to the sunshine state than those warm sandy beaches. Florida is emerging as a hotspot for manufacturers and is according to a report compiled by VMA Inc., the Volusia, Flagler and surrounding counties manufacturing alliance, the 12thlargest manufacturing state and one of three largest net exporting states in America. Indeed, regional manufacturers associations, like the VMA, serve as a driving force in promoting manufacturing. VMA was founded in 1980 by local manufacturers and is considered a leader in providing information, education and networking opportunities to help manufacturers succeed and expand.
A core part of VMA’s vision/mission lies in building a cohesive network of partnerships with local manufacturers. The VMA Manufacturers Showcase, for example, is one of its many industry-centric initiatives streamlined to promote and/or build awareness about high-tech manufacturing in Volusia and Flagler counties. The Showcase was held at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University on October 2, 2014.
manufacturers showcase this year, and drew 1,500 people, the largest turnout ever. “Manufacturing is thriving in Florida with average annual wage of $52,000 (up from $48,000 last year) for manufacturing jobs in Volusia County” said Jayne Fifer, VMA president & CEO. This year’s manufacturers’ showcase included a job fair with 26 local employers who were looking to fill more than 300 high skilled positions such as engineering, software designers and production workers. The manufacturers showcase also featured displays by manufacturers throughout Volusia and Flagler counties, a robotics competition that involved six area high school teams and an art show of exhibiting products/artifacts that were created using precision machining tools.
The State of Florida has the third largest population in country, with an official 2020 estimate of 21.5 million persons and approximately 58% of the population is in the civilian labor force (12,600,000).