Posted: September 29, 2020 by Kelly Murphy-Redd
October is Manufacturing Month. In that light, let’s take a look at how manufacturing is doing in the United States, Florida and Okaloosa County.

In 2018, 264,000 new manufacturing jobs were added in the U.S. This represents the highest number of new workers since 1988. As a percentage of total workforce, manufacturing rose for the first time since 1984.

Manufacturers in the U.S. added 499,000 jobs from November of 2016 to May of 2019, expanding by 4.0%.

Over the last several years, companies have begun re-shoring jobs from other countries back to the U.S. Some examples are:

Insulet Corporation manufactures insulin delivery systems. In 2017 they announced they would be moving production of their flagship product from China to Acton, Massachusetts.
In January 2017, Ford announced they would cancel the $1.6 billion expansion of its Mexico facility and expand operations in the Flat Rock, Michigan facility with a $700 million investment, projected to create 700 jobs.

In July 2017, Merck, along with pharmaceutical manufacturers Pfizer and Corning, committed to making a joint investment of at least $4 billion in pharmaceutical glass manufacturing in the U.S. This is projected to result in the direct hiring of 4,000 U.S. employees across the three companies.

In January 2017, GM announced plans to add or retain 7,000 jobs in the U.S. over the next few years. One of the major projects will be the reshoring of approximately 600 jobs from Mexico to Arlington, Texas.

In 2017,Foxconn announced plans to invest $10 billion to build a manufacturing technology campus in Wisconsin, with a commitment to create 13,000 jobs.

In 2018, Mazda and Toyota announced plans to open a joint assembly facility in Huntsville, Ala.

In February 2018, the biopharma company, Amgen announced they would invest $300 million in a new U.S. biologics plant in West Greenwich, Rhode Island that would employ approximately 300 workers.

In Florida there are 20,553 manufacturing facilities, 371,526 employees, an average annual salary of $56,049 with a total payroll of $22,918,184,597 according to the 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics figures.

Okaloosa County boasts 212 manufacturing businesses employing more than 3,200.

Okaloosa County also has exciting news to share during Manufacturing Month. Okaloosa County manufacturers – Fort Walton Machining and MAG Aerospace, have been selected as finalists for the prestigious 2020 Florida Sterling Manufacturing Business Excellence (SMBE) Awards and are two of only ten finalists statewide.

Another manufacturer – American Elite Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – recently announced that they will be locating a facility in Fort Walton Beach that will employ 50 individuals.  The facility will produce melt blown polypropylene for use in hospital gowns and as filtration for facemasks.  American Elite PPE – a newly-formed subsidiary of Crestview’s American Elite Molding – will be one of only two companies producing this material in the entire country.

With the recent emphasis on “Made in America,” reshoring of manufacturing jobs and the urgent need to establish manufacturing independence with regards to energy, pharmaceuticals and more, it does look like we are seeing a manufacturing renaissance in the United States.