Workforce Development

The top 18 facts you need to know about manufacturing according to the National Association of Manufacturers:

  1. Manufacturers contributed $2.38 trillion to the U.S. economy.
  2. For every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, another $1.82 is added.
  3. The majority of manufacturing firms in the United States are quite small.
  4. There are 12.82 million manufacturing workers in the United States.
  5. Manufacturing workers in the United States earned $84,832 annually.
  6. 92 percent of manufacturing employees were eligible for health insurance.
  7. Manufacturers have experienced tremendous growth.
  8. Over the next decade, 4.6 million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed.
  9. Over the past 28 years, U.S.-manufactured goods exports have quadrupled.
  10. Manufactured goods exports have grown substantially.
  11. Manufacturers export nearly half of U.S. manufacturing output.
  12. World trade in manufactured goods has more than doubled.
  13. Manufacturing in the US would be the eighth-largest economy in the world.
  14. Foreign direct investment in U.S. manufacturing exceeded $1.6 trillion.
  15. Affiliates of foreign multinational enterprises employed nearly 2.5 million.
  16. Manufacturers perform 64 percent of all private-sector R&D.
  17. Manufacturers consume more than 30 percent of the nation’s energy.
  18. The cost of federal regulations falls on manufacturers.

Here in Florida, we manufacture everything from microchips to potato chips. Manufacturing accounts for 5% of our state’s GDP. The majority of our manufacturing operations, roughly 80%, employ less than 50 people. These employees are technically skilled and highly productive.  More Florida Facts

What has been missing is an understanding of the value of manufacturing in a healthy economy and an awareness of the good careers available in high tech industry. For years, Florida manufacturers have tried to make students and parents aware of potential careers in manufacturing. Careers that may not require a four year college degree, yet pay at the top of the wage pyramid. Careers that do not necessitate leaving Florida. We encourage students, teachers and guidance counselors to visit our facilities to see first hand what today’s manufacturing is really all about.

In the fall of 2005, the Sarasota Manatee Area Manufacturers Association (SAMA) applied for a grant from the Florida High Tech Corridor Council to help us facilitate tours of high tech manufacturing facilities in 11 Tampa Bay area counties.

SAMA partnered with FL-ATE, the Center for Manufacturing Education at Hillsborough Community College to design an outreach project that matched our mission with that of the High Tech Corridor Council. Together, we bring students into manufacturing facilities to observe high tech operations and explore career opportunities.

A lesson plan, designed by FL-ATE is attached to make the tours a true learning experience. Students also view the “Made in Florida” video to see unscripted interviews with young people talking about their own careers in manufacturing.

SAMA enrolls manufacturers to be tour hosts. Host company leadership, engineers and production staff spend time with students explaining various aspects of modern industry.

Since 2005, SAMA has underwritten the Made In Florida Tours financially with proceeds from our annual Golf Tournament as well as member contributions.

To date; thousands of students have participated in the Made In Florida educational outreach project. More than 13,000 have visited with inquiries about potential careers. With the recent emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) we anticipate strengthening our partnership with the education community to expose even more students to potential careers in our industry.