Northwest Florida Manufacturing News Monthly
Reminder: Annual Manufacturers Meeting
Please RSVP for our annual meeting at WaterColor on Thursday, October 19! Meet others who are supporting manufacturing talent here in Northwest Florida and learn what the NWFMC is doing to build the talent pipeline for manufacturers in Northwest Florida. The business meeting starts at 3:00 PM and a reception will follow at 4:30 PM.

Stan Connally, Gulf Power ∙ Scott Luth, Florida West ∙ David Sullivan, Manufacturing Skills Standards Council

St. Joe ∙ SunTrust Bank ∙ Gulf Power ∙ Northwest Florida State College
The NWFMC seeks to build manufacturing awareness among students and career changers, and apprenticeships are a great way to demonstrate this effort. One of the Council’s founding members, Fort Walton Machining (FWM), has led the way in the creation of apprenticeships.

In March 2014, Tim McDonald Sr. of FWM formalized an apprenticeship program with the assistance of departmental Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). Each CNC machinist apprentice is given a completion timeline for his instructional goals, and both the apprentice and trainer formally sign off each task as it is mastered. After completion of all departmental goals, the apprentice moves onto a new department, depending on FWM’s current workload. This departmental rotation not only gives the FWM management team an opportunity to determine an apprentice’s strengths, but also offers the apprentice a chance to experience different production areas and learn what matches his skills and sparks his passion. As of today, FWM has retained 14 of 16 apprentices as current employees.
Manufacturing Marvels: American Elite Molding
NWFMC member American Elite Molding, located in Crestview, Florida, will be featured on a two-minute Fox Business News segment titled “Manufacturing Marvels.” This segment is tentatively scheduled to air the evening of Thursday, October 26 and will highlight American Elite Molding’s “Made in America” branding. American Elite Molding is a manufacturer of plastic molded cable ties and one of the fastest-growing fastener manufacturers in the United States, employing 140 associates and operating 24/7.
Enrollment Numbers
Over the past three years, the Council has focused on implementing manufacturing programs in local middle and high schools. These programs serve not only those students who are entering the workforce, but also those who will continue into manufacturing-related programs at the state college level. Take a look at the Fall 2017 enrollment data and see the what manufacturing programs we have across the region.
New Initiatives
Thanks to our committees and our Northwest Florida educational team, several new initiatives have been implemented and/or underway. Ideas for these initiatives have come from our members, helping to hasten and strengthen the talent pipeline for regional manufacturers. 

Planning Day Pilot Program
As recommended by the Educator Retention subcommittee, the NWFMC has approved funding for four substitutes per Advanced Manufacturing Academy. This allows educators to have an additional planning day each semester. Response to the first planning day has been positive, and with continued success, a recommendation will extend to other educators next year. 

CPT Recipient Interviews
The Board of Directors has agreed to offer interviews to Advanced Manufacturing Academy students. Students must have completed the Certified Production Technician (CPT) credential and will be able to interview with one or more manufacturers in their locality. CareerSource will work with the students to offer resume assistance prior to interviewing. The goal of these interviews is to provide students with knowledge on how to write a resume and how to interview, assisting them as they join the local workforce. Northview High School Advanced Manufacturing students offered this idea to the Council.

The Scholarship subcommittee has narrowed their recommendations and has offered two options to the Board of Directors for consideration:
  • Take Stock in Children identifies students at the end of their eight grade year and mentors them throughout high school. Funding is available to these students once they prepare to begin a two-year certification or degree program.
  • High school seniors may enter into a contract with a local manufacturer and the Council to attend a manufacturing program. Students would be obligated to work for the manufacturer involved.
The CEO Forum - Northwest Florida Region
On Tuesday, December 5, UWF and GrowFL will present The CEO Forum. Featured presenter Robert Sires, CEO of American Elite Molding (AEM), will discuss American manufacturing, the growth of AEM, and his management philosophy. Learn more and register for The CEO Forum today.
Social Media
The Council now has a social media contract with Lance Cook Marketing & Consulting. Follow us!
Annual Manufacturing Meeting
Thursday, October 19
3:00 - 6:00 PM
Have an event you would like to add? 
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This newsletter was developed in collaboration with the University of West Florida.