webinar, 9:30-11:30 am, Save the Date!


    March 6-7            Southern Advanced Manufacturing Tradeshow, Orange County Civic Center, cosponsored by MAF and MACF.  For more info call 310.445.4200. MAF member regional manufacturers’ association members will receive free tradeshow admission by using registration code: MZ. Mark your calendars now! Register at:



    May 29                 MAF Board of Directors Meeting, JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, Orlando, FL. Time TBA. Mark your calendars!


    March 28             FDOT Florida Mobility & Trade Plan, Business Forum III Plan Review, 8:30-5:00, Orlando, FL. Save the Date!


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


    May 30                 Mark your calendar for a manufacturing education forum, particularly relevant for manufacturing human relations professionals and educators, to be held in conjunction with the Florida Sterling Conference in Orlando

  • January 22, 2013 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    MAF Weekly Report-January 20, 2013


    First New Member for 2013

    MAF wishes to welcome Custom Manufacturing & Engineering, Inc. of Pinellas Park, Florida to MAF membership. Dr. Nancy Crews is the President/CEO of the company.  The company manufactures military power supplies, power distribution units, special cable harnesses, custom factory/field testers, integrated sensors, and other electronic modules for military and industry markets.  Welcome!


    Help Us Promote Sales Tax Exemption Legislation – Contest Announced

    Never before has the manufacturing industry gotten so much support from a Florida Governor as we have from Governor Rick Scott.  Now for the second year in a row he is proposing to help us on taxes.  Please help us spread the word on what passing a complete removal of sales tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment will mean to manufacturing in Florida.  Here are just a few of the benefits below. We challenge you to think of more and share them with us and your manufacturing colleagues.  It will take all of us working together to be rid of this burden once and for all.


    If Governor Scott’s proposal passes:

    • If you buy machinery and equipment in the future and you are an existing business  you would not have to go through paperwork and calculation exercises in order to get the tax back that you pay on the machinery and equipment (new and space businesses are already exempt);
    • This puts Florida on a level playing field with other competitor states on manufacturing tax climate;
    • If you are a new business that locates here and gets the tax break for your initial purchases, you will continue to get the tax break when you become an “existing” business;
    • Manufacturing capital investment will be incentivized, which will support exporting and the expansion of the port system in Florida, in which the state is investing millions of dollars;
    • Manufacturers will have more money to contribute directly to their communities and schools as they see fit, hire more employees, buy even more capital, and be less burdened by government red tape;
    • It will make more money available for employers to hire employees with above average wages, thereby increasing the wealth of Florida citizens;
    • Local governments should realize an increase in the amount of tangible personal property tax paid as an offset to loss of the 1% sales tax revenue.
    • Site selectors recruiting business to Florida will no longer be able to cite Florida’s tax environment as an impediment to doing manufacturing business here.


    Please send us your best reasons why removing the sales tax completely from manufacturing machinery and equipment is the right thing to do for Florida.  We will enter your statement in a contest and the best statement will win that contributor a free registration to Manufacturing Days at the Capitol ($150 value) on February 4-5, 2013 in Tallahassee, FL.  (You may enter more than one statement.) Please send your statements to nancy@nstephens.com no later than January 27, 2013 to be eligible for the contest.  If you wish your name to remain anonymous when the statement is used for advocacy after the contest, please let us know.


    Manufacturing Days Approaching – February 4-5, 2013

    It will be a busy time for participants of Manufacturing Days at the Capitol. Last week we emailed and also hand delivered 250 invitations to stated elected officials and state leaders for our Legislative Reception. We hope you will be there to welcome our guests!


    For February 4 we have confirmed Senator Hukill, Rep. Ray, Associated Industries of Florida, and Florida Chamber of Commerce as speakers; on February 5 we have confirmed appointments with Governor Scott, Senators Abruzzo, Bean, Hays, Margolis, Simpson, Stargel, Brandes, and Clemens. Now that the legislative schedules have been released for that week we will be confirming more speakers and appointments daily. It is very important that every region of the state is represented.  Don’t miss it!


    MAF Teams Up with UBM-Canon on Manufacturing Tradeshow

    On March 6-7, 2013, UBM-Canon will hold their Southern Advanced Manufacturing Tradeshow at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.  Members of the Manufacturers Association of Florida, MACF members and other MAF member regional manufacturers’ association members will receive free tradeshow admission by using registration code: MZ. Mark your calendars now! Register at:

    http://registration3.experientevent.com/showubm131/default.aspx?flowcode=ATT2 For more information you may call 310.445.4200.


    Legislative Issues Raised Last Week

    Legislators were in Tallahassee the week of January 14 to become educated on state issues and begin hearing proposed legislation and budget issues. Following is news from the week:


    Single Sales Factor - Remember the taxing mechanism called Single Sales Factor?  We are hearing that around the Capitol again, after not much buzz for the last few years.  Rep. David Santiago is a proponent and hopes to generate interest in it.  The last time we polled our members, several years ago, they were divided on their support/opposition of it.  If the issue starts getting traction, we will poll you again!


    FDEP Overview – FDEP Deputy Secretary Jeff Littlejohn and various FDEP Division Directors were on hand to give updates to the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee on the statewide uniform Environmental Resource Permitting (ERP) rules for Florida, the status of the state nutrient criteria program, consistency in consumptive use permitting, hazardous substance emergency response, air regulation, environmental assessment and restoration related to water quality, and water policy.


    The House Economic Development & Tourism Committee heard from Space Florida, Enterprise Florida and Workforce Florida on their economic development and workforce progress, legislative priorities, and results of the Competitiveness Report.


    Space Florida legislative priorities include setting minimum annual spaceport funding levels and removing the per company cap on incentive funds from QTI and QDSC state incentive funds and funding.  Since their report, MAF has been able to persuade them to add the manufacturing machinery and equipment sales tax exemption to their agenda. Space Florida currently has 80 projects in the pipeline that they are recruiting for Florida.  


    Workforce Florida presented the facts on Quick Response Training (QRT) funds. Between 2000-2012, QRT has been used to help Florida companies train more than 99,000 new and existing employees.  QRT trainees’ wages increased more than 47% within a year of completing training.  QRT has been cited #1 with the largest impact on Florida economic developers’ ability to win multi-state competitive projects by the 2012 Florida Target Industry Competitiveness Report. 


    Enterprise Florida presented its legislative agenda and results from the Economic Development Competitiveness Study.  Manufacturing is considered a key industry in Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina and Texas.  Key issues for Florida to compete in manufacturing are incentives (capital vs expense) and workforce training. As you know Enterprise Florida is also recommending elimination of the sales tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment and recognized MAF’s work on this issue at the Committee meeting.


    The Next Chapter of NNC

    The Numeric Nutrient Criteria rulemaking has now moved into Phase II as Florida deals with EPA’s decision to propose additional federal criteria for Florida’s coastal waters, some estuaries, and South Florida flowing waters and the decision to engage in filling the gaps in Florida’s freshwater criteria rules.  MAF has joined other regulated interests in sending a letter to EPA stating that we believe a further review of DEP’s new nutrient rules will demonstrate that there is no environmental policy objective served by overlaying additional federal criteria.  


    Coalition Growing to Support Governor’s Manufacturing Agenda

    This week we got confirmation that the printers,  medical device manufacturers, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Space Florida will join our loose coalition to help the Governor pass his sales tax exemption on manufacturing machinery and equipment.  They join MAF and Enterprise Florida in the effort.   MAF is taking the lead role on organizing the support from other groups.  We would like the same commitment from each of the regional manufacturing associations and economic development organizations!


    Shippers Reach Agreement

    The American Chemistry Council informs us that, working with the Chlorine Institute and railroad associations, they have finalized an agreement on an extension of the Toxic Inhalation Hazard (TIH) tank car agreement. Without the extension, the shippers would have been required to begin the process of switching their existing fleets to the interim TIH tank cars that are already required for new construction by the Department of Transportation. TIH materials, such as chlorine, ethylene oxide, and hydrogen fluoride are essential for dozens of industries including health care, agriculture, water treatment and telecommunications.  The agreement helps ensure the timely, safe and reliable shipping of these products.


    FDEP Chapter 62-780 Rulemaking

    The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) is in the process of responding to comments on their Chapter 62-780 rulemaking from the Florida Joint Administrative Procedure Committee (JAPC).  (Comments are attached.) These latest JAPC comments seem to acknowledge statutory authority for the concept of de minimis discharge cleanup in petroleum and non-petroleum incidences, but are now focused on notice/reporting requirements upon initiation of cleanup.  FDEP has identified potential responses:

    • Exclusion from reporting requirements for de minimis discharge cleanups are authorized.
    • FDEP could develop a simple reporting form after initiation of de minimis discharge cleanups.
    • DEP could inform JAPC that the agency is unwilling to make any changes to the de minimis discharge cleanup provisions.
    • FDEP could ask JAPC to withdraw its informal objections to the rule, let FDEP complete this rulemaking, and then FDEP would begin rulemaking on the de minimis issue only. 

    The rulemaking cannot be finalized until there is resolution to JAPC concerns.


    Short Notes

    ·         JAXPORT Funding – Last week the Governor announced a commitment of $38 million in state and local funding to complete Phase II of the TRACPAC Container Terminal Project at JAXPORT. This will allow navigation problems for container ships to be fixed now without waiting for federal funding and support 3,500 port related jobs. Thank you Governor Scott!

    ·         New Department of Education contact – Ted Norman has replaced Eric Owens at the Florida Department of Education as the State Supervisor, Manufacturing/Transportation, Distribution and Logistics, Division of Career and Adult Education. His phone is 850.245.9015 and email is Richard.norman@fldoe.org. MAF will be meeting with him later this month.

    ·         Unemployment Rate - The Florida unemployment rate is now 8%, the lowest since November 2008.  The number of available online job openings in STEM related fields in Florida has sharply increased since last year, up 16.5% for a total of 61,271 postings in December 2012.

    ·         Florida Growth Fund - As of September 30, 2012, the Florida Growth Fund had committed to invest $255 million in 19 technology and growth companies and 15 private equity funds. As of June 30, 2012, the fund had a net internal rate of return of 21.03% since its inception. Companies that received Florida Growth Fund investments reported creating 4,164 jobs as of September 30, 2012. This included 2,110 jobs created by technology and growth companies and 2,054 jobs created by companies in which private equity funds were invested. The companies also reported paying an average annual salary of approximately $58,000. Salaries ranged from $23,500 to $110,000 per year

    ·         NAM Status – MAF is considered a Regional Ally for the National Association of Manufacturers, for those of you who were wondering!

    ·         A memo is attached from Hopping Green & Sams on Chapter 62-40 Water Resource Implementation Rule which is guidance to water management districts on Consumptive Use Permitting Consistency (CUPCON). 

    ·         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 june.wolfe@comcast.net. For more information about Dream It Do It, visit www.mafcenter.org.  

    • Know someone who should be a member of MAF? Contact nancy@mafmfg.com 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          11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. MAF Board of Directors Meeting, Governors Club, 202 ½ South Adams Street, Tallahassee, Florida


    February 4-5      Florida Manufacturing Days at the Capitol, Governors Club, 202 ½ South Adams Street, Tallahassee, FL and the Capitol, Tallahassee, FL.  Book a room at the aloft Hotel (850.513.0313) 


    March 6-7            Southern Advanced Manufacturing Tradeshow, Orange County Civic Center, cosponsored by MAF and MACF.  For more info call 310.445.4200. MAF member regional manufacturers’ association members will receive free tradeshow admission by using registration code: MZ. Mark your calendars now! Register at:



    May 29                 MAF Board of Directors Meeting, JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, Orlando, FL. Time TBA. Mark your calendars!


    May 30                 Mark your calendar for a manufacturing education forum, particularly relevant for manufacturing human relations professionals and educators, to be held in conjunction with the Florida Sterling Conference in Orlando


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


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 | 727-536-5809

1936 Bruce B. Downs Blvd | Suite 248 | Wesley Chapel | Florida | 33543

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