NWFMC bids farewell to Daniel Krug and welcomes Jolee Martin

NWFMC bids farewell to Daniel Krug and welcomes Jolee Martin

Daniel KrugThe Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council had to say goodbye to Daniel Krug in May as he ventures into a new role as defense industrial base business developer at Cyber Security Solutions.

“Daniel has been a great colleague and friend,” said Paul Miller, President of the Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council. “Fortunately, we will continue working together helping local companies with cybersecurity solutions.”

Jolee MartinMembers of the NWFMC will soon meet a new regional business advisor, Jolee Martin. With more than 20 years of operational and leadership experience, Martin’s background includes corporate leadership and strategy, quality management, change management, training, and product management.

“I am honored to be a member of the FloridaMakes team and can’t wait to meet everyone. Great things are happening in our NW Florida community and we have such opportunity to build upon,” Martin said. “Our I-10 corridor is growing and the manufacturing community has depth of product offerings and expertise.  Opportunities, and challenges, have been identified and collectively we can work to better the whole.  I can’t wait to see how we grow!”

Martin is uniquely qualified to provide companies with the insight for growth. Her skills have been applied in operations and elevating leadership across a wide range of industries including manufacturing, distribution, logistics, mining, medical services, and call centers.

“Jolee is a great addition to our network. Her experience in both manufacturing and consulting are a perfect fit for council members along the I-10 corridor,” Miller said. “I look forward to making introductions to members in the weeks ahead.”

Martin has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master of Business Administration with focuses in International Business and Financial Analysis. She can be reached at jolee.martin@floridamakes.com.

FloridaMakes Launches Annual Award for Florida’s Top Manufacturing Apprentices

FloridaMakes Launches Annual Award for Florida’s Top Manufacturing Apprentices

FloridaMakes Launches Annual Award for Florida’s Top Manufacturing Apprentices

Florida’s top manufacturing apprentices will be honored at the annual MakeMore Manufacturing Summit in October 2022.

Florida Makes Apprentice of the Year 2022 logoORLANDO, FL – FloridaMakes, a statewide organization operated by an alliance of Florida’s regional manufacturers associations and partner organizations, has announced a new statewide award, celebrating Florida’s top manufacturing apprentices. The Apprentice of the Year award will be given to manufacturing apprentices who demonstrate outstanding commitment to their professional development and show how they have made a positive difference to their company. Apprentices must be enrolled in a registered manufacturing apprenticeship program.

“The Manufacturing Apprentice of the Year awards program will bring further awareness of apprenticeships as a high-quality career pathway that provides access to high-skill, high-wage in demand careers,” said Marcelo Dossantos, FloridaMakes Director of Talent Development and recent appointee to Governor Ron DeSantis’ State Apprenticeship Advisory Council. “We also want to recognize all of the great work being done throughout the State of Florida by manufacturing apprentices. We have very talented and exceptional people who have chosen to pursue careers in manufacturing, and they should be recognized.”

According to Apprentice Florida, a program run by the Florida Department of Education, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, and CareerSource Florida, 97% of employers recommend apprenticeships as a training model. 91% of all apprentices are still employed nine months after their apprenticeship ends.

“I started as an apprentice over forty years ago and today I oversee one of the most well respected, high precision machining companies in the country, supplying components and assemblies for the aircraft, aerospace, defense, and medical industries,” said Roy Sweatman, President of Southern Manufacturing Technologies and FloridaMakes Board Member. “I can honestly say that our best source of talent are the skilled individuals who come to us through registered apprenticeship programs.”

Once apprentices are nominated by their respective companies, a panel of judges from the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Leadership Council will review the applications submitted by each company and select winners based on pre-determined criteria. Nominations for the award end on July 31. Winners will be announced at this year’s MakeMore Manufacturing Summit on October 13, 2022.

Please visit www.FloridaMakes.com/Apprentice-2022 for more information.

Governor DeSantis Awards $3.2M to expand manufacturing in Okaloosa County 

Governor DeSantis Awards $3.2M to expand manufacturing in Okaloosa County 

FLORDIA GOVERNORS PRESS OFFICE: Governor DeSantis Awards $3.2M to Expand Manufacturing in Okaloosa County 

This investment will double the number of manufacturing jobs in Okaloosa County

Governor DeSantis presenting check to Okaloosa County Board of County CommissionersCRESTVIEW, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis awarded $3.2 million to Okaloosa County through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to expand roads, rail lines, and utility infrastructure at the Shoal River Ranch. Shoal River Ranch is an industrial mega site. With this investment, it is expected to bring more than 11,000 jobs to the Okaloosa County region. This will more than double the current number of manufacturing jobs in the area, bringing more than 4,000 new jobs in manufacturing.

“Today’s grant will lay the foundation for a dramatic expansion of manufacturing in Okaloosa County,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Florida is committed to expanding our industrial base and investments like this, as well as our strong support for skilled trades and workforce education, will help us achieve this goal.”

“DEO is proud to assist the Governor in his mission to stimulate job and business growth in Florida,” said Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Secretary Dane Eagle. “This funding will support economic development in Okaloosa County by creating available, ready-to-access sites for industrial development, which will have lasting impacts throughout the region.”

“The Shoal River Ranch Giga Site is a critical infrastructure project and the award made today is a difference maker,” said Chairman of the Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners, Mel Ponder“There is nothing else this size, with this much access to a major interstate, in the state of Florida. Future tenants will have access to people trained and led by our education system, our college system, and our transitioning military who are technically trained. Opportunities at this site will create thousands of jobs in multiple sectors, another great win as we diversify our local economy. This opportunity will be transformational for our area.”

Shoal River Ranch Giga Site is located 7 miles east of Crestview with access to Interstate 10, Highway 90, and the Florida Gulf & Atlantic Railroad which allows companies to have easy access to transportation routes. The site is projected to make an economic impact of over $47.6 million after infrastructure improvements are made.

The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund is an economic development program designed to promote public infrastructure and workforce training across the state. Proposals are reviewed by DEO and Enterprise Florida, Inc., and chosen by Governor DeSantis to meet the demands for workforce training or infrastructure needs in communities around the state.

Pegasus Laboratories announce major expansion in Pensacola

Pegasus Laboratories announce major expansion in Pensacola

The Pensacola-Escambia Promotion and Development Commission (PEDC) has been awarded a $2.5 million Triumph Grant to support the expansion of Pegasus Laboratories, a pharmaceutical drug research, development, and manufacturing company headquartered in Pensacola. The grant enabled PEDC to acquire an existing facility in the Ellyson Industrial Park that will be leased to Pegasus. Pegasus has operations adjacent to the property and this new facility will help expand their campus.

Pegasus Laboratories is a Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization which produces animal health products and pharmaceuticals. It distributes these products under their PRN Pharmacal brand into the veterinary market. Pegasus Laboratories has been in operation in Pensacola for 37 years and currently employs 140 people. The company is a subsidiary of PBI-Gordon Companies, Inc.

With the expansion, Pegasus Laboratories plans to add several new product lines and increase its manufacturing capabilities. The project is expected to create 63 new laboratory and life-science manufacturing jobs over the next five years, resulting in an increased average annual wage which is 136% higher than the 2021 average wage in Escambia County.

“This major investment in our infrastructure will support the growth expectations we have for Pegasus and secure our ability to scale production and achieve our future goals,” said Steve Clifford, President and Chief Executive Officer of PBI-Gordon Companies, the parent company of Pegasus. “We’re proud to partner with PEDC, FloridaWest, and Triumph Gulf Coast to contribute to the economic vitality of the community.”

“This is a great example of how PEDC and FloridaWest were able to parlay grant money from Triumph Gulf Coast to expand an existing business and create more than sixty additional laboratory and life-science manufacturing jobs in the Pensacola area,” said Collier Merrill, Vice-Chair, Triumph Gulf Coast.

FloridaWest Economic Development Alliance has been working on this project with Pegasus Laboratories since June 2021 to assist in its expansion.

“We recognize that manufacturing is crucial to our economy,” said Scott Luth, FloridaWest CEO. “Our manufacturing companies promote research and development as well as creating high wage jobs that improve the quality of life throughout Escambia County. FloridaWest and PEDC had a pivotal role in working with Triumph Gulf Coast, PBI Gordon and Pegasus to both retain and help this innovative company continue to grow in our community.”

UWF boosts economic development in NWFL through Industry Resilience and Diversification Fund program

Pensacola, Fla. – The Industry Resilience and Diversification Fund program, administered by the University of West Florida, has completed its first year of operations after being relaunched in 2021. The program, managed by UWF’s Office of Research Administration and Engagement, remains open to new applicants.

Over the past year, the University has approved IRDF incentive funding for projects cumulatively projected to add 685 new jobs and resulted in more than $91 million in capital investment in Northwest Florida.

“The UWF mission states that we will contribute to the needs of professions and society,” said Dr. Matthew Schwartz, associate vice president of research administration. “In partnership with our core educational and professional development goals, the IRDF program allows UWF to directly contribute to the economic development of Northwest Florida.”

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and the University worked together at the direction of the State Legislature to establish the $30 million program, originally called the Industry Recruitment, Retention and Expansion Fund, in the aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Approximately $10 million in funding remained last year when the University reopened the program under its current name.

The program’s goal is to encourage the creation of sustainable, high-paying jobs in diverse industries across the eight Northwest Florida counties whose economies and communities were affected most heavily by the oil spill. Those counties are Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf, Franklin and Wakulla.

The IRDF program makes incentive awards of up to $2 million available to companies that relocate or expand in the eight counties disproportionately affected by the oil spill. The application process is competitive. Participating businesses must commit to creating at least 10 net, new jobs in one of the eight eligible counties and the proposed project must result in at least $1.50 in economic activity for every dollar of IRDF funding awarded. Additional requirements and considerations can be found on the IRDF website. Companies interested in participating in the program can apply through their local economic development office.

“The IRDF grant program is enhancing FloridaWest’s primary initiatives to attract and grow innovative companies,” said Danita Andrews, chief business development officer at FloridaWest Economic Development Alliance, the regional economic development organization located in Pensacola. “Partnering with UWF to deliver this grant opportunity to competitive projects is making a positive difference in these important relocation and expansion decisions and ultimately helping to strengthen and grow our local and regional economy.”

“The IRDF program gives communities a very valuable economic development tool that helps diversify local economies,” said Becca Hardin, president of the Bay Area Economic Alliance in Bay County. “Tourism will always be important to the Panhandle of Florida. The IRDF can be used to help recruit companies, such as advanced manufacturing, distribution and back office/white collar jobs, so that communities are not solely dependent on the tourism industry.

“Through the support of the University of West Florida’s IRDF program, we have seen transformational project announcements occurring in the region,” Hardin said.

“The IRDF has given Santa Rosa County the strategic and tactical advantages we’ve needed to bring high-value employers to the table, as well as the flexibility necessary to close the deals,” said Shannon Ogletree, director of the Santa Rosa County Economic Development Office. “The result has been millions of dollars in new capital investment and hundreds of high-wage jobs for our people.”

The IRDF program will remain open to new applicants until all funds are awarded. For more information about the Industry Resilience and Diversification Fund, visit uwf.edu/irdf.