Message From The President of SAMA

Bayne Beecher PGT Industries
Bayne Beecher
PGT Industries

SAMA is the Voice of Manufacturing

April 2019

For almost 50 years, the Sarasota Manatee Area Manufacturers Association (SAMA) has been the voice of manufacturing in the Sarasota and Manatee County regions.

Since its founding in 1971, SAMA has strived to create an environment where our manufacturing industries can thrive as a part of a well-balanced economy by, advocating on behalf of manufacturers at a local, state and national level,  offering a forum for networking among manufacturing members and with key stakeholders, keeping manufacturers informed of pertinent and impactful legislative or regulatory action, and providing manufacturers with resources needed to run their businesses well.

Last year, the SAMA Board of Directors during our strategic planning sessions re-affirmed our commitment to continue this work and that with renewed purpose, vigor and drive.

To this end, the SAMA team, over the course of the last year as:

  1. Invested significant amount of time to determine our legislative priorities, and met with local, state and national elected officials to ensure that they understood which issues were most important to our members.
  2. Entered into an agreement with FloridaMakes (Florida’s NIST MEP center) to bring a new Business Advisor to our area to provide manufacturing members with top and bottom line business improvement services, including free to SAMA members business and disaster preparedness assessments.
  3. Established committees to better understand member needs, develop and manage new programs and, to design and launch our new website.
  4. Engaged with our Education Partners to better understand what our mutual needs were relative to filling our skilled trade and manufacturing talent pipeline and developed an action plan to address.
  5. Participated in and contributed to statewide discussions and focus groups facilitated by FloridaMakes to develop strategies to; drive technology adoption in manufacturing; increase awareness to manufacturing careers with K-12 students, parents and teachers; and increase Florida’s revenue per employee metric.
  6. Engaged in discussions to drive awareness to value of the Certified Apprenticeship model of On-the-Job training.
  7. Hosted plant tours for middle and high school students and visited classrooms to inform students and teachers of manufacturing career options.

We understand that the investment of our labor may take years to come to fruition like the 5 plus years we spent working on tax relief for manufacturers, or our efforts in 2008 that contributed to the removal of the tangible tax burden from new manufacturing equipment. There is much more work to be done, but we are not deterred. SAMA is the go-to organization that will continue to take a lead role in dealing with manufacturing related topics. Industrial development, affordable workforce housing, preservation of industrial zoned land, workforce development, technical education, sustaining a business and regulatory climate conducive to manufacturing to name a few… all command our attention. As such we continue to press forward with renewed resolve and invite you to join us in our quest to make Florida in general, and the Sarasota Manatee regions specifically the most well balanced and efficient economy in the world, and the place where manufacturers, manufacturing stakeholders and most importantly manufacturing employees thrive.