February 3, 2020
(Courtesy: Florida Makes.com)
TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Manufacturing and Logistics Council (FMLC) announced its 2020 Legislative Priorities today in the state capital. The Council met with lawmakers and key influencers to garner support and tout their initiatives.
“Manufacturers from across the state are urging lawmakers to show their support for our industry,” said FMLC President Lake Ray. “As an organization, we represent nearly half a million businesses, employees and partners that support the manufacturing industry in Florida. We will ‘make’ sure these policymakers hear our voice and advocate for this critical segment of Florida’s economy,” Ray concluded.
FMLC’s legislative priorities include a renewed focus on fully funding Florida’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), FloridaMakes. For the last five years, Florida underfunded this critical partnership and lost Federal matching funds that strengthen Florida’s manufacturing industry and improve the economy. FloridaMakes has had an economic impact on Florida’s economy of over $1 billion. This includes increased or retained sales of $848.8 million, total cost savings of $110.5 million, total investments of $285.5 million (equipment, new products, skills and other), and 8,362 jobs created or retained (the survey results represent data from 315 firms serviced since 2016).
“We’re grateful for FMLC’s support of FloridaMakes,” said Kevin Carr, CEO of FloridaMakes. “The influence and personal stories FMLC and their partners bring to the table make their voice especially important to the conversation. It’s a great value to invest in manufacturing,” Carr continued. “For every one worker in manufacturing, there are another four employees hired elsewhere.”
FMLC is also seeking to increase training funds for manufacturing through CareerSource Florida, reform workers’ compensation rates, support vocational education opportunities and eliminate the sales tax for commercial rent for manufacturers.
Florida’s manufacturing industry supports 381,800 high-wage jobs with an average annual salary of $61,735. There are 20,557 manufacturing establishments across Florida and the industry accounts for 4.95 percent of Florida’s Gross State Product. Approximately 80 percent of Florida manufacturers have 20 or fewer employees.
The Florida Manufacturing & Logistics Council (FMLC) is a statewide advocacy organization with the mission of representing the Florida manufacturing and logistics industries to assure their prosperity. Its mission is to strengthen and grow manufacturing in Florida. FMLC serves as subject matter expert before the Florida Legislature and Executive offices.
Member companies from the following regional manufacturers associations participated in the announcement: Bay Area Manufacturers Association, First Coast Manufacturers Association, Nature Coast Manufacturers’ Association, Manufacturers Association of Central Florida, South Florida Manufacturers Association and the Sarasota Manatee Manufacturers Association. Board members and executive directors from the FloridaMakes network and the Florida Manufacturing & Logistics Council were also present.
The FloridaMakes network is an industry-led initiative operated by Florida’s Regional Manufacturers Associations in partnership with industry, research, educational and economic development organizations, both public and private, at the state and national levels. The network operates with the sole mission of strengthening and advancing Florida’s economy by improving the 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 principle value streams: technology adoption, talent development, and business growth. As a NIST MEP approved Center, FloridaMakes is the official representative of the MEP National Network in the State of Florida. For more information, please contact us at www.floridamakes.com.