How Florida Manufacturing Growth Stacks Up Nationally

January 6th 2021

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be difficult to predict or parse long term due to a number of variables, including sector, changes in demand and/or likelihood the manufacturer was deemed essential in the spring 2020 closures. However, despite these variables, we can safely assume that issues existing before the pandemic will still affect manufacturers during and after the pandemic.

We’ve heard this via a series of 11 listening sessions organized by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP) called the “National Conversation with Manufacturers” series. The focus of the conversations is on learning how manufacturers are handling the near-term jolt from the pandemic and preparing for success in the long-term.

Patti Gander: How a Manufacturing Expert is Paying it Forward

January 5th 2021

Patti Gander’s manufacturing career began at 18 years old when she started on an assembly shop floor. Accumulating over 40 years of industry experience to date, she worked her way up in the manufacturing world to Vice President of Operations. Having a passion for mentoring and teaching the future workers of America, she began teaching at the University of South Florida, instructing business management and MBA classes before joining the FloridaMakes team as a Business Advisor.

While serving the United States Marine Corps, Patti obtained an associate’s degree in electronics and is an expert in technical skillsets. With a bachelor’s in business management, a Master in Business Administration (MBA) specializing in marketing and management information systems and a Master of Management specializing in leadership and organizational effectiveness, Patti brings a unique perspective to her Florida manufacturing clients.

Florida Candle Wick Manufacturer Lights the Way

December 22nd 2020

If you’ve ever lit a candle, chances are the wick came from Florida!

America’s love of candles ignites an estimated $3.14 billion in annual retail sales. Kicking off with Black Friday, the months of November and December usher in a flurry of holidays including Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. December accounts for nearly 35% of yearly candle sales. In Florida, a Pompano Beach-based manufacturer, Wicks Unlimited, makes the wicks that enables us to enjoy the aroma and flickering flame of our favorite candle.

“There is a science behind why people love candles,” says Wicks Unlimited Vice President Cory Rau, “and it’s the lighting of the wick—where the science comes in – that makes the magic of candlelight both compelling and relaxing.”

How Five Simple Digital Applications Can Change Florida Manufacturing

December 17th 2020

Digital applications in manufacturing are not only becoming increasingly accepted; they are expected. However, for smaller manufacturers, the process of making this switch can be daunting. Initial expenses, as well as the cost of training employees, is enough to stop the process altogether.

But beginning the process of “going digital” doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With a little guidance and education, all manufacturers can start to implement digital manufacturing concepts in a staged approach that best fits your individual work environment. Here are our top five recommendations for digital applications that can help you get started.

National Cookie Day: How a Florida Dry Food Manufacturer Makes the Holiday Season Sweet

December 4th 2020

The holiday season is finally here, and one must ask, is eating just one cookie enough? Leading the world as the biggest cookie bakers and eaters, the U.S. spends more than $550 million annually. One dry food manufacturer located in Lakeland, Florida, takes making their holiday treats seriously and works hard behind-the-scenes to ensure those packages are on store shelves in time.

Compass Blending takes ingredients like sugar, flour, and salt and creates shelf-stable products that are used throughout the food industry and offer convenience to our everyday lives. Some products you may recognize are the Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix at Williams Sonoma or the Honey Almond Pound Cake Mix at the World Market, amongst others.



Learn how FloridaMakes works with Florida manufacturers – and how we can help unlock growth opportunities and cost savings for your business.