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Florida TRADE and MAF Center to sponsor women in manufacturing event
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 13:42
The Florida TRADE Consortium and the MAF Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence have joined to promote opportunities for women in manufacturing.

The Manufacturing Experience: A Woman’s Perspective will be held on June 4, at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes. Key female executives and leaders in manufacturing in Florida will take part in a talk-show style discussion moderated by Florida State Rep. Kathleen Peters.

“Women are a dominant force in the U.S. labor market, but not in manufacturing,” said Nancy Stephens, MAF Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence. “As manufacturers do more and more business globally, the industry will continue to grow in Florida and the U.S. This presents a tremendous opportunity for women to engage in this vibrant industry with exceptional career opportunities.”

Part of the “Drive to 1,000,” a Florida TRADE Consortium initiative to place 1,000 Florida TRADE students into manufacturing jobs over the next year, the event is part of the Florida TRADE STEM Manufacturing Forum at the Florida Sterling Council Annual Conference.

The Florida TRADE Consortium, a U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College & Career Training (TAACCCT) grantee, provides accelerated technical training that provides students with the skills needed to compete for jobs in advanced manufacturing.

“There are many open job opportunities in manufacturing and we hope to make women aware of these opportunities,” said Dr. Gary Graham, Director of Florida TRADE. “We also plan to tape this event and make it available to students, guidance counselors and women across Florida.”

For more information about the Florida TRADE Consortium, visit  For information about the MAF Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence or the Florida TRADE STEM Manufacturing Forum, please visit or

FCMA Member Cindy Hildebrand, president of CF Machine & Tool and FCMA Membership Committee Chair, will be participating in this panel.

FCMA Conducts Golf Tournament To Raise Funds For Scholarships
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 13:22

The First Coast Manufacturers Association (FCMA) held its 25th annual golf tournament to fund scholarships to the University of North Florida Science Engineering and approved technical institutes that offer advanced manufacturing platforms.

Approximately 144 golfers participated in the event held at the Eagle Landing golf course in Orange Park. Over 50 area companies were represented.

“Proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards paying for engineering scholarships each year, in addition to building our college endowment program,” said Lake Ray, FCMA president.

The team from the Weitz Company won the FCMA tournament with Medtronic coming in second and the team from the Haskell Company taking third place.

FCMA 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

MAF Weekly Report
Monday, 04 May 2015 15:23

MAF Weekly Report – May 1, 2015

What Happened to Those Bills?

Bills of Interest that Passed the Florida Legislature

SB 222 Electronic Commerce

HB 257 Freight Logistics Zones

HB 383 Private Property Rights

HB 489 Value Adjustment Board Proceedings

HB 531 Limited Liability Companies

SB 766 Drones

SB 778 Local Government Construction Preferences

HB 787 Recycled and Recovered Materials

SB 1312 Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation

HB 7021 Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission

HB 7023 Administrative Procedures

SB 7028 Education for Veterans

HB 7055 Motor Vehicles

HB 7109 Public Service Commission


Bills of Interest that Died

HB 91 and 93 Trade Secrets

SB 544/HB 613 Manufacturing Machinery & Equipment Sales Tax Exemption

HB 653/SB 714 Environmental Control

HB 733/SB 314 Petroleum Restoration Program

HB 841/SB 1302 Contaminated Sites

HB 915/SB 1232 Building Codes

SB 948 Rapid Response Education and Training

HB 1141/SB 1538 Natural Gas Rebate Program

HB 1205/SB 1582 Oil & Gas Resources

SB 948 Education

SB 1214/HB 7067 Economic Development

SB 1522 Workforce Training

SB 1554 Transportation

HB 7003/SB 918 Water Resources

HB 7141 Tax Cuts


Where are MAF Priority Issues?

In light of the abrupt end to the 2015 Florida Legislative Session last week, the manufacturing sales tax exemption bill, the commercial lease bill, research and development, and the communications tax relief bill are all dead for this Session. However, there is always a possibility that they will be part of the appropriations mix when legislators return for a Special Session prior to June 30, 2015. We have our fingers crossed.

The Florida House of Representatives abruptly adjourned Tuesday, April 28, signaling the end of the Regular Legislative Session for them, but not the Senate. The Senate continued to pass bills on Wednesday, April 29 but once they went home for the day, without the ceremonious end to session pomp and circumstance, they never returned. Even a lawsuit filed by Senate Democrats with the Florida Supreme Court that would have compelled the House to return was rejected by the Court.  Session officially ended on May 1 without any of them present.


The end to the Session stems from the disagreement over Medicaid funding. The House and the Governor do not want to expand Medicaid; the Senate does.  There are certainly pros and cons on both sides of the issue. From there the discourse digressed over leadership priorities, water, tax cuts, education, and more.


Senate President Andy Gardiner drafted a proclamation to the House and Gov. Scott, calling for a special session starting June 1. They have not responded positively as of this writing. We will be watching future developments.

Bill Statistics

This session, a total of 1,754 bills were filed by the House and Senate. A total of 231 passed both chambers and will be sent to the Governor’s office. A full legislative report will be provided to members in the next 30 days.

Gov. Scott’s Medicaid Lawsuit

Gov. Rick Scott filed a lawsuit against President Obama, claiming the President’s administration is trying to force Florida into expanding Medicaid if we want federal hospital funds. The hospital funds are part of an optional program which the federal government oversees so it is unclear which direction the lawsuit is headed at this point. The dispute hospital reimbursement for low income patients and Medicaid expansion funding are the driving force behind the legislature’s actions as of late.


MAF Center (CAME) Moving Out on Business Intelligence Project

On April 29, CAME completed its second deliverable for the CareerSource Florida

Summary Report – Establishment of the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Leadership Council for the Advanced Manufacturing Marketplace Business Intelligence Research and Sector Strategy Approach Service. The report and all the attachments can be downloaded from:


The next activities will be regional focus meetings to engage manufacturers on their workforce challenges between May and October and the upcoming June 3 Leadership Council Problem Solving Session from 8:00 – 12:00 at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes Resort, Orlando, FL.  All manufacturers are invited to attend this session and there is no registration fee.  The RMA-appointed manufacturers and staff will be at the meeting sharing manufacturers’ workforce problems.


We wish to thank the following manufacturers for stepping up to participate on this Leadership Council and in this project to represent all manufacturers in the state:

  • Al Stimac, Metal Essence, chairing the Leadership Council for CAME
  • Abe Alangadan, Vistakon – Johnson & Johnson for First Coast Manufacturers Association
  • Ryan Loftus, Exactech, Inc., for Advanced Manufacturers Association of Northeast Florida (Gainesville Area Chamber)
  • Mike Brewster, Monin, Inc., for Bay Area Manufacturers Association
  • Chris Eldred, Teligent EMS, LLC, for Capital Region Manufacturers
  • Art Hoelke, Knights Armament Company, for  Manufacturers Association of Central Florida
  • Johnny Lightfoot, Trademark Metal Recycling, for Marion Regional Manufacturers Association
  • Brian Ferrera, Ferrera Tooling, for Manufacturing and Supply Chain Alliance
  • Greg Britton, Fort Walton Machining, for Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council
  • Alan Garey, Decimal Engineering, Inc., for South Florida Manufacturers Association
  • Brian Rist, The Smart Companies, for Southwest Regional Manufacturers Association
  • Mark Andrews, GHSP, for VMA, Inc.
  • Dick Peck, QTM, Inc., and Roy Sweatman, Southern Manufacturing Technologies, for Upper Tampa Bay Manufacturers Association


They deserve kudos for volunteering to represent the 18,000 manufacturers in this state for this project.  Thank you!


Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

The TSCA bipartisan bill passed the US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last week and has seen positive feedback from both manufacturers and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The bill, which would be a marked improvement on current legislation, is on its way to the full Senate. A discussion draft has also been introduced in the House, titled “TSCA Modernization Act 2015” but has yet to clear any committees. If the House bill, which has a much more limited scope than the Senate bill, makes it to the full House, both parties will have to settle the differences between the two bills.  The American Chemistry Council and Nancy Stephens are setting up a meeting with Senator Rubio’s office to garner his support for the legislation.  If you are interested in attending the Tallahassee meeting in May, please drop an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Trade Promotion Authority/Letters to Congress

MAF and MACF have sent letters to Congressman Posey in support of TPA legislation. Legislation that would renew TPA was introduced in the US House and Senate last week, with lots of momentum. TPA is critical to the success of manufacturing, especially in Florida. You can show your support of TPA on Twitter by posting the following tweet: “#TPA legislation is critical for Florida manufacturers. Thank you @SenBillNelson for your vote! #TPA4USjobs #sayfie #TPAnow”


Fracking Study

A study completed by the University of Michigan shows the US economy grew by an average of $48 billion annually from 2007-2013, thanks to fracking of shale gas. The paper is a comprehensive analysis of the economic impact to manufacturers and consumers. You can see a preview and purchase the full paper via the National Bureau of Economic Research here:


Florida International Business Highlights

Enterprise Florida released the 2014 Florida International Business Highlights report, featuring growth trends, trade rankings by country, data on foreign investments and much more. You can learn more about Florida’s top 50 trading partners and many resourceful links to help walk you through doing business internationally by viewing the report here:

Event Opportunity

Register now for ‘Discovering Global Markets: The Americas’ to learn about new market opportunities and effective strategies from business executives across the country. Hosted by Enterprise Florida, the U.S. Commercial Service and the Florida District Export Council. Deadline to register is May 8th!


Discover Global Markets: The Americas

When: May 12-14, 2015

Where: Hilton Miami Downtown

1601 Biscayne Blvd.

Miami, Florida 33132

For more information, please click here:

Short notes:

  • Commissioner Adam Putnam, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, released a statement on April 27 in regards to gas pump skimmers. A statewide search of 6,000 gas stations resulted in 81 skimmers being removed from pumps. Full story here:
  • Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) released updated draft permitting guidelines for the Eastern Indigo snake. In addition to conservation permits, the FWC now requires permits for activities that affect the snake’s habitat with regulations that may be costly for the permittee. For a copy of the draft guidelines, contact Amanda Bowen at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
  • May is World Trade Month and you can get involved by increasing awareness of the importance of international trade. Learn more here:
  • Nancy Stephens and Amanda Bowen, MAF, organized a meeting with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and CareerSource Florida on April 27 to discuss labor market reporting. MAF and DEO are working to find additional resources that may provide our manufacturers with a better insight of regional and county labor markets.
FCMA Endorses Run-Off Candidates For Jax City Council And Mayor
Thursday, 09 April 2015 14:56

After reviewing the results of the primary races for city offices, the First Coast Manufacturers Association’s (FCMA) Board of Directors has endorsed the following individuals for the upcoming general election:

Office                                      Endorsed Candidate

At Large – Group 1                Anna Lopez Brosche

At Large – Group 5                Ju’Coby Pittman

Council Dist. 1                        Mike Anania

Council Dist. 2                        Al Ferraro

Council Dist. 4                        Scott Wilson

Council Dist. 8                        Katrina Brown

Mayor                                      Lenny Curry


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

FSCJ Takes Part in Florida TRADE’s “Drive to 1,000” Campaign
Tuesday, 31 March 2015 18:40
The Florida TRADE Consortium, a coalition of 13 state and community colleges across Florida, is announcing the launch of a statewide campaign to place 1,000 Florida TRADE students into jobs in advanced manufacturing by April 1, 2016. The campaign will be highlighted by job fairs, campus events, manufacturing days and forums and other activities over the next 12 months.

As a member of the Florida TRADE Consortium, Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) will be a part of this statewide “Drive to 1,000“ campaign and partner to help place FSCJ students in jobs at local businesses and companies throughout the Northeast Florida region and throughout the state. FSCJ joined Florida TRADE for a four-year partnership in 2013.

“Florida TRADE’s mission is to develop and deliver accelerated technical training programs that allow students to earn industry certifications and to acquire technical skills that lead to jobs in advanced manufacturing,” said Dr. Gary Graham, Director of the Florida TRADE Consortium. “We are committed to placing our students into good manufacturing jobs across the state.”

The CareerSource Florida Network, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and the Manufacturers Association of Florida, MAF Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence plus Regional CareerSource boards and regional manufacturing associations have joined Florida TRADE in the “Drive to 1,000.”

“Manufacturers in Florida are growing and hiring,” said Nancy Stephens, Executive Director, Manufacturers Association of Florida. “They want employees looking for meaningful careers. Today’s manufacturing is high skill and high wage. Those wages circulate through the economy improving the quality of life for all citizens.” “

“Advanced Manufacturing is an important industry targeted for future growth in Florida,” said CareerSource Florida President and CEO Chris Hart IV. “CareerSource Florida is a proud partner in this collaborative effort to help Florida’s manufacturers expand and compete, and Floridians secure rewarding, well-paying careers.”

As a part of the “Drive to 1,000” campaign, the group will conduct a statewide Florida Manufacturing Career Fair on April 22, 2015 to be held at multiple venues across the state. For more information about Florida TRADE and the upcoming Florida Manufacturing Career fair, visit or

To support this mission, FSCJ will also be hosting a local Career Fair on April 23, 2015 from 10 a.m.-2p.m. at the Advanced Technology Center next to Downtown Campus. Dozens of local business will be in attendance to network with and recruit FSCJ students for positions.

About FSCJ

Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) is a public, nonprofit higher education institution that offers more than 150 degree and certificate programs to meet the education and training needs of more than 57,000 students per year.

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