Manufacturing the Backbone of Florida’s Future

By: Florida Chamber of Commerce

Amanda Bowen, Manufacturers Association of Florida

Every day across the Sunshine State, voices from the manufacturing industry get louder and more prevalent. The Manufacturers Association of Florida (MAF) identifies the most dominating needs of Florida’s industry leaders and acts as a champion for those manufacturers. Those 19,000 voices come together as one to influence political change, bring about more training opportunities, connect with foreign markets, and expose younger generations to new and exciting career opportunities. MAF not only fights on behalf of our manufacturers, we celebrate their victories too!

As part of the Dream It Do It network, the association has also taken a firm stance on K-12 engagement. As many of our members will tell you, manufacturing does not have a perception problem; it has an awareness problem. Educators, guidance counselors, and students are simply unaware of the career opportunities available in manufacturing. Though many of the association’s activities take place in the capital city, partnerships with various organizations and educational institutions are tackling the impending skills gap. It is estimated that by 2020, as many as 14 million jobs nationwide will be unfilled due to inadequately trained workers. Ensuring our businesses have access to exceptional employees is vital to the success of the industry and Florida’s economy.

Every year in October, we join forces with our partners and industry members to celebrate all things manufacturing. Each day is spent reaching out to our communities, explaining what manufacturing is, and introducing a world of new opportunities to Florida’s teens. From class field trips and tours at manufacturing facilities to city-wide charters for educators and guidance counselors…Florida has been the nation’s leader in engagement events to celebrate Manufacturing Month for the past three years! To learn more about Florida’s manufacturing industry and for a full list of registered events throughout the month of October, visit www.MAFMFG.com.