Report: New technology could assist growth in Florida’s manufacturing sector

(The Center Square) — A recently released report has shown huge growth in Florida’s manufacturing sector, which is responsible for almost half a million jobs in the Sunshine State.

Florida TaxWatch has released the Unleashing Digital Transformation: 2023 Makemore Manufacturing Summit Summary Report, which focused on how Florida’s manufacturing industry can create greater value and increase profits by deploying new technologies en masse.

FloridaMakes, a statewide, industry-led, public-private partnership operated by Florida’s regional manufacturer’s associations and partner organizations, has a single goal to strengthen and advance Florida’s economy by following three main principles: Technology adoption, talent development and business growth.

FloridaMakes further represents the Manufacturing Extension Partnership in Florida, a program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology which is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

FloridaMakes’ Executive Vice President Zoraida Velasco said in the report that in order for Florida’s manufacturing sector to grow, the industry must communicate with each other to enhance dialogue and begin brainstorming solutions to correct what is not working and enhance what is.

Currently, Florida’s gross domestic product is approximately $1.5 trillion. Manufacturing makes up roughly 5% of the Sunshine State’s annual total economic output, and according to the report, Florida has over 25,000 manufacturers.

The report also notes that the average number of employees per manufacturing company is 17 because most manufacturing companies are small. However, these companies play a pivotal role and are considered “foundation” or supplier companies that support larger companies to keep moving forward.

In total, there are more than 426,000 high-wage manufacturing jobs in Florida, producing goods including aerospace products, food and beverages, communications, and equipment, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, semiconductors, and boats.

Around 4.4% of the state’s workforce is employed in manufacturing, with an average wage of $74,575.2 per year. Recent employment data shows that Florida is one of the top ten states in the nation for manufacturing employment.

Experts have recommended that Florida does several things to continue manufacturing growth. This includes manufacturers stepping up marketing and messaging efforts; putting more recruitment efforts into high schools to show students that they have opportunities in manufacturing employment; and further adding that Florida’s 14 regional manufacturer associations need to be put to better use.