Contact: Nancy Stephens, Executive Director
March 5, 2013 (850) 445-1607
Governor Emphasizes Manufacturing and Education Priorities
Tallahassee — Today, the opening day of the 2013 Florida Legislative Session, during his address to the Florida House and Senate in a Joint Session, and with manufacturers in the audience, Governor Rick Scott announced his top two priorities for the 2013 Legislative Session. One is removing the sales tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment and the other is giving a pay raise to teachers.
The Manufacturers Association of Florida applauds Governor Scott for his recognition of the ever increasing important role advanced manufacturing will play in diversifying Florida’s economy, providing well-paying jobs, and securing Florida’s position as a hub for international trade. At the same time, his education priority will serve to support the manufacturing industry by rewarding teachers for performing at the highest levels and inspiring their students to excel.
“Florida is poised to be the #1 manufacturing state in the nation. With a little more help from the Florida Legislature on manufacturing tax policy, Florida can become competitive with other manufacturing destination states like Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Texas. We want people to come for the sun and stay for the manufacturing business”, said Al Stimac, President, Manufacturers Association of Florida and President, Metal Essence.
More than 60% of Florida manufacturers are small businesses. While this allows them to be more flexible in responding to changing market demands and conditions, it also means that they are adversely affected by tax red tape and un-level playing fields. “It is time to recognize that manufacturing tax reform converts to capital investment, community investment and employee investment,” said Nancy Stephens, Executive Director, Manufacturers Association of Florida.
There are 18,107 manufacturers in Florida employing 314,800 individuals paying an average annual salary of $52,378, which is $10,000 more than the average annual wage in Florida. Through the MAF Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence manufacturers are doing their part to invest in students. Through the Dream It! Do It! program, whereby manufacturers adopt high schools to engage students in the manufacturing world, and develop partnerships with colleges to design educational programs that prepare students for manufacturing careers, Florida manufacturers are helping prepare their future workforce. Governor Scott has it right – with a little help, manufacturers and teachers can help lead this state to economic prosperity.
The Manufacturers Association of Florida (MAF) was formed in 2006 to improve the business climate for manufacturers in Florida. The top manufacturing sectors in Florida include computers and electronics, food products, medical equipment, aerospace parts, nonmetallic mineral products, fabricated metal products, machinery, chemicals, paper products, and printed products. Visit www.mafmfg.com.
The MAF Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence (MAF Center) is in its first year of operation. It was organized to promote an environment in Florida that produces an educated, skilled, trained and certified advanced manufacturing workforce for world class manufacturers. Visit www.mafcenter.org.