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FCMA Announces 2015 Officers
Thursday, 18 December 2014 19:14
FCMA has selected its new slate of officers and committee chairs for the 2015 term.

Leading the association will be three area manufacturers filling the posts of Tri-Chairmen. They include John Otterson of IFF Chemical Holdings; Tom Jody of Vac-Con; and Abe Alangadan of Vistakon.

The FCMA Board of Directors includes Anheuser-Busch, Auld & White Constructors, Carlisle Interconnect Technology, GE Aviation, Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Gerdau, IFF Chemical Holdings, Industrial Construction Services & Design, Inc., Lewis, Longman & Walker, PA, Main Metal Recycling, Safariland, Saft America, Inc., Tom Nehl Truck, United States Gypsum Co., UTC Aerospace, Vac-Con, Inc., Vistakon, and WhiteWave Foods.

FCMA Committee Chairs include…

- Community Relations: Geoff Reichold, Aerostar SES LLC, chair; Samantha Hauser, Abatix, asst. chair.

- PR Committee: Jennifer Grimes, Peak 10, chair; Trina Williams, Sticky Fingers, asst. chair.

- Workforce Development: Cheryl Fogel, Anheuser-Busch, chair; Guy Colombo, Gerdau, asst. chair.

- Environmental/Safety: Ken Wilkey, Anheuser-Busch, chair; Steve Brown, Gerdau, asst. chair.

- Finance: Ed Salek, Dixon Hughes Goodman, chair.

- Government Relations: Joe Durkin, Republic Services, chair; Rob Hooper, Atlantic Logistics, assist. chair.

- Membership Services: Cindy Hildebrand, CF Machine & Tool, chair; Fraser Bolwell, Raintree Graphics, asst. chair.

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

American Made Movie in Jacksonville
Monday, 10 November 2014 13:31

Dinner, Drinks and a Movie with John Ratzenberger

Join John Ratzenberger and the filmmakers in a special presentation of the nationally acclaimed documentary, American Made Movie.

When: 7 PM Tuesday November 11, 2014

Where: Sun-Ray Cinema (1028 Park Street, Jacksonville FL 32204)

Tickets: $9 (please reserve in advance HERE)

Optional: Dinner and drinks are available (See MENU)

Following the screening, John and the filmmakers will discuss the educational impact that the movie has had on communities across the country and the efforts in which he and the American Made Movie team are engaged to prepare the next generation of Americans for the growing demand for skilled labor employment.

American Made Movie, the official movie partner of Manufacturing Day (MFG Day), has reached millions of Americans to gather the support of students, teachers, community and industry leaders, legislators and a wide range of other stakeholders in America’s manufacturing renaissance. By illustrating the successes of companies that have prospered without adopting the practices of their competitors, American Made Movie shows the positive impact of domestic manufacturing jobs on national and local economies in the face of great challenges.

John Ratzenberger is best known for playing mail carrier Cliff Clavin on the sitcom Cheers. He has had a voice part in all of Pixar’s feature films made to date and produced and hosted “Made in America,” a show for the Travel Channel, which explored many different manufacturing facilities across the country. He is a very outspoken proponent for education reform to emphasize skilled labor and has appeared in television interviews with FOX Business Network, FOX News Channel, and MSNBC among many others.

October 2014 - Manufacturring Month
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 15:41

Businesses, Schools And County Commissions Celebrate Manufacturing Month In October With Events Throughout The First Coast

Manufacturers, related businesses, high schools, the Jacksonville City Council and surrounding county commissions teamed up with the First Coast Manufacturers Association to conduct a variety of events to celebrate October as “Manufacturing Month” throughout the First Coast.

Jacksonville & Surrounding County Commissions Proclaim Manufacturers Month

October was proclaimed “Manufacturing Month” by the Jacksonville City Council, the County Commissions of Baker, Clay, St. Johns, Nassau and Putnam counties.

The proclamation recognizes manufacturers located throughout Northeast Florida for their achievements in areas that include economic impact, business and operational efficiency, increasing employment, protecting the environment and contributing to the community’s welfare through the donation of volunteer time or funds. For each job directly created by manufacturing expenditures, an additional 1.7 jobs are created through indirect and induced impacts.


High Schools Tour Area Manufacturing Plants

Through the cooperation of several FCMA manufacturing members, plant tours were held for area high school students to introduce them to new opportunities in manufacturing jobs. Over 560 high school students participated.

First Coast manufacturers and high schools participating included…

Soler Palau – Robert E Lee High School

Vac-Con – Clay High, Orange Park High, Middleburg High School

Gerdau – St. Johns Technical High School & Frank H. Peterson High School

Vistakon – A. Philip Randolph, Frank H. Peterson High School

Safariland – The Independent Living Resource Center High School

Rayonier – Fernandina Beach High School

Kaman – Frank H. Peterson High School


FCMA Holds Second Annual Summit In Amelia Island

Over 150 participants attended the three-day 2014 FCMA Summit, the second annual conference conducted by the association. Highlighting the event were presentations by Herschel Vinyard, secretary of Florida Department of Environmental Protection and business/manufacturing consultant Dr. Harold Resnick. There were also panel discussions that covered areas that included import/export, lean and best practices and evaluating milennials in the workplace.

The event included the association’s annual planning session and the “Excellence In Manufacturing” awards, with winners including…

Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Johnson Controls, Inc. and CF Machine & Tool, Inc – Manufacturers of the Year

JEA – Workforce Education Award

Fleet Readiness Center Southeast – Environmental Award

Saft America, Inc. – Economic Impact Award

Golder Associates, Inc. – Partner of the Year

Vistakon – Founders Service Award

Representing an industry with over 1,500 manufacturing companies on the First Coast, supplying over 30,000 jobs that generate nearly 15% of the total gross regional product, the First Coast Manufacturers Association (FCMA) used the month of October to help raise the profile and awareness of the impact of the manufacturing industry. Additional information about FCMA is available at

Florida's Intermodal Centers Help Increase Trade
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 14:40
Florida is taking steps to handle more of the world's multi-billion dollar trade industry by expanding its intermodal centers, according to the latest Economic Commentary from Florida TaxWatch. Intermodal centers are specialized facilities where goods are moved from one form of transportation to another, such as moving a shipping container from a ship to a train or from rail to truck.

"Florida is uniquely poised to move goods more efficiently than our neighboring states and other competitors," said Dominic M. Calabro, President and CEO of the independent, nonpartisan public policy research institute. "Expanding Florida's intermodal points will allow the state to more efficiently transfer goods and even people between seas, roads, rails, air, and space."

New and improved intermodal centers will result in lower freight prices for Florida consumers and businesses, due to more efficient and cost-effective shipping.
"Recent additions of new and improved intermodal centers will have a great economic impact on Florida's economy and consumers," said Jerry D. Parrish, Ph.D., Chief Economist for Florida TaxWatch. "The centers will add to Florida's economy by providing high-wage jobs to Floridians, while also reducing the cost of goods purchased by Florida consumers."

Florida began incorporating intermodal centers into the Florida Department of Transportation's work plan in 2005, with the adoption of the Strategic Intermodal System Plan, which is required to be updated in December 2015.

As Florida expands its intermodal centers with new rail, road and sea- and air-port infrastructure development, the state can expect to transport more than goods. These centers can help move both Floridians and its nearly 100 million annual visitors around the state more efficiently, as well.

Read about Florida's Intermodal Centers and their expansion plans here:

It's Research that Gets Results!

Florida TaxWatch is a statewide, non-profit, non-partisan research institute that over its 34-year history has become widely recognized as the watchdog of citizens' hard-earned tax dollars.  Its mission is to provide the citizens of Florida and public officials with high quality, independent research and education on government revenues, expenditures, taxation, public policies and programs and to increase the productivity and accountability of Florida state and local government. Its support comes from homeowners and retirees, small and large businesses, philanthropic foundations, and professional associations. On the web at
FCMA Announces 2014 Manufacturers Awards
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 14:22
The First Coast Manufacturers Association (FCMA) announced the winners of its 2014 “Excellence In Manufacturing” awards at a banquet honoring nominees and winners at the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island at its second annual Manufacturing Summit.

The three Manufacturer of the Year awards went to:

Georgia-Pacific Corporation

Georgia Pacific was recognized for its active participation in FCMA and through partnering with the City of Palatka to construct a new wetlands education resource center located in the city’s riverfront district. Called the St. Johns River Center: Adventures in a Wetlands Ecosystem, the project is a $1.2 million project designed to promote the ecological significance of wetlands.


Johnson Controls, Inc.

Johnson Controls provides subject matter experts related to logistics, lean manufacturing, sustainability, and environmental health and safety. They are committed to share their global knowledge and where applicable provide networking information in a business-to-business relationship.


CF Machine & Tool, Inc.

CF Machine has been an active member since 1997, chairing several committees, attending numerous Tallahassee lobbying trips and participating in the Professional Progress program. They are heavily involved in member-to-member business, working with fellow members such as Main Metal Recycling for metal scrap recycling; training through My Executive Solutions; and as well as serving as a vendor to many larger companies requiring their specialized machined parts.


The association also recognized other FCMA members with the following awards:


2014 Workforce Education Award: JEA

Since 1974 JEA has provided an Education Reimbursement Program for college and graduate school degrees, investing between $250,000 and $300,000. They hire approximately 30 college and high school students annually through partnerships with various organizations such as InRoads, the Mayor’s Summer Work Program, as well as colleges. They provide technical courses online via JEA training that enables its employees to obtain Associates degrees in Electrical Production.


2014 Environmental Award: Fleet Readiness Center Southeast

NAS Jacksonville partnered with the city and state on a $4 million reuse project to become the first major generator in North Florida to reach zero discharge in early 2015. It was the first military installation in the nation to change from aerobic treatment to chlorine dioxide disinfection/odor elimination, saving $107,000 per year. Examples of its recycle/reuse successes: transports treated sludge to private hay fields for fertilizer, saving $300,000 per year; recycled 17 tons of vegetable oil, 32 tons used oil, 373 tons range ordnance/targets and 737 tons of glass, paper, cardboard, plastic, wood, electronics and antifreeze last year.


2014 Economic Impact Award: Saft America, Inc.

Saft has made over $220 million in investments in its Jacksonville facility with state-of the-art machinery and production processes. Last year it spent an additional $20 million for a new production line and new products and an additional $1.4 million in R&D.  It localized a portion of its battery production by contracting with a local company (W.W. Gay) to wire for electrical systems, fire suppression and other jobs.


2014 Partner of The Year: Golder Associates, Inc.

Golder has actively participated with FCMA for nearly 20 years, holding leadership positions on its Board of Directors and Committees: EHS, Government Relations, Membership and Community Relations. Over the years they have participated in every major FCMA event. The company regularly serves as a resource to the association by presenting workshop topics by its resident experts related to environmental regulatory issues, remediation, industrial hygiene and permitting.


2014 Founders Service Award: Vistakon

Vistakon is an active supporter of Workforce Development initiatives (such as Advanced Manufacturing and the Maintenance & Reliability and Manufacturing Executives Special Interest Groups) and political action committee efforts. Vistakon is an active contributor to benchmarking amongst local manufacturers and organizations in sponsoring reciprocal tours with companies and governmental agencies, highlighting their commitment to strengthening manufacturing for all of the First Coast. 


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

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