EDC event highlights sector’s growing role in Space Coast economy

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (September 16, 2019) – At the 4th Annual State of Manufacturing event — hosted by the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast’s (EDC) Regional Manufacturing Association (MASC) – attendees celebrated the sector’s growth. Between 2015 and 2018, nearly a quarter (23.3%) of the of jobs created in Brevard County were in manufacturing, far exceeding the state and national numbers of 8.5% and 2.9%, respectively.

Held on September 11, 2019, at Craig Technologies in Cape Canaveral, the event’s keynote speaker Dr. Jerry D. Parrish, Chief Economist and the Director of Research for the Florida Chamber Foundation, said 25,461 were employed in manufacturing in Brevard County in 2018 with an average annual wage of $89,536. According to Dr. Parrish, in 2018 overall manufacturing share of jobs increased to 13.6% and wage share grew to 24.8%.

“The continued strength and diversity of the Space Coast’s manufacturing sector bodes well for the future of the community and the long-term durability of our economy,” said EDC President and CEO Lynda Weatherman, “Our State of Manufacturing event recognizes how Brevard’s manufacturing community, elected officials, and EDC work together to support this strategic growth.”

During the event, Florida State Representative Rene Plasencia and aides to Florida State Senator Debbie Mayfield were honored with the 2019 Manufacturing Champion Award for their support in manufacturing-driven initiatives in the Florida Legislature. MASC Chair Julie Song presented the awards.

A consistent voice for manufacturing training initiatives in the Florida Senate, Senator Mayfield was recognized for helping to equip residents of Brevard with viable skills and career opportunities.

“I am proud to support valuable workforce education programs and hands-on learning opportunities, such as the Talent Asset Pipeline” said Senator Mayfield. “Florida’s Space Coast continues to be at the forefront of the manufacturing and aerospace industries due to the efforts of the Space Coast EDC, MASC, and their community partners.”

As chair of the Workforce Development and Tourism Subcommittee in the Florida House of Representatives, Representative Plasencia was honored as a supporter of workforce development to meet the needs of employers across the state, especially manufacturers in Brevard.

“It is an honor to be selected as a 2019 Manufacturing Champion. The work that the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast has done over the last few years has helped in revitalizing the Space Coast and bring back jobs to the region. I hope to continue working with the EDC to continue providing opportunities to the residents of Brevard County and the region as a whole,” said Representative Plasencia.

Florida State Representative Randy Fine also was honored with this award but was unable to attend the event.

As the EDC’s signature manufacturing event, the State of Manufacturing celebrates modern manufacturing with a focus on inspiring the next generation of manufacturers and connecting to the community at large. The event also kicks off Manufacturing Month on the Space Coast. Manufacturing Month is a national grassroots effort that shapes the public perception of modern manufacturing. Events during the month include facility tours, high school presentations, open houses, and job-shadowing programs, educating students, educators, customers, suppliers, and the community at large about manufacturing, its impact on the economy, and the diverse and rewarding career opportunities it offers. Several local companies plan to take part in these efforts, further promoting the innovation and opportunities available on the Space Coast.

To learn more about Manufacturing Month, visit www.MFGDay.com