The 2020 Florida legislative session has come to a close and as you may know, funds received from the state can be matched by the Federal government through the NIST MEP program. This means that there is money left on the table for us that most states’ MEPs have access to through state funding. There is potential for a special legislative session to address the budget changes as a result of COVID-19 – which we will actively be educating legislatures on how funding our program not only unlocks federal money – but is important for job creation and retention during a time in which economic stability is priceless. Manufacturing was recently declared essential by Governor DeSantis, which importantly highlights the significance of the industry. We will continue to advocate the importance of receiving funding and to bring and retain more jobs to an industry with extremely high-paying wages. Read the letter our network sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis below:
Dear Governor DeSantis,
On behalf of manufacturers across the State of Florida, we write to thank you for your commitment and
support of the manufacturing industry during the COVID-19 crisis. Upon your “Safer at Home” declaration,
which deemed manufacturing an essential industry, thousands of workers in the state within our sector
received much needed job security during this challenging time.
As Florida’s network of regional manufacturers associations, FloridaMakes, we are providing much needed
support to the manufacturing industry through our collaborative partnership as the state’s affiliate of the
National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, an agency of
the U.S. Department of Commerce. The FloridaMakes network, in partnership with the Associated Industries of
Florida and Space Florida, recently unveiled Connex Florida, a free database to allow the more than 20,000
manufacturers in Florida input their capabilities and capacities to efficiently connect them to businesses in
need of their supplies and strengthen supply chains across the state.
It is imperative that we have a functioning industrial base as we respond to the COVID-19 emergency,
including innovative solutions to help our supply chain here in Florida and across the nation. Manufacturing is
quickly on the rise in Florida, where over 380,000 jobs are considered high-wage, with an industry-wide
average wage of $61,735. For every dollar in manufactured goods, $3.60 is produced in other sectors, which
shows that manufacturing strengthens other sectors, and in turn, Florida’s economy.
Florida’s manufacturers are handling this pandemic exceptionally, strengthening their supply chains, pivoting
rapidly to change supply capabilities, including producing essential products to help healthcare workers and
the general public respond to the pandemic. They are exercising extreme resiliency, just like the millions of
Floridians daily who are dealing with this new normal. Your leadership has allowed for a crucial sector that is
rapidly growing in Florida to continue operations, allowing businesses to continue to support the hospitals,
families, and businesses in the Sunshine State.
Manufacturing is proving to be an industry that will ensure Florida’s economy the flexibility and resilience it
needs when responding to economic threats.
Again, we wish to thank you for your leadership, and we hope that going forward, your administration will
prioritize investment into this essential industry, to continue the growth and diversification of Florida’s
economy, as well as provide high-paying jobs to the thousands of Floridians who will need to pivot careers
My colleagues (listed on the next page) and I remain always at your service and look forward to continuing
working with your administration to strengthen and grow manufacturing in Florida.