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COJ - Enterprise Zone
Monday, 09 November 2015 19:52

Did you know...The City of Jacksonville was awarded an official Enterprise Zone designation, effective July 1, 1995. Jacksonville's Enterprise Zone is a 20-square-mile base area with three additional developable sites totaling an additional 2,000 acres of property targeted for economic revitalization.  Businesses located within the Enterprise Zone and/or the developable site areas are eligible to take advantage of various financial incentives offered by the State of Florida. Additionally, Jacksonville's Enterprise Zone area is designated a Brownfields Area.

For more information, go to:

National Apprenticeship Week
Wednesday, 04 November 2015 16:06

This week is National Apprenticeship Week, which is an opportunity for the national apprenticeship community to tell the story of registered apprenticeships. It is an invitation to businesses and industry, education, career seekers, community-based organizations, students and workers to learn about the real-world advantages of apprenticeships.

The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) as a recipient of a $5 million American Apprenticeship grant.  FSCJ is leading the Florida Apprenticeship consortium and will support involvement with St. Petersburg College and Broward College. Together, all colleges will work with businesses and other partners to close the workforce skills gap faced by the Information Technology, Manufacturing, Healthcare and Construction/Trades industries across Florida by promoting the growth and expansion of quality and innovative apprenticeship programs over the next five years.

We invite you to visit the website to learn more about the Florida Apprenticeship grant project.

STEM Summer Residency Program for Teachers
Tuesday, 20 October 2015 13:43

Governor Scott Announces $1 Million to Create STEM Summer Residency Program for Teachers

Today, Governor Rick Scott announced $1 million in proposed funding for the state to partner with high-tech companies in Florida to create a paid summer residency program for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) teachers to bring new industry trends back to Florida’s K-12 classrooms.

Governor Rick Scott said, “We want Florida to be first for jobs, and we must have a skilled workforce to reach that goal. By investing in science, technology, engineering and math education, we are ensuring our students are prepared for the jobs of the future. Our teachers are essential to preparing our students and that is why I am proud to propose $1 million to invest in the continued education of our teachers so they can bring innovative ideas back to the classroom.”

44 companies in Florida have confirmed their participation in the STEM Residency Program.

Including FCMA members:

  1. Carlisle Interconnect Technology
  2. Fleet Readiness Center Southeast
  3. Gerdau
  4. IFF Chemical Holdings
  5. ITG Technologies
  6. JEA
  7. Kaman Aerostructures
  8. Mac Papers
  9. Medtronic
  10. Rayonier Advanced Materials
  11. Republic Services
  12. Safariland
  13. SAFT America, Inc.
  14. United States Gypsum
  15. Vac-Con, Inc.
  16. Vistakon
  17. Water Recovery div. of Moran Environmental

The Governor made the announcement at FCMA members SAFT America Jacksonville facility.

Article from:



FCMA Announces 2015 Manufacturing Awards
Monday, 19 October 2015 20:06
The First Coast Manufacturers Association (FCMA) announced the winners of its 2015 “Excellence In Manufacturing” awards at a banquet honoring nominees and winners in St. Augustine during its third annual Manufacturing Summit.


Manufacturer of The Year – The Safariland Group

The Safariland Group manufactures safety and protection products for military and law enforcement. The company was recognized for its safety efforts for employees, a reward system for employee input and their use of Lean methodology. Using Lean practices, Safariland identified a substantial amount of warehouse space to reallocate 5,000 square feet for business from other states. Once the project was disclosed, a need for 8,000 SF more was realized. They were able to turn a $800,000 projected cost into results yielding an annual increase of $17 million in sales and 30 new jobs.

Workforce Education Award – Saft America, Inc.

Saft is a Paris-based battery manufacturing company founded in 1928. Because its operations are highly technical, and there are no “lithium ion battery systems” experienced workers in the area, its overall approach to educating the workforce has been to tap into the local area talent—with an emphasis on finding individuals with strong mechanical and electrical aptitude and problem-solving abilities—and developing these team members post hire.

Environmental Award – Fleet Readiness Center Southeast

Fleet Readiness Center Southeast has continued its environmental improvements, through reducing industrial waste water stream by more than 80% (resulting in a savings of over $720,000 since 2008); reducing 16 tons of reclaimed rhenium as well as 91 tons of engine components; 280 tons of used oil recycled; and, energy and utility consumption savings that continue at 3% per year.  

Economic Impact Award – Vistakon

This year, Vistakon successfully produced and launched a new multi-focal lens for treating presbyopia – which is a totally new lens with best-in-class comfort and vision clarity ratings.  These technological breakthroughs come from their manufacturing, R&D and corporate departments based on the First Coast. These new products are driving significant local capital investment, as well over 150 new positions to our workforce.  For the past two years, they have been improving manufacturing capability here and are producing over 25% more lenses for worldwide distribution.

Partner of The Year Award – Aerostar SES LLC

Aerostar has served in FCMA leadership roles throughout the years by serving on its Board, chairing Community Relations and Golf Committees, and participating in the annual golf event, The Crane Awards and the Professional Progress program. They  have conducted business with over 40 fellow members, and they utilize FCMA’s member list internally as a reference for bid solicitation and product selection.

Founders Service Award – Vac-Con, Inc.

Vac-Con, Inc., manufactures truck mounted vacuum, water jet and vacuum excavation equipment for commercial and municipal environmental applications worldwide. One of the largest private employers in Clay County, the company is embarking on a $10 million expansion to add 65,000 square feet and 30 jobs to its Green Cove Springs facility. Vac-Con officials serve on the Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Government Relations, FCMA Leadership Academy, Special Interest Groups, and supports the association through sponsorships.

President’s Award – Mike Templeton, Templeton Manufacturing Solutions

Templeton, a former a tri-chairman of FCMA, is an industry professional who assists manufacturers as an independent consultant. He is being recognized this year for his role with FCMA to create and develop the association’s Leadership Academy, which is giving needed tools to the manufacturing workforce.

The First Coast Manufacturers Association is a non-profit trade association serving Northeast Florida. There are over 1,500 manufacturing companies on the First Coast, supplying over 30,000 jobs and generating nearly 15% of the total gross regional product. Additional media information on FCMA is available at

Women in Manufacturing
Wednesday, 19 August 2015 13:41

MAF CAME and the TRADE Consortium partnered together for the annual STEM Forum during the first week of June. The event was held in Orlando and showcased exceptional women in manufacturing. One of the panels, The Manufacturing Experience: A Woman’s Perspective, featured 6 women in Florida manufacturing. The panel discussed hot issues women face, important educational opportunities, and myths surrounding women in a male dominated industry. Thanks to the TRADE Consortium, the discussion was filmed and is now available on YouTube. We encourage you to watch the video and share it with those around you. You may just help inspire a woman in your life to pursue a lifelong career in manufacturing! The video is available here:

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