MOORE HAVEN -- The Glades County Board of County Commissioners Sept. 14 recognized the month of October as Manufacturing Month and Oct. 1 as National Manufacturing Day by approving a proclamation in a 5-0 vote.
Manufacturing Month is recognized nationwide and by Gov. Ron DeSantis for the state of Florida.
Rob Harris, regional director of Southwest Regional Manufacturing Association of Florida, spoke at the BOCC meeting about the importance of manufacturing at the local level.
As the county grows, Harris urged commissioners to avoid a common mistake of building residential properties to meet the demand without holding some in reserve for manufacturing facilities.
He said as the population in Florida continues to grow, particularly in the center of the state, there are more opportunities than ever for growth and high-paying jobs.
At the same time county boards will be getting requests to rezone land from industrial and agricultural to residential to keep pace with demand, often at the detriment of losing land for the businesses that can provide the jobs to keep residents in the community.
“I’ve seen this happen where there’s no land left for the residents to work,” he said. “So please keep this in mind and keep land available for companies to grow and expand whether they’re within the area or without the area.”
Headquartered in Fort Myers, SRMA connects manufacturers in southwest Florida with educational and informational support, networking events, public relations tools, CEO roundtable discussions, grants and more.
SRMA represents nearly 1,100 manufacturing facilities in the region that produce a variety of products that provides employment for about 13,000 residents at an average annual wage of $55,000. It supports school programs and works with educators to increase awareness of career opportunities.
The proclamation states that recognition of National Manufacturing Day is an effective way to bring attention to the importance of manufacturing in the nation’s economy, drawing attention to high-paying, highly skilled and rewarding manufacturing careers within the local community.