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Florida's Intermodal Centers Help Increase Trade
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 14:40
Florida is taking steps to handle more of the world's multi-billion dollar trade industry by expanding its intermodal centers, according to the latest Economic Commentary from Florida TaxWatch. Intermodal centers are specialized facilities where goods are moved from one form of transportation to another, such as moving a shipping container from a ship to a train or from rail to truck.

"Florida is uniquely poised to move goods more efficiently than our neighboring states and other competitors," said Dominic M. Calabro, President and CEO of the independent, nonpartisan public policy research institute. "Expanding Florida's intermodal points will allow the state to more efficiently transfer goods and even people between seas, roads, rails, air, and space."

New and improved intermodal centers will result in lower freight prices for Florida consumers and businesses, due to more efficient and cost-effective shipping.
"Recent additions of new and improved intermodal centers will have a great economic impact on Florida's economy and consumers," said Jerry D. Parrish, Ph.D., Chief Economist for Florida TaxWatch. "The centers will add to Florida's economy by providing high-wage jobs to Floridians, while also reducing the cost of goods purchased by Florida consumers."

Florida began incorporating intermodal centers into the Florida Department of Transportation's work plan in 2005, with the adoption of the Strategic Intermodal System Plan, which is required to be updated in December 2015.

As Florida expands its intermodal centers with new rail, road and sea- and air-port infrastructure development, the state can expect to transport more than goods. These centers can help move both Floridians and its nearly 100 million annual visitors around the state more efficiently, as well.

Read about Florida's Intermodal Centers and their expansion plans here:

It's Research that Gets Results!

Florida TaxWatch is a statewide, non-profit, non-partisan research institute that over its 34-year history has become widely recognized as the watchdog of citizens' hard-earned tax dollars.  Its mission is to provide the citizens of Florida and public officials with high quality, independent research and education on government revenues, expenditures, taxation, public policies and programs and to increase the productivity and accountability of Florida state and local government. Its support comes from homeowners and retirees, small and large businesses, philanthropic foundations, and professional associations. On the web at
FCMA Announces 2014 Manufacturers Awards
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 14:22
The First Coast Manufacturers Association (FCMA) announced the winners of its 2014 “Excellence In Manufacturing” awards at a banquet honoring nominees and winners at the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island at its second annual Manufacturing Summit.

The three Manufacturer of the Year awards went to:

Georgia-Pacific Corporation

Georgia Pacific was recognized for its active participation in FCMA and through partnering with the City of Palatka to construct a new wetlands education resource center located in the city’s riverfront district. Called the St. Johns River Center: Adventures in a Wetlands Ecosystem, the project is a $1.2 million project designed to promote the ecological significance of wetlands.


Johnson Controls, Inc.

Johnson Controls provides subject matter experts related to logistics, lean manufacturing, sustainability, and environmental health and safety. They are committed to share their global knowledge and where applicable provide networking information in a business-to-business relationship.


CF Machine & Tool, Inc.

CF Machine has been an active member since 1997, chairing several committees, attending numerous Tallahassee lobbying trips and participating in the Professional Progress program. They are heavily involved in member-to-member business, working with fellow members such as Main Metal Recycling for metal scrap recycling; training through My Executive Solutions; and as well as serving as a vendor to many larger companies requiring their specialized machined parts.


The association also recognized other FCMA members with the following awards:


2014 Workforce Education Award: JEA

Since 1974 JEA has provided an Education Reimbursement Program for college and graduate school degrees, investing between $250,000 and $300,000. They hire approximately 30 college and high school students annually through partnerships with various organizations such as InRoads, the Mayor’s Summer Work Program, as well as colleges. They provide technical courses online via JEA training that enables its employees to obtain Associates degrees in Electrical Production.


2014 Environmental Award: Fleet Readiness Center Southeast

NAS Jacksonville partnered with the city and state on a $4 million reuse project to become the first major generator in North Florida to reach zero discharge in early 2015. It was the first military installation in the nation to change from aerobic treatment to chlorine dioxide disinfection/odor elimination, saving $107,000 per year. Examples of its recycle/reuse successes: transports treated sludge to private hay fields for fertilizer, saving $300,000 per year; recycled 17 tons of vegetable oil, 32 tons used oil, 373 tons range ordnance/targets and 737 tons of glass, paper, cardboard, plastic, wood, electronics and antifreeze last year.


2014 Economic Impact Award: Saft America, Inc.

Saft has made over $220 million in investments in its Jacksonville facility with state-of the-art machinery and production processes. Last year it spent an additional $20 million for a new production line and new products and an additional $1.4 million in R&D.  It localized a portion of its battery production by contracting with a local company (W.W. Gay) to wire for electrical systems, fire suppression and other jobs.


2014 Partner of The Year: Golder Associates, Inc.

Golder has actively participated with FCMA for nearly 20 years, holding leadership positions on its Board of Directors and Committees: EHS, Government Relations, Membership and Community Relations. Over the years they have participated in every major FCMA event. The company regularly serves as a resource to the association by presenting workshop topics by its resident experts related to environmental regulatory issues, remediation, industrial hygiene and permitting.


2014 Founders Service Award: Vistakon

Vistakon is an active supporter of Workforce Development initiatives (such as Advanced Manufacturing and the Maintenance & Reliability and Manufacturing Executives Special Interest Groups) and political action committee efforts. Vistakon is an active contributor to benchmarking amongst local manufacturers and organizations in sponsoring reciprocal tours with companies and governmental agencies, highlighting their commitment to strengthening manufacturing for all of the First Coast. 


The First Coast Manufacturers Association is a non-profit trade association serving Northeast Florida. There are over 1,500 manufacturing companies on the First Coast, supplying over 30,000 jobs and generating nearly 15% of the total gross regional product. Additional media information on FCMA is available at

FMTP Investment Element Approved
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 15:38

On September 17, 2014, the FDOT Executive Board adopted the Investment Element of the Freight Mobility and Trade Plan (FMTP). Thanks to the hard work of over 700 stakeholders, the Plan identifies and prioritizes nearly $32 billion in freight transportation needs. Addressing these needs will help Florida achieve its goal of becoming a major international freight hub. FDOT, along with Enterprise Florida, the Department of Economic Opportunity, the Florida Chamber, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and CareerSource Florida will continue working with private sector partners to implement this plan.

Please visit the partner supported Logistics Portal for additional FMTP information at:

For further information or details, please contact Ed Lee in our Rail/Motor Carrier Office within the Office of Freight, Logisitics and Passanger Operations (FLP) at (850) 414-4535.

In addition, please feel free to reach out to our FLP Modal Offices for specific details regarding our multimodal programs:

Seaport and Waterways Office - Vacant
Enterprise Florida Has Opportunities for You
Thursday, 04 September 2014 19:40

Gold Key/Matchmaker Grants
Enterprise Florida has recently revised its information on Gold Key/Matchmaker Grants for small and medium sized companies.  This is a program that MAF and your Regional Manufacturer Associations have successfully lobbied for and we encourage our manufacturers to take advantage of. 

These grants allow manufactures to: have customized market and industry briefings with qualified trade specialists; obtain timely and relevant market research;  obtain appointments with prospective trade partners in key industry sectors; have post-meeting briefings with trade specialists and assistance in developing appropriate follow-up strategies; and get help with travel, accommodations, interpreter services and clerical support. 

These “grants” are available for Florida manufacturers in the following industries: Aviation and Aerospace, Cleantech, Defense/Homeland Security, Information Technology, Life Sciences, Marine Industry, Other Manufacturing, and Research and Development

The flyer on these “grants” includes details on how to apply. Take advantage of it or tell a friend!

An Array of Services to Help you Export
Enterprise Florida has an array of programs and services to help manufacturers enter or expand in the international marketplace.  These include export counseling, export educational events, overseas trade missions and shows, international trade news and events newsletter, Florida Export Directory, international trade leads, export marketing plans, target sector trade grants, Gold Key/Matchmaker grants, private sector liaison officer with the World Bank, and guidance for export financing.  This is your state tax money working for you!

Business And Trade Topics To Be Main Focus At The FCMA 2014 Summit
Tuesday, 02 September 2014 15:52

Business And Trade Topics To Be Main Focus At The First Coast Manufacturers Association 2014 Summit On Amelia Island

Because of the outstanding response to last year’s initial FCMA Summit’s forum on manufacturing and business topics, the First Coast Manufacturers Association (FCMA) will be conducting its second annual conference, the 2014 Summit on October 3 at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island.

A few of the speakers committed for the Summit include, Florida State Senator Aaron Bean, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel Vinyard, JAXPORT CEO Brian Taylor, Dr. Hal Resnick, a Leadership Development Consultant, entrepreneur, university professor, and author, and many leaders and managers from area manufacturing companies.

Topics to be covered at the Summit include…

  • Supply Chain: Securing Your “Preferred Vendor” Status
  • Manufacturing Technology: 3D Printing to the Cloud
  • Utilizing the Best of Lean Strategies
  • ISO in an Hour – Who Needs It?
  • Strategies Engaging Tomorrow’s Workforce
  • Sharing Best Management Practices
  • Maximizing Millennials
  • Northeast Florida International Trade Roundtable

“There are so many issues facing the manufacturing and logistics industries, and business in general,” explained Lake Ray, president of FCMA. “So this is a forum that is certainly timely and could prove to be extremely helpful for developing future strategies regarding manufacturing and related businesses in Northeast Florida.”

The Summit will be held Friday, October 3 at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island. Attendance is open to anyone. The cost is $299. Reservation details are available at

FCMA is a non-profit trade association serving Northeast Florida. There are over 1,500 manufacturing companies on the First Coast, supplying over 30,000 jobs and generating nearly 15% of the total gross regional product. Additional media information on FCMA is available at

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