Chamber releases “State of Regional Manufacturing” report

The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce released its “2013 State of the Regional Manufacturing Sector” report on April 22. The report is the result of a partnership between the Chamber and the Advanced Manufacturing Association of North Central Florida – which is now the Advanced Manufacturing Council under the Chamber – that began in June 2013.

SiVance’s Brian Soucek, chair of the Council, said that disbanding the association and reforming under the Chamber made sense because they’re goals are the same and they can do a better job of developing manufacturing together.

“We know manufacturing has growth potential in the area,” said Chamber Vice President of Economic Development Susan Davenport. “What we’re here to do is facilitate the execution of strategies, facilitate collaboration and increase business retention and expansion.”

The report was compiled from responses to a survey sent to 25 regional manufacturers in Alachua and Gilchrist Counties, including Encell, Exactech, Sinmat, RGI Medical and Invivo. These manufacturers employ about 2,800 of the around 4,000 workers in the local industry.

You can read the entire report on the Chamber website, but some highlights include:

13 predict a capital investment over the next three years totaling $227 million.

14 predict 628 total new jobs over the next three years.

20 anticipate new products and services in the next three years.

44 percent would spend 6 percent of their total sales on R&D.

72 percent of companies said total sales were increasing.

5 companies said their primary market was international.

Some concerns that the report uncovered were legislation like the medical device tax, talent recruitment in areas like programming, engineering and IT, and quality of public services like public transportation and zoning changes.

“iG was the starting point,” Davenport said. “Now we’re using executive leadership in the community to identify opportunities. Now we’re getting even more specific into individual sectors and that clarity helps with recruitment.”


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