Chamber hears about manufacturer’s council

Published: Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 10:50 AM.

The manufacturers council is looking at the same challenges as they apply to industrial jobs across the 12-county region. The region, which stretches from Escambia to Franklin counties, is expected to receive $2.6 billion in total 2013 Gross Domestic Product from manufacturing.

Manufacturing provides 14,518 jobs within the regional economy, and generates $985 million in total earnings. The leisure and hospitality industry, on the other hand, employs 63,053 workers in the region and generates $1.3 billion in earnings.

“We looked at the manufacturing jobs in Northwest Florida, and found there are 14,000 jobs with an average annual salary of $67,872,” Grove said. “On the other hand, the tourism industry is paying annual salaries of $20,600.”

For every job in manufacturing, an additional 1.7 jobs are generated in the region.

Getting parents and legislators on board with the idea that manufacturing careers are lucrative has been a challenge, but the state of Florida is ahead of the game, Grove said.

“Adam Putnam, commissioner of agriculture, said recently he would rather be involved in the government of Florida rather than any other state in the country,” Grove said. “While our legislators are debating how much we should be involved in getting our high school and middle school students on track to get industrial certifications, other states are still debating whether or not it should even be an issue.”

Regional manufacturers councils are also found across the country and throughout Florida, but until the forming of the Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council, there was not one in this region, Grove said.

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