Kevin Carr is the President and CEO of FloridaMakes, a statewide, industry-led partnership established in 2015 to strengthen and advance Florida’s manufacturing sector through talent development, technology assistance, and business growth. Operating through a network of the state’s regional manufacturing associations, FloridaMakes partners with public and private service providers – including research and education institutions, consultants, and training providers – to improve the overall performance of individual firms, creating and retaining an advanced manufacturing workforce and improving Florida’s manufacturing economy.
Kevin has dedicated most of his career to enhancing the nation’s manufacturing sector, with a focus on improving the competitiveness and profitability of small and medium-size manufacturers. Kevin came to FloridaMakes after 10 years as a private consultant advising technology-based economic development organizations, manufacturing businesses, and the Department of Defense.
Prior to managing his own small business, Kevin led the Manufacturing Extension Partnership at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Joining NIST in the first year of this experimental program, Kevin eventually became the first NIST MEP Director, building the program from just 7 pilot states to a nationally system serving manufacturers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Under his leadership with state and federal policymakers, Kevin has worked to increase manufacturers’ access to advanced manufacturing technology and resources through the federal labs and centers of excellence, and has challenged the MEP system to cultivate best practices, best-in-class services, and promote increased use of existing public and private resources to improve the foundation and future of American manufacturing. To date, MEP nationally has worked with more than 80,000 manufacturers, leading to $88 billion in sales and $14 billion in cost savings, and has helped create more than 729,000 jobs.
Kevin has been recognized by the Service to America for Business and Commerce and Harvard’s Innovation in Government Awards as a finalist. He was awarded the U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal for building MEP’s national system and was recently inducted into the NIST Gallery of Distinguished Scientists and Engineers for “outstanding leadership of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership and implementing it into a model federal program with national impact on business development, innovation and job creation.”
Kevin studied electronics engineering at Widener University and technology management at the University of Maryland.