FloridaCommerce announces launch of the Florida Aerospace and Defense portal

Tallahassee, FL (August 8, 2023) – Today, FloridaCommerce announced the launch of the new Florida Aerospace and Defense (FAD) Portal to connect Florida’s small and medium-sized businesses with employee resources and contracting opportunities that directly support Florida’s vital military community. Before the execution of the FAD portal, Florida small and mid-sized businesses previously had to visit multiple, separate websites to obtain information on U.S. Department of Defense spending, available grants and contracts.

“Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, FloridaCommerce is proud to launch the Florida Aerospace and Defense Portal, further strengthening Florida’s defense industry supply chain,” said Secretary of Commerce J. Alex Kelly. “The FAD Portal maximizes Florida’s resources for the mutual benefit of Florida’s military and small business communities.”

“The new Florida Aerospace and Defense Portal is another valuable tool to help our state’s small business owners tap financial and talent resources to grow and compete,” said CareerSource Florida President and CEO Adrienne Johnston. “With Florida’s booming economy under the Governor’s leadership, the CareerSource Florida network is working with state and local partners to help employers and Floridians connect with opportunities in new and expanding markets.”

Through the FAD Portal, users gain access to the Florida Defense Directory, a defense-specific business listing where registered users can connect with and increase subcontracting opportunities with other registered small and medium-sized businesses. The search function allows users to search for products by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code, keywords, or company name to locate business to business opportunities. Furthermore, the FAD Portal enables users to access resources related to:

  • Cybersecurity training and assessments.
  • Free consultation services provided by the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center and the Florida Small Business Development Centers Network.
  • Disaster preparedness information.
  • How to obtain and manage government-awarded contracts.

Today’s announcement is one piece of Governor DeSantis’ large-scale effort to cultivate a business-friendly environment and stimulate aggressive economic growth for the small business and military communities.

  • Through Florida’s State Small Business Credit Initiative administered by FloridaCommerce $142 million in new capital is available for small businesses and startups.
  • In May 2023, Governor DeSantis signed eight bills to support veteran education and training opportunities, expand veteran benefits, and strengthen long-term care for Florida’s veterans and their families.
  • In June 2023, Governor DeSantis announced more than $6.1 million in awards to military communities through the Defense Infrastructure Grant Program, the Defense Reinvestment Grant Program, and the Florida Defense Support Task Force Grant Program. For more information on these programs and more visit FloridaJobs.org/Military-Community-Programs.

To learn more about the FAD Portal and to register, visit fad.floridajobs.org . If you have any questions or if you are seeking guidance on registering for the FAD Portal, please call 850-717-8960 or email DefenseGrants@DEO.MyFlorida.com.

Florida students are getting excited about STEM through electric vehicle (EV) racing

It’s a hot Saturday morning in Florida and high school students are suiting up to jump into their electric vehicles (EV). It’s race day.

Under the guidance of their teachers, nine teams spent months preparing for this moment, designing and building their own go-cart-type vehicles powered by an electric motor and batteries. They traveled from all over Florida to race in the closed loop outside Florida Solar Energy Center’s parking lot in Cocoa Beach.

“Building the car is a fun process. It’s very hands-on between the wiring, fuses, motor and putting parts together,” said 14-year-old racer Nathaniel Adams. He traveled more than three hours with his school team from Kirkland Ranch Academy of Innovation in Wesley Chapel, Florida. “I just started this year, but it’s something I think a lot of kids would love.”

The experience is part of Electrathon America, a competition combining the excitement of motorsports with the practical application of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.

Students’ skills and ingenuity are put to the test as they perfect their own electric racecar, then compete against each other to see who can go the longest around the track in an hour. The race isn’t about speed, it’s about endurance. The driver with the most laps wins.

“Unfortunately, my car died halfway through the race,” Adams said. However, he embraces the setback as an opportunity to go back to the drawing board. The race may end, but the quest for excellence continues, as the team strives to perfect their electric cars before the next race.

It’s a challenge that’s boosted kids’ interest in education. Organizers have seen an increase in sign-ups and teams are showing up in larger numbers on race day.

FAU High School was one of those new teams.

“We received this car back when FPL sponsored the Formula E race in Miami,” said Allan Phipps, the STEM coordinator at A.D. Henderson University School & FAU High School in Boca Raton.

At the time, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) provided the school with its own build-your-own EV car kit to race in the event’s halftime show. Today, the school is repurposing the car to race in future Electrathon competitions around the state.

“One car kit can be reused and repurposed plenty of times, unlocking years’ worth of lesson plans and hands-on learning,” FPL Project Manager Isabella Burckhardt said. Starting this fall, Burckhardt is spearheading the company’s new STEM initiative supporting Electrathon America competitions.

“The cost of materials and tools can be roadblocks, preventing students from exploring a career path in these fields,” Burckhardt said. “Our support ensures those barriers are broken by providing interested high school teams with a build-your-own electric vehicle kit, training, as well as resources for car maintenance and race participation.”

This initiative is being spearheaded by FPL through the company’s EV charging solutions program. FPL EVolution® makes charging an electric vehicle simple through convenient EV charging options at home and on the road. FPL is also raising awareness about EVs through demos, ride-and-drive experiences and educational programs like Electrathon.

Some schools in Northwest Florida have a long history of participating in Electrathon events hosted at Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway. FPL wants to energize that Electrathon momentum in the region by inviting more schools to participate.

“Support of Electrathon extends our mission of shaping a more sustainable future for all,” Burckhardt said. “We’re cultivating the skills necessary for future careers in these rapidly evolving fields and raising EV awareness for the next generation who is passionate about sustainable energy solutions.”

Electrathon of Florida’s executive director Charles Harrison agrees. He oversees the Tampa Bay chapter, which was created in Hillsborough County as a grassroots mentoring program to boost students’ interest in STEM careers. Today, the program has expanded beyond Hillsborough and into more than eight counties.

And it aims to expand further, in hopes of reaching every part of the state with the help of FPL.

“Growing this program to different areas of the state will give opportunities to people that wouldn’t normally be exposed to STEM like this,” Harrison said. “This will give future generations a chance to excel in STEM fields, opening their minds to a future in physics, math, science, tech or manufacturing.”

For those interested in learning more about FPL’s Electrathon program, visit Fpl.com/community/electrathon.html.

University of West Florida forms a new Office of Workforce Development

Pensacola, Fla. – Aug. 14, 2023 The University of West Florida is launching the Office of Workforce Development, a one-of-a-kind presidential initiative aimed at aligning education with career success and economic growth. UWF President Martha D. Saunders has named Dr. Sherry Hartnett as director of the Office of Workforce Development.

“We envision a talent pipeline that builds on our strengths and addresses the shifting workforce needs of industry and our community,” Saunders said. “Dr. Hartnett’s leadership and expertise will be instrumental in creating valuable partnerships and empowering our students to thrive in their careers.”

The University intends to work strategically with existing industries to provide a skilled and qualified workforce. UWF’s Office of Workforce Development will oversee and accelerate the University’s efforts in four strategic areas — workforce planning and alignment, employer development, applied research, and centralized access to UWF talent and programs.

This centralized approach aims to streamline efforts, enhance collaboration and maximize the impact of workforce development programs and services. The initiative will initially focus on three key areas:

  • Serving as UWF’s liaison for the development of workforce initiatives by bringing the needs of industry partners to UWF decision-makers
  • Creating career pathways for UWF students, ensuring they are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in the workforce
  • Assisting employers in finding skilled workers who will contribute to the local economy by supporting the growth of businesses

Building on the success of UWF’s Executive Mentor Program and the highly-acclaimed Women in Leadership Conference she created, Hartnett is expanding these efforts in a much broader role for the University and the community. Hartnett brings a wealth of skill and experience in creating impactful community partnerships. During her tenure she has gained a reputation locally, statewide and nationally as a leader in workforce readiness, mentoring and strategic partnership development.

“UWF’s commitment to aligning education with workforce needs is evident in its history of providing educational opportunities that respond to the demands of the state,” Hartnett said. “With this innovative workforce development initiative, UWF is poised to continue its tradition of producing highly skilled graduates who fuel the local, regional and state economies.”

Algaplast Corp. announces expansion in Northwest Florida

Algaplast Corp. announces expansion in Northwest Florida

Algaplast Corp. announces expansion in Northwest Florida

Century, FL (May 11, 2023) – FloridaWest Economic Development Alliance has announced today Algaplast Corp. is establishing its first U.S. based-operations in Century, Florida.

Since September 2022, FloridaWest has been working closely with Grupo GA230 representatives to attract their foreign direct investment (FDI) economic development project to Escambia County. The FloridaWest team identified the Town of Century’s available facility to help meet the company’s growth needs. This project is expected to create 25 new manufacturing and technical jobs over the next three to five years.

Photo courtesy of NorthEscambia.com

Algaplast Corp. is a part of the family of companies of Grupo GA230, which has been in business in Brazil for more than 50 years. They produce a wide variety of plastic and rubber component parts for the gas & oil, automobile, mining and transport industries. Algaplast Corp. will begin operations in Century where they will specialize in plastics and rubber component parts made for gas and oil equipment manufacturers.

Algaplast Corp. President and CEO Ed Carlos Curvelos said the company is ready and poised to set up their first U.S. manufacturing plant in Northwest Florida.

“Algaplast Corp. is pleased to work with FloridaWest and the Town of Century to help establish our first U.S. operations here,” said Curvelos. “Our business is important to our life and our future and we are excited about this tremendous opportunity to become a part of the Town of Century and grow from here.”

FloridaWest Chief Business Development Officer Danita Andrews said FloridaWest had been working on landing this project for eight months.

“The FloridaWest team has worked hard to bring this partnership to fruition,” said Andrews. “Bringing this many manufacturing and technical jobs to Century will be a boon to this region.”

Century Mayor Ben Boutwell said they have laid the foundation for companies like Algaplast to be successful.

“Century, Florida is a town with ready opportunities for business. Our proactive infrastructure work, made possible through grants with the State of Florida, is helping position us for great things to come,” said Boutwell. “We are elated to work alongside our economic development partner, FloridaWest, to help bring new manufacturing job opportunities to Northwest Florida.”

Paradigm Parachute & Defense to double Pensacola operations

Pensacola, Fla. (Oct. 27, 2022) – FloridaWest Economic Development Alliance announced that Paradigm Parachute & Defense, a disabled-veteran-owned small business, is expanding their manufacturing operations in Pensacola. The military parachute manufacturer received a grant through the Industry Resilience and Diversification Fund (IRDF).

This grant, made possible by a collaboration between FloridaWest and UWF, will allow Paradigm to double its manufacturing capabilities and create new jobs in Escambia County. The fund was established by the Florida Legislature, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and UWF to help Northwest Florida businesses grow, innovate and thrive.

Aaron Nazaruk, CEO of Paradigm, says the project is expected to create and sustain at least 28 new manufacturing and technical jobs over the next five years.

“The leadership from the FloridaWest team and UWF was invaluable to the success of being awarded this grant, which means we’ll be able to serve even more important endeavors around the world,” said Nazaruk. “Their hard work will allow us to effectively double our operations here in Pensacola.”

FloridaWest Economic Development Alliance exists to grow the local economy by encouraging companies to relocate to the Pensacola area and by helping local companies grow. The FloridaWest team has been working with Paradigm on this grant since 2020.

“Paradigm’s mission critical products are deployed around the globe in the service of commercial, military, humanitarian, government and space operations,” said Scott Luth, FloridaWest CEO. “It will be rewarding to see this partnership lead to the growth of this amazing company.”

LandrumHR: Using Process to Improve People Performance

LandrumHR: Using Process to Improve People Performance

Over a decade-long relationship with a fortune 500 customer, LandrumHR supports them through insourcing all logistics-related processes at their Pensacola, FL location. One moving assembly line within the plant has historically underperformed the rest of the site when it comes to on-time delivery due to the many complexities and the mix of materials and prep work required to sustain production. The assembly line being fed downstream has stationary working areas and the line itself “pulses” moving from station to station every 220 minutes on average much like an automotive moving line would do. The client tasked Landrum with facilitating a Kaizen in order to improve the consistency of material being delivered to the line and to ensure product is delivered to the right station, with the exact amount needed, meeting the right quality standards, and “Just in Time” (JIT) for the next pulse.

In order to track performance, Landrum needed to identify Takt based on the daily production goal as well as the cycle times of each operator’s process. Takt times changed weekly due to demand shifts and production schedule changes because of material shortages and order modifications. They also needed to understand how many takt misses occurred previously and what trends were noticed around why that was missed. “Material misses,” which include delivering material late and damaged/missing material to the line also needed to be tracked and reported. The current process included delivery of pre-made, off-site kits as well as individual component pieces from the warehouse to a staging area in bulk that needed to be kitted/re-kitted for line readiness. It was thought that a major issue was having excess material inventory, which increased chaos and confusion since the area did not support any bulk storage. Additionally, JIT was not being realized and delivery priority for each kit was not clear. Before formally facilitating the Kaizen, part of the data collection research was to determine how many part numbers, kits, carts, Kanban items, pallets, and returnable containers were currently used in this area.

Landrum facilitated a 3P (Production, Preparation & Process) design kaizen using an AutoCAD-generated paper doll exercise with a multi-departmental Subject Matter Expert (SME) team. This week-long event successfully yielded a floor layout and scheduling process that was developed and approved by the team and the client’s site leadership. They followed up the initial kaizen with a second event geared to identify layout changes and to create a Tier I board highlighting the daily schedule, process flow and resources available. The Kitting area process now resembles that of a NASCAR pit stop. Instead of building carts based on available material, the department builds only to Takt. The intent is to have all 24 carts built 20 minutes before the Takt “Pulse” times. Then, at ten minutes prior to line pulse, all carts are delivered to the line for the entire unit build. This JIT delivery process is an all-hands-on-deck approach requiring a transparent schedule along with operator priority checklists.

Landrum created a complete supermarket process from scratch, making a complex situation simple to execute and easy to follow and train new associates. In doing this, all KPIs became visible and material misses decreased on average by 70% per week, while also creating a significant labor cost savings from not stopping the line while having to wait for parts or to rework poor quality parts. Finally, this event allowed Landrum to build a lean foundation in the Kitting area to support future growth and improve sustainment.

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.

Salzman drops in on Paradigm Parachute & Defense

Salzman drops in on Paradigm Parachute & Defense

Paradigm Parachute & Defense manufacturing facility

Salzman drops in on Paradigm Parachute & Defense

PENSACOLA, Fla. – Tucked away in a predominantly residential area in Pensacola, Paradigm Parachute & Defense is manufacturing cargo, personnel, aircraft recovery and deceleration and munitions parachutes. Disabled veteran-owned, the company is strategically positioned to serve military bases in Northwest Florida.

Florida Representative Michelle Salzman visited Paradigm Parachute & Defense this week for a tour of the facility. As an Army veteran, Salzman commented on her familiarity with the quality of Army-certified parachutes and was impressed by the detail she saw from precise stitching to manual assembling of each unit.

CEO Aaron Nazaruk led the tour after a brief discussion of the company’s owners, origins, trials and plans. Having moved into their current facility in 2020 just after Hurricane Sally that caused a prolonged power outage, production is moving forward with an overall growth of 600%. Their staff of eight employees has increased to 48, and Paradigm is looking to increase soon. Currently focused on making 64’ and 100’ cargo chutes, the company expects to provide more military-grade parachutes for the U.S. and internationally.

Providing a convenient and economical option for local bases, Paradigm expects to expand and fill more sewing and automated positions that will increase production. Like most Florida manufacturers, Nazaruk says they hope to build mutually beneficial relationships with other companies, organizations and individuals. Representative Salzman enthusiastically offered her assistance in making that happen.

FloridaMakes and the Florida Sterling Council Announce Winners for the 2021 Florida Sterling Manufacturing Business Excellence Awards

FloridaMakes and the Florida Sterling Council Announce Winners for the 2021 Florida Sterling Manufacturing Business Excellence Awards

FloridaMakes and the Florida Sterling Council Announce Winners for the 2021 Florida Sterling Manufacturing Business Excellence Awards

SMBE Awards LogoORLANDO – The Florida Sterling Council and FloridaMakes announced the 18 manufacturing companies in a field of over 140 nominees who have been named as winners of the Florida Sterling Manufacturing Business Excellence (SMBE) Awards. The winners were announced during the MakeMore Manufacturing Summit – Business Growth Segment June 22-23. Winners earned their place in three categories, Bronze, Silver, and Gold, depending on evaluated level of performance.

The Florida Sterling Council and FloridaMakes collaborate on these statewide annual awards to recognize the state’s high-performing manufacturers and to elevate performance of the entire manufacturing sector. Companies were judged in seven categories of criteria, including: leadership; strategy; customers; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce; operations and results. This year’s winners demonstrated outstanding leadership and management systems to meet the needs of customers and stakeholders.

For more information about the process click here.

Winners of the 2021 Florida Sterling Manufacturing Business Excellence Awards are:

SMBE Gold Winners
CAE Healthcare, Inc. Sarasota
Fleet Readiness Center Southeast, NAS Jacksonville
Lockheed Martin Aerostructures, Pinellas Park
Pierce Manufacturing, Bradenton
Slice Engineering, LLC, Gainesville

SMBE Silver Winners
BAE Systems – Jacksonville Ship Repair, Jacksonville
CMC Steel Florida, Jacksonville
Easy Foods Inc., Kissimmee
MAG Aerospace, Fort Walton Beach
RND Automation & Engineering, Lakewood Ranch
Q’Straint, Oakland Park
Team Solutions Dental, Sanford
Trane Lynn Haven, Panama City

SMBE Bronze Winners
Cavaform International LLC., St. Petersburg
Kira Labs Inc., Pompano Beach
Made in Space, Inc. (RedWire), Jacksonville
Stellar Energy Americas, Inc. Jacksonville
Veethree Electronics, Bradenton

“I complement and celebrate the SMBE winners for their commitment to excellence and for moving Florida manufacturing forward toward Florida’s goal of being a top manufacturing state,” said Kevin Carr, CEO of FloridaMakes. “We will call on these companies often during the year to share their award-winning best practices with other Florida manufactures through webinars, tours and more!”

A team of Florida Sterling-trained examiners and manufacturing community representatives contributed their time and expertise to evaluate nominations, including virtual site visits and interviews with managers and employees of finalists.

In addition to recognizing Florida companies, the awards provide a framework for sharing manufacturing best practices and take advantage of opportunities for improvement. FloridaMakes will be working with the winners and their corresponding regional manufacturers association to network and share knowledge, such as with plant tours, webinars, and leadership events to benefit Florida’s manufacturing sector.

“Manufacturing is a critical industry here in Florida, and our manufacturers set the bar for the rest of the nation,” said John Pieno, Chairman of the Florida Sterling Council. “We are pleased to honor these eighteen outstanding Florida organizations who are role models in their industries and are deserving of this prestigious award.”


2021 MakeMore Manufacturing Summit to Showcase  One of Florida’s Strongest Sectors

2021 MakeMore Manufacturing Summit to Showcase One of Florida’s Strongest Sectors

people attending a conference

Paul Miller, NWFMC President
(315) 759-9254

Zoraida Velasco, FloridaMakes,
(407) 430-7714

MakeMore Manufacturing Summit to showcase
ne of Florida’s strongest sectors

Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council alongside Florida’s economic powerhouses join to lead a discussion about the future of FL Manufacturing in Four (4) Virtual Segments

ORLANDO, FL – (March 3, 2021) – Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council (NFLMC) is proud to join the Hosting Partners of the 2021 MakeMore Manufacturing Summit in the announcement of this year’s event. The Summit will kick off April 27 and is hosted by the Associated Industries of Florida, CareerSource Florida, Enterprise Florida, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and FloridaMakes. Launched in 2018, MakeMore is a statewide initiative providing a platform to exchange ideas about how our state resources are addressing the impact of market dynamics, economic trends and policies, and new technologies in the manufacturing sector.

“Florida’s manufacturing sector quickly responded to the Covid-19 pandemic by pivoting to make everything from PPE to ventilators to hand sanitizers,” said Kevin Carr, CEO of FloridaMakes. “The MakeMore Manufacturing Summit 2021 is the catalyst to plan for the future by fostering a dialogue about how best to leverage our ecosystem resources, shore up our state’s supply chains, identify emerging growth, develop our workforce, and ultimately grow Florida’s manufacturing sector.”

The MakeMore Manufacturing Summit will feature in-depth discussions that strengthen and advance Florida’s economy through innovation, talent development, and leveraging the state’s resources to accelerate the manufacturing sector’s productivity and technological performance.

Flexible Schedule Engages the Ecosystem and Accommodates Diverse and Busy Schedules
The Summit includes four virtual segments to allow for more engagement amongst the manufacturing sector and accommodates diverse schedules amongst varied stakeholders. Segments will take place every two months kicking off on April 27 as follows:

  • Business Growth – April 27-28
  • Talent Development – June 22-23
  • Technology - August 24-25
  • Outlook 2022 – week of October 25

“Manufacturers in Northwest Florida not only contribute to local and state economies but create and rely on products essential to our ever-changing world. It is critical that Northwest Florida manufacturers are included in these events,” said Paul Miller, president of the Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council. “We are grateful for the opportunities FloridaMakes gives us to do that.”

Speakers and presenters from across Florida and the country will be featured. For complete event agenda, registration, and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.floridamakemore.com

# # #

The Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council represents manufacturers of all sizes and partners in the Northwest Florida region to include Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Holmes, Washington, Jackson, Calhoun, and Liberty Counties as a voice to address common interests. The NFLMC advocates on important business climate issues to manufacturers in the region and aims to serve to deepen the manufacturing talent pool, shore up talent support for manufacturers and make the region ripe for future industry investment and job creation in the manufacturing industry.

About FloridaMakes
FloridaMakes is a statewide, industry-led, public-private partnership operated by an alliance of Florida’s regional manufacturers associations with the sole mission of strengthening and advancing Florida’s economy by improving the competitiveness, productivity and technological performance of its manufacturing sector, with an emphasis on small- and medium-sized firms. It accomplishes this by providing services focused on three principal value streams: technology adoption, talent development, and business growth. FloridaMakes is the official representative of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) National Network in the state of Florida, a program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. For more information about FloridaMakes, please visit FloridaMakes.com and follow @FloridaMakes.