Report From America: Orlando, Florida

By October 26, 2005General

Report from AmericaLast evening, the blogger-in-chief was in Orlando (not to worry–the hurricane had long passed) speaking to the annual dinner of the Manufacturers Association of Central Florida.

This is a group recently rejuvenated by small manufacturer and NAM board member Al Stimac (see Wednesday Poster of the Week). Al is a do-er, a rocket and the personification not only of the best of manufacturing but also of the American Dream. There were probably about 150 manufacturers in the room. We gave them the manufacturing fun facts.

It was great, as always, to be in the company of manufacturers who are out there innovating and driving the economy every day. A big concern from everyone was the problem of attracting and keeping qualified workers. However, here in the shadow of Disney, asked if it’s hard to compete with them for talent, they answered simply, “no – -we pay better”. What can we say? Manufacturing is a great career.

Was privileged to be preceded on the program by Rick Joyce, former President of the Dixon-Ticonderoga, kings of the #2 pencil. He gave a great speech about manufacturing, its risks and opportunities, ended up very bullish on manufacturing.

Two prominent local politicians turned out as well, State Senator Lee Constantine and State Representative Fred Brummer. We appreciate their support for manufacturing. The night finished with the Manufacturer of the Year awards. All the winners are listed on MACF’s website today. Congrats to them, innovators all.

Thanks finally to Jim Whitaker, President of MACF and Executive Director Laurie Price, for the invite and for their hospitality and thanks as always to Al Stimac for his leadership and friendship.