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FCMA Announces 2016 Manufacturers Awards
Monday, 17 October 2016 18:35

First Coast Manufacturers Association Announces 2016 Manufacturers Awards

The First Coast Manufacturers Association (FCMA) announced the winners of its 2016 “Excellence In Manufacturing” awards at a banquet honoring nominees and winners at the World Golf Village during its fourth annual Manufacturing Summit.

The two Manufacturer of the Year awards went to:

UTC Aerospace

This company aims to enhance the manufacturing base in Jacksonville through a strong commitment to their business strategy, their workforce and the community. They are aggressive with their environmental goals to annually reduce water usage and waste and to promote recycling and energy efficiency. Plus they have an extensive workforce education program that provides scholarships to cover tuition, fees, books and three hours of paid study time a week.

Fleet Readiness Center Southeast

Fleet Readiness is the largest industrial employer in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. They have allocated more than $7 million over the past five years in a state-of-the-art facility to assist in the training of employees as well as to provide classrooms for computer and hands-on training. Their environmental program has resulted in reduced energy consumption through lighting improvements; and they have recycled over 160 tons of used oil for energy recovery and reduction.

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

Workforce Education Award – Vac-Con

Vac-Con has instituted programs this year that has helped educate their workers to the extent that it has resulted in a reduction of accidents, even despite the fact that employees and crews shift on an hourly basis. In addition, the company has spent time and resources to educate their community and area schools students to the arena of manufacturing.

Environmental Award – Saft America

Saft has taken advantage of its Florida location to demonstrate its own company mission of producing power. The company has a roof covered with over 4,000 solar panels. The system’s annual renewable energy panels have a peak capacity of 97.6%. And by using solar power, they conserve 2.5 million gallons of gasoline annually.  

Economic Impact Award – Beaver Street Fisheries

This company has consistently offered strong support for the economy of Northeast Florida. In addition to enhancing its sales process internally, the company has distinguished itself through sponsorships of local professional sports teams and other philanthropic endeavors throughout the community.

Partner of The Year Award – Golder Associates

Golder actively assists their clients in becoming more environmentally conscious while they seek to incorporate environmental protection into their own operations. They feel so strongly about sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint that they encourage their staff to bike to work, work from home, and limit non-essential travel.

Founders Service Award – Carlisle Interconnect Technologies

Carlisle reflects the true example of the association’s founders in their commitment to improving their business and working to benefit the community. This company focuses on economic goals, recognizing the need to understand their customers and specifically their needs. Their business is environmentally friendly and mandates employee training on environmental policy and safety.

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

Free Webinar - Cybersecurity
Monday, 17 October 2016 17:55

Free Webinar

Subject:  Cybersecurity - What You and Your Employees Need to Know, Now

Check out this free webinar:  "Cybersecurity - What You and Your Employees Need to Know, Now."  The FREE webinar is October 20 at 9 a.m. ET and will be 1 hour or less – and the presenter is an expert from NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

You can register today for this insightful and important topic.

All companies – no matter what your size – need to have a basic understanding of cybersecurity and the potential risks.  It just takes one employee clicking on the wrong attachment to unleash a computer virus that can hold your business hostage.  October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, in addition to being Manufacturing Month.

Learn more and register for FloridaMakes free October 20 webinar, featuring expert presenter Pat Toth of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Emergency Rule
Wednesday, 28 September 2016 17:50

On September 26, 2016, Governor Scott directed the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to issue an emergency rule that establishes new requirements for public notification of pollution incidents. The rule took effect yesterday.  The Governor's press release, the emergency rule and the reasoning for the emergency rule are attached.

In short, the rule calls for any owner or operator of any installation who has knowledge of any pollution at such installation to provide a notice of the pollution within 24 hours to FDEP, the mayor (or equivalent), the chair of the county commission (or equivalent), the city manager (or equivalent), and the media.

The emergency rule is so vague as to leave in doubt the quantity and nature of the pollution to be reported.  Further,  the requirement is for ANY installation, which is why we are notifying all of you.

In the next few days we expect more clarity, but for now, we wanted you all to be aware of these new Florida requirements.  The Governor is planning to introduce state legislation in 2017 to also address this issue.

FDEP has now launched a website for the emergency rule and the proposed rule.

Workers Comp Insurance Rates
Wednesday, 28 September 2016 17:49

On September 27, 2016, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) issued an order giving contingent approval to an overall combined average statewide workers compensation insurance rate increase of 14.5% effective December 1, 2016,  for new and renewal business, with no change in rates for current in-force policies.

The Manufacturers Association of Florida (MAF) provided testimony at the OIR August public hearing opposing the proposed 19.6% rate increase.  While the approved rate increase is less than the original proposal, it is still a blow to Florida businesses and we are disappointed with the ruling.
2016 EPB/UNF Environmental Symposium
Friday, 12 August 2016 15:48

2016 EPB/UNF Environmental Symposium
Friday, September 9, 2016
“Earth in Crises – Practical Environmental Solutions”

Registration for the 2016 EPB/UNF Environmental Symposium is now open!!

The planning team has identified what promises to be an educational and informative event for this year.  Through our theme, and in various ways throughout the day, we hope to identify some of the challenges facing the earth, especially in our region, and look into some of the unique and interesting solutions that some have come up with in order to address them.  These solutions help demonstrate that all of us, no matter our profession, focus or interest, are all working collectively to protect and conserve our natural resources.  We sincerely hope that you will take time out to attend the symposium this year.

Information is being distributed through various means, however, in case you have not seen anything previously, attached is the agenda that we have tentatively planned for the day.  All of the sessions are locked in, however we still have a few speakers to lock in. In the next few weeks we will provide more details on panel participants.  To keep up with the latest, you can always find information by following the link found at the bottom of this email.  We hope that you will find the symposium workshops to be informative and that you choose to attend.


New to the symposium this year is a partnership with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to offer training for the Petroleum Restoration Program (PRP).  FDEP staff from Tallahassee will join with some of our local Environmental Quality Division staff to conduct training from 9 am to 4 pm and includes lunch.  This training will provide Owners/Responsible Parties information on their responsibilities associated with the PRP, and contractors will get the nuts and bolts of the program and its operations.  Spread the word now.  The session will be limited in size, so if you are interested in obtaining this training sign up early.


Registration for both the symposium and the PRP training is easily done online.  Payment options include credit / debit cards and electronic checks.  Those who wish to pay via cash or money order will need to submit the payment via mail along with the completed registration form attached.  And of course, although we strongly encourage registering before the deadline, we will make every effort to accommodate those who choose to attend and pay at the door.  The planning team continues to make every effort to ensuring the symposium remains affordable to all, so prices have remained relatively the same.  For some categories there are a very limited number of scholarships available.  These requests will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis.

The online registration website is available at:  http://tinyurl.cobitm/EPB-Environmental-Symposium The registration deadline is September 2, 2016, so please make sure and register today!


As we are unable to secure sponsors for the symposium, exhibits help to ensure the event is affordable to all.  The event presents an excellent opportunity to share information with close to 400 attendees composed of elected and regulatory officials, consultants, utilities and regulated industry representatives, academics and the general public.  We hope those of you who have exhibited at the symposium in the past will choose to do so again this year.  You should be receiving a separate email with additional information, but you can also sign up today online as well.
We also look forward to new exhibitors this year.

I hope that you will share this information with your colleagues, family & friends.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.  Thanks.

PS – the symposium website may also be found at:

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