FCMA: A Respected Voice in Strengthening Manufacturing in Northeast Florida
Established in 1989, the Association today represents all types of manufacturing, from small machine shops to top selling consumer goods to international high-tech medical products. As an effective leader and “voice for local manufacturing” FCMA continues to grow, and is currently comprised of over 300 companies. Some of its larger, more recognizable members include: Anheuser-Busch InBev, BAE Systems (Shipyards and Safariland), CSX Transportation, Maxwell House-Kraft, RockTenn Corrugated, Swisher, Owens Corning, Gerdau, Colomer USA, and our largest industrial employer, the Navy’s Fleet Readiness Center Southeast.
In an effort to keep members aware of each other’s production and support service needs, and to provide an opportunity for sharing best practices FCMA also conducts many plant tours. Sherri Mitchell, director of finance and education says the idea is to “keep our manufacturers updated on issues affecting manufacturing.” Partnership with local schools also play a vital role in developing relevant educational and training materials to meet the needs of local manufacturers, and in training the next generation of high skilled workers. FCMA regularly interacts with local schools and colleges, and encourages its members to develop partnerships with neighborhood schools. The Association has taken great strides to ensure manufacturing is a visible topic for discussion on the different advisory boards from the University of North Florida, to Florida State College at Jacksonville, to career academies, and local workforce boards.