Did You Know: Florida’s Manufacturing Industry Employs More than 360,000 Floridians

In fact, Florida’s manufacturing industry is growing faster than the U.S.

The Florida Chamber Foundation met with hundreds of manufacturers from around the state at FloridaMakes’ Make More Manufacturing Summit last week in Orlando – a national hub for advanced manufacturing. From discussions on the future of Florida’s manufacturing industry and the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Trade & Logistics reports, to why the Move, Make, Multiply strategy is key to securing Florida’s global competitiveness and how we can continue to build our talent workforce- manufacturing leaders are making sure the right conversations are happening.

In a letter to the editor submitted to the Orlando Sentinel, Kevin Carr, CEO of FloridaMakes, discusses the importance of building Florida’s manufacturing economy:

“The development of a current and future talent base, the adoption and application of advanced manufacturing technologies, and an increase in our share of the domestic and international market for manufactured goods will translate to a more resilient and robust manufacturing economy in Florida.”

Share Your Thoughts on Florida’s Manufacturing Industry

The impact of manufacturing to Florida’s $1 trillion economy is significant. Tell us what you think about Florida’s manufacturing future by clicking here to take the Florida Chamber’s manufacturing survey.

Florida Has More Than 12 Million Registered Voters

Do you like being listened to or ignored? In November, Florida voters will have an opportunity to make sure their voice is heard and play a vital role in electing officials that will shape the future at the local, state and national level. The question is, of the more than 12 million voters registered, how many will participate?  In the 2014 general election, turnout of registered voters was only 51 percent.

As businesses and other organizations around Florida kick off Employee Voter Registration Week, have you registered to vote?  If you want to participate in the 2016 Primary Election, the last day to register is August 1.

To find out how to register to vote in your county, visit FloridaWins.org and click on “Register to Vote”.

About Florida Wins:

When Florida’s budget is in line with the needs of the state, Florida wins. Share this email to ensure that Florida remains the best place to live, work, play and learn. Visit FloridaWins.Org to learn more.

28% of Florida’s Land is Held in Conservation

According to the latest data from TheFloridaScorecard.org, approximately 28 percent of Florida’s land is in conservation. This means 10 million of Florida’s 34.7 million acres of land is owned by local, state and federal government.

How much of your county’s land is in conservation? View your county’s Scorecard to find out.

About Florida Wins:

When Florida’s budget is in line with the needs of the state, Florida wins. Ensure Florida remains the best place to live, work, play and learn. Visit FloridaWins.Org to learn more.

The Global Marketplace Will Double, Adding 1 Billion Consumers by 2020

Throughout the next 20 years, the size of the global marketplace will double, adding more than one billion new consumers by 2020. More than 95 percent of the world’s economic activity will take place outside of Florida. Florida’s ability to secure our future prosperity depends in part on how we are able to capture portions of that growth.

We live in an era unlike any before. The speed of global communication, the exponential advances of technology and the ingenuity of entrepreneurial activities have created a new landscape for global commerce that we continue to adapt to. According to global trends research from Ernst and Young, “estimates show that 70% of world growth over the next few years will come from emerging markets, with China and India accounting for 40% of that growth.

Take manufacturing costs in America for instance. Recent in-depth research on the global manufacturing landscape conducted by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) states that current conditions have led to a “redrawing of the map of global manufacturing cost competitiveness.” Simply put, the United States is now benefitting as one of the top 25 leading export economies. In fact, according to the BCG report, the U.S. is now ranked as a rising global star:

 Cost structures in Mexico and the U.S. improved more than in all of the other 25 largest exporting economies. Because of low wage growth, sustained productivity gains, stable exchange rates, and a big energy-cost advantage, these two nations are the current rising stars of global manufacturing. We estimate that Mexico now has lower average manufacturing costs than China on a unit-cost basis. And except for China and South Korea, the rest of the world’s top-ten goods exporters are 10 to 25 percent more expensive than the U.S.

 

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What Does This Mean for Florida?

In our own state, the nation’s growth is echoed. In fact, as manufacturing trends shift away from Asia and toward North America, Florida firms can leverage this to expand economic growth. This will mean a growing emphasis on the skill-sets needed to compete in the 21st Century economy. As the global market grows, so does the need for greater manufacturing capacity, high-tech skills, and logistics systems to get goods to market.

“Continuing to promote the growth and expansion of manufacturing in Florida is vital to our success as a state,” said Al Stimac, Owner and President, Metal Essence, Inc. “With the influx of new residents and increasing opportunities to sell and ship Florida-origin goods internationally- the future for Florida’s manufacturers’ looks bright. With Florida’s top-notch business climate and trade and logistics assets, it’s like we’re sitting on a goldmine.”

In Florida, we have a great opportunity to use these global trends for our benefit. Florida’s global resources, current international trade relationships and infrastructure lend our state to work with growing markets and become more globally competitive. Consider that there are more than 10,000 multinational companies operating in our state and in 2011, foreign direct investment by multinational companies employed more than 238,000 Floridians.

Additionally, Florida’s existing logistics infrastructure makes us uniquely suited to capture a good portion of this shift. Consider that:

 

  • Florida’s infrastructure is ranked No. 1 in the US
  • Florida has the 3rd highest cluster of logistics and distribution establishments in the US
  • Florida is the 6th largest exporting state in the US and a leading global hub
  • Florida is No. 5 for Foreign Trade Zone warehouse and distribution activities in the U.S.
  •  Florida is No. 2 for Foreign Trade Zone exports in the US

 

More than ever, trade equals new high-wage jobs. According to data released by the U.S. Commerce Department, just in 2013 alone Florida’s exports supported more than 275,000 jobs. Research completed by the Florida Chamber Foundation highlights as many as 150,000 new jobs in trade, transportation and logistics in Florida are possible. But realizing the potential requires vision.

“This is a long-term advancement opportunity,” said John Hartnett, V.P. of Global Business Development, Endoscopy Replacement Parts, Inc. “Understanding the current global economic patterns presents an incredible advantage for our state just in manufacturing alone. Florida is positioned to capitalize on these shifts if our approach is comprehensive, strategic and aggressive. By continuing to address our manufacturing capacity and aligning our resources such as our STEM talent pipeline, business expansion ability, logistic infrastructure and high-tech job growth, we can become the epitome of 21st Century global competitiveness. We have many of the pieces in place, and we have much of the plan identified.”

 

Recognizing the shift and its implications for Florida is just the first piece – how we strategically plan for leveraging the dynamic changes in the global market will make the difference between being a passive participant and a global leader.

You Can Help Secure Florida’s Future:

Join us at the 2014 Future of Florida Forum, September 29 – October 1,as business leaders, industry experts and elected officials discuss and explore how to secure Florida’s future. The program features top level executives and identifies connection points and partnerships that will make Florida a state with vibrant communities, high-wage jobs and endless opportunities for global competitiveness. Register today and be part of generating solutions.

Tell Us Your Story:

How is your organization impacted by global manufacturing? Where do you see room for Florida to improve its competitive position?

 

About the Florida Scorecard Did You Know:

The Florida Scorecard, located at www.TheFloridaScorecard.com, presents metrics across Florida’s economy. Each week, the Florida Chamber Foundation produces a Scorecard Did You Know that takes an in-depth look at one specific statistic. If you would like additional information on the Weekly Scorecard Did You Know or on the Florida Scorecard, please contact Tracey Lowe with the Florida Chamber Foundation at 850.521.1200 or TLowe@FLFoundation.org. You can also follow the Florida Chamber Foundation on Twitter at @FLChamberFDN.

Did You Know Floridians Paid $1.5 Billion in Hidden “Hurricane Taxes”

Did You Know?

Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (CAT Fund) hurricane taxes assessed on Floridians to pay for the six named storms of 2004-2005 will end this coming January – a year earlier than expected? However, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens) hurricane taxes, also assessed for the back-to-back record-breaking 2004-2005 seasons, will continue to be assessed until 2017. To date, Citizens has received more than $1.5 billion in hurricane taxes from all Florida property and casualty insurance policyholders – auto, homeowners, businesses, charities, churches, renters and more.

Why does this matter to Florida’s business community?

Florida’s geographic location makes our state one of the most exposed places in the world to tropical windstorms and hurricanes. Of the 180 hurricanes that have made landfall in the continental United States since 1900, 65 have landed in Florida – the most of any state in the nation.

While it’s been nine years since the last major hurricane landfall, Florida’s experience during 2004 and 2005 shows our state is just one bad season away from tens of billions in damages. Between 2004 and 2005, Hurricanes Charley, Dennis, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne and Wilma hit Florida and caused more than $70 billion in damages. In addition, Hurricane Andrew in 1992 caused $25 billion in damages to Florida – equating to more than double that in today’s dollars.

The past nine years has allowed Florida’s insurance and reinsurance industry to build up reserves, but there still exists a major gap in how Florida addresses property and casualty insurance. If Citizens, the largest insurer in the state with more than 933,000 policies and $292.6 billion in total exposure, has a shortfall due to a series of storms, taxpayers are on the hook to pay these claims. These assessments could be borne by the business community.

Citizens currently has the authority to levy assessments on all property and casualty insurance in Florida including auto, business, home and renters insurance policies. This “emergency” assessment was put into place to help spread the risk among all policyholders in Florida in the event of a catastrophic storm. Currently, non-Citizens policyholders pay $136 million, or about 84 percent, yearly of the total assessments on all Florida property and causality insurance policies. These assessments are slated to be eliminated in early 2017.

Additionally, Citizens policyholders could be hit with a one-time 45 percent surcharge if Citizens depletes its savings and is unable to pay claims. This could impact businesses that rely on Citizens for property insurance coverage as well.

According to Stephen Weinstein, Senior Vice President with RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd., Florida has taken significant steps in the last several years to strengthen the state’s property insurance market. Weinstein credits leadership at Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance Corporation and Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund for bolstering the financial position and reducing the risk of assessments on Floridians statewide.

“This has been complemented by the efforts of the executive leadership and professional management teams at Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance Corporation and Hurricane Catastrophe Fund to bolster their financial position and reduce the risk of assessments on Floridians statewide,” Weinstein said. “Collectively, these efforts have stabilized our property insurance system and attracted record levels of global capital to compete for Florida’s business. At the same time, Florida has also gotten lucky, by dodging a major storm for the past nine years.”

But this is Florida, after all, and our hurricane free streak could end at any time.

“In light of current conditions in the global private markets, Florida has an extraordinary opportunity right now to build on the success of recent years,” Weinstein explained. “This can be achieved by adopting a renewed business plan toward stability, in which insured risks are willingly borne by those who create them, and supported by a fairly priced, competitive private market, with our unique hurricane risk shared with and financed by private investors worldwide. We appreciate the significant and valuable reforms to date and hope to keep contributing to an ever more stable market for Florida’s consumers, homeowners and businesses.”

The stability referenced by Weinstein is a major step for Florida’s coastal communities, which accounts for approximately 80 percent of the state’s economic activity. Currently, the value of coastal property in Florida is roughly $2.0 trillion. This accounts for 80 percent of the state’s total residential and commercial property. More than 75 percent of Floridians live in a coastal county – meaning three out of four residents are in the direct landfall zone of a major hurricane. In addition, 12 of the 20 fastest growing coastal counties in the United States are located right here in the Sunshine State. Properties, both residential and commercial, within these counties have the most significant risk for hurricane damage due to high winds and storm surge. Ensuring stability for these communities throughout our state is a step in the right direction for our state’s slowly recovering property insurance systems.

And Citizens isn’t the only state-run liability that is in need of stability. The only state-sponsored reinsurance entity of its type, Florida’s CAT fund, may only be able to cover losses for one major storm or series of smaller storms. The CAT Fund is on the hook for $17 billion in claims, and while bonding capacity estimates show the CAT Fund may have the capability to pay these claims, Florida’s policyholders would have to foot the bill.

The end result? A system in which Florida’s financial stability could be decimated with one bad storm season, relying on post-storm assessments from Florida’s taxpayers for years to come.

Three Ways You Can Help Secure Florida’s Future:

  1. Join us at the 2014 Future of Florida Forum, September 29 – October 1. Join state business leaders, industry experts and elected officials as they discuss and explore how to secure Florida’s future, together. This year’s program features top level executives from several state agencies and identifies connection points and partnerships that will make Florida a state with vibrant communities, high-wage jobs and endless opportunities for global competitiveness. Register today and be part of the conversations that will help Florida stand out as the premier place to live, learn work and raise a family.
  2. Save the date for the Florida Chamber’s Annual Insurance Summit, January 21-23 at the Grand Floridian in Orlando. Plan to engage with the state’s top policymakers, industry leaders and business community experts as they tackle the challenges facing Florida’s insurance industry.
  3. Become a Florida Chamber Foundation Trustee and help provide a strategic direction for Florida’s future, to 2030 and beyond. For more information, contact Sal Nuzzo at 850-521-1283 or SNuzzo@FLFoundation.org.

Tell Us Your Story:

How has your business been affected by these assessments? Share your Florida story with us and stay tuned for more updates from The Florida Scorecard on Florida’s insurance industry.

 

About the Florida Scorecard Did You Know:

The Florida Scorecard, located at www.TheFloridaScorecard.com, presents metrics across Florida’s economy. Each week, the Florida Chamber Foundation produces a Scorecard Did You Know that takes an in-depth look at one specific statistic. If you would like additional information on the Weekly Scorecard Did You Know or on the Florida Scorecard, please contact Sal Nuzzo with the Florida Chamber Foundation at 850.521.1283 or snuzzo@flfoundation.org. You can also follow Sal on Twitter at @SalNuzzo and the Florida Chamber Foundation at @FLChamberFDN.

Did You Know STEM Skills and Florida’s Innovation Economy

Did you know? Since 2010, Florida’s labor demand in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields has increased by more than 63 percent. Currently, there are more than 55,000 unfilled STEM jobs in Florida. That demand is felt throughout the state, including within the growing $5 billion modeling, simulation and training industry.

Securing Florida’s future prosperity is tied to our ability to fill high-wage jobs. This means Florida must do a better job of meeting the demands of a 21st century economy, where STEM-related jobs are likely to be among the most prominent.

While job growth through 2021 will be about 12 percent, data from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity shows STEM discipline growth projections at more than double that. If Florida does not possess a robust talent pipeline in STEM fields, job creators will be forced to move elsewhere to recruit highly-skilled talent.

The Bottom Line – Florida Needs to be Ready.

So, where do we stand? While Florida’s fourth grade reading scores are second in the world only to Hong Kong, our state still faces an emerging talent gap – a crisis in human capital that represents a vast, growing and unmet need for a highly skilled and educated workforce. Consider the facts:

Why should Floridians care? Our state’s ability to remain competitive, and thus provide greater opportunities for families, relies on our ability to diversify the economy. To diversify our economy, we must close the talent gap and prepare students now for the STEM-related jobs of the 21st century.

Florida is already feeling the repercussions of a talent supply gap – including in our state’s $5 billion modeling, simulation and training industry (MS&T). Central Florida, the epicenter of the United States MS&T industry, employs more than 60,000 Floridians. This industry provides much needed technology to support our military and defense industry, and has grown steadily even in a sluggish economy. The industry is heavily reliant upon employees with STEM-related skills.

“The STEM skills gap is both a real challenge and a real opportunity for Florida,” said Waymon Armstrong, CEO of Engineering and Computer Simulations in Orlando.“ Just for the MS&T industry in Central Florida, STEM skills are a main element of $5 billion in economic activity. Our industry is affected by federal sequestration, defense department cuts, and budget spending cycles. The STEM skills gap is an additional challenge and one Florida should address proactively. A recent US Census Bureau study revealed that 74 percent of STEM graduates are not employed in STEM occupations. This presents a real opportunity for Florida to stake its claim as a global leader in STEM talent pipelines. We have high-wage jobs right here, and need the talent pipeline to fill them. Florida has made progress, but there is still a long way to go in this endeavor. How we close the gap on science and math scores will make Florida’s modeling, simulation and training industry more likely to continue its status as a Florida economic engine. Exposing students to science and math in new and exciting ways, rigorous standards in our educational systems, and ensuring the highest quality teachers are delivering content in the STEM subjects will be vital to continuing our progress.”

Here are Three Ways You Can Help

  1. Register to attend the Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2014 Military, Defense and Veterans Opportunities Summit in Orlando on August 13. Thomas L. Baptiste, Lt Gen, USAF (Ret), President & CEO, National Center for Simulation and other keynote speakers will outline how industry, academia and smart government have helped this cluster develop and grow and will discuss opportunities for future growth.
  2. Join us at the 2014 Future of Florida Forum, September 29 – October 1. Join state business leaders, industry experts and elected officials as they discuss and explore how to secure Florida’s future, together. This year’s program features top level executives from several state agencies and identifying connection points and partnerships that will make Florida the state with vibrant communities, high-wage jobs and endless opportunities for global competitiveness. Register today and be a part of the conversations that will help Florida stand out as the best state to live, learn, work and raise a family.
  3. Become a Florida Chamber Foundation Trustee and help provide strategic direction for Florida’s future, to 2030 and beyond. For more information, contact Sal Nuzzo at 850-521-1283 or SNuzzo@FLFoundation.org.

 

 

Tell Us Your Story

How does your business benefit from STEM-related skills? How can we help build Florida’s high-skilled future? Share your Florida story with us.

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About the Florida Scorecard Did You Know:

The Florida Scorecard, located at www.TheFloridaScorecard.com, presents metrics across Florida’s economy. Each week, the Florida Chamber Foundation produces a Scorecard Did You Know that takes an in-depth look at one specific statistic. If you would like additional information on the Weekly Scorecard Did You Know or on the Florida Scorecard, please contact Sal Nuzzo with the Florida Chamber Foundation at 850.521.1283 or snuzzo@flfoundation.org. You can also follow Sal on Twitter at @SalNuzzo and the Florida Chamber Foundation at @FLChamberFDN.