The FloridaMakes Network issued the 2020 Legislative Candidate Questionnaire. Candidates running for the Florida Senate and House of Representatives were asked questions addressing key issues of importance to the Network and related to the future of manufacturing in the state. These included jobs and economic development, investing in manufacturing, and STEM education/tech workforce. Their responses are listed below by geographic region, noting the manufacturers association covering each region. 

To view each candidates answers to the Questionnaire, click on the “+” next to their name to expand. 

*Incumbents who responded to the survey.

Tampa Bay: Bay Area Manufacturers Association (Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties)

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

Target Clean water air and energy to lead the state's recovery from COVID19.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

The state should fund incentives for clean energy, air and water programs to combat climate change and create new jobs which can't be farmed out overseas.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

Give special priority in funding for public education to Stem education and union sponsored technical apprenticeships across the state.

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

Regulations should be developed to protect our citizens and the environment. We should promote the employment of veterans and returning citizens. We should encourage the formation of B corporations.

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

All of our state’s other major issues have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus and Tallahassee’s lackluster response to it. We need to get this virus under control as it’s the only way to effectively get our economy back on track. We must support small businesses and the consumers they rely on so that we can get the economy back on track. The legislature must repair our broken unemployment system, and invest in our small businesses and growing industries like renewable energy.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

I majored in Economics at the University of Tampa, but you don’t need a degree to understand that Floridians building things in state and selling them elsewhere is good for our economy. We need growth industries, like manufacturing, to help sustain the local service-side of our economy; we simply cannot have one without the other.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

Recognizing that not everyone needs to be in a college pipeline is important to our workforce development strategy. The technically demanding jobs of my generation’s future require coding, troubleshooting knowhow, and skills in math, science, and engineering. We should invest in these graduates and workers now so we are not left behind as a state. Florida has professional training systems that should be expanded. We need to invest in student loan programs for STEM students that can be forgiven if they stay in-state and work in areas where they are most needed after graduating. >

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

Not really other than simply to add that I’d love to work with you to get our state back to work quickly, safely, and more productive than before.

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

I’ve sold the state to corporate and leisure markets as a national sales manager for Virgin Atlantic Airways. I can do it again as a State Representative. I’ve been reading about seven chambers of commerce in Southwest Florida banding together to lobby the Legislature on water quality. The chambers realized just how integral clean air and water are to their businesses. “We realized all of our members, businesses, were tied to water — whether they were in tourism or not,” said John Lai, president and CEO of the Sanibel and Captiva Chamber of Commerce in a recent article. The chambers quantified the economic impact of Southwest Florida’s water crisis and brought their findings straight to state lawmakers. I can fit in at a tree hugger sierra club meeting and a bottom line corporate board room because I’ve done both. I’ll bring these two groups to the table for environmental justice to offer common sense solutions to the people of Tampa Bay. I’ll get things done. Additionally, since the pandemic started, I have called for Small Business Saturday every Saturday. We have highlighted over 400 businesses and connected countless businesses to resources.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

I think we should invest more in small businesses and manufacturing. The Florida Legislature funded corporations at $543 million but small businesses at $50 million. We need to increase this funding. We also need to get the pandemic under control to grow the economy and protect jobs. We can resume the economy by following CDC guidelines and listening to the scientists -- without shutting it down.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

I think a lot of this is marketing. Manufacturing jobs are great jobs with great pay. We need to educate young people about the workforce and sector. We need to invest in apprenticeship programs. I think more high schools should partner with businesses so kids can explore these jobs. It's not all about college. We need to get out of these narrow mindsets. >

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

The government need to create programs to reeducate adults in the workforce to be able to perform the jobs in demand to compensate for closed business. Provide Tax incentives and loans to help Small businesses to reopen.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

The creation of public- Private alliances to reopen or stablish manufacture plants to produce goods that are normally imported from China.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

We need Grants and Loans to promote the education of the displaced workers and provide incentives to corporations to hire the apprentices so they can get the necessary experience after getting initial training.>

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

We need to overhaul the unemployment process, we need to provide training for jobs displaced and assistance to those affected by the pandemic.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

We should keep needed regulations but get rid of unneeded ones. We should sunset regulations so that we are sure that they are still relevant today.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

We need to expand apprentice opportunities and expand the STEM programs in non college bound vocations.>

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

This is an important part of the Florida business community.

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

Florida has become the 16th largest economy in the world, this is due largely in part to our tourism industry. With this Pandemic, Florida will need to get it's act together as to prevent a prolonged absence of tourism to our state which could cripple our economy. One facet of what we could do immediately is enact a mask mandate statewide, and enforce it being that the research proves it would be beneficial toward getting this pandemic under control WITHOUT us having to close everything down again.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

The manufacturing industry would get a MASSIVE boon if we in the Sunshine State invested in renewable green energy resources and much of the framework is already in place. We currently already have incentives for families who choose to go solar, imagine if the State invested in this resource and pushed it statewide. The Manufacturing industry would receive A LOT of investment/revenue throughout the transition to renewable sources as demand rises! It's a billion dollar industry that only has room to grow here in Florida, and making it so is only a matter of having the right people in place to pursue the growth.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

FUND OUR SCHOOLS PROPERLY. As a teacher I have personally seen the benefits of technical apprenticeships and promoting STEM. Part of the issue however is the abysmal funding the state provides it's schools. For example the state has an average spending per student per year of 8,500-8,800$. This isn't nearly enough of an investment in our students for us to truly promote/sponsor technical programs for students to enter the workforce right or shortly after high school. Especially with the phenomenon of the inflation of degrees, where the Bachelors is the new Associates, not to mention the massive amounts of debt being incurred.>

Big Bend Region: Big Bend Manufacturers Council (Liberty, Franklin, Gadsden, Leon, Wakulla, Jefferson, Madison, and Taylor Counties)

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

Reduce unnecessary government rules and regulations.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

First of all, find out why there is not more manufacturing in our state and then address those obstacles and threats to free enterprise. May need some tax breaks to be more competitive with overseas manufacturing. Covid-19 has exposed our dangerous dependence on other countries for some very basic essential and strategic materials and supplies, such as PPE and various common drugs and antibiotics. Florida ought to identify the obstacles that are chasing these opportunities overseas and take the lead in exploring policies that will attract this light manufacturing to our community through incentives and reduced government regulations.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

Let middle school and high school know about vocational education opportunities and the rewards and benefits of those careers, and that it is a viable and respected option to traditional academic education. If they are not already doing so, DOE should put a resourced emphasis on vocational ed and STEM. Engage the private sector for advice in these efforts and explore public/private partnerships. >

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

It is important that we diversify our economy.

First Coast: First Coast Manufacturers Association (Nassau, Duval, Clay, St. John’s, Putnam, and Flagler Counties)

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

First step is to elect a Representative like Emmanuel who's REFUSING salary as your Representative. My platform calls for incentivizing businesses. Helping struggling businesses gain access to funding, training and new markets. I am huge on utilizing our Educational arenas for helping jumpstart jobs growth and economic development. By increasing funding to our Educational System for Students' innovations and startups, I believe Florida can forge new paths forward.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

This is where I would convene the experts to weigh in and present their findings. I am an objective guy. I wouldn't want to single-handedly conclude on the criteria until the experts have weighed in on the issue.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

Pew Researchers found that while STEM/Workforce tend to be highly educated approximately a third do not have a Bachelor's degree or higher. There's still the opportunity to heed the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology recommendations and implement College and Career ready standards and develop improved assessments that are aligned with those standards. Introduce policies that promote a STEM-proficient Workforce and Educational opportunities. >

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

With a multitude of critical resiliency and infrastructure projects in dire need of completion, there are potentially tens of thousands of jobs ready if the state and federal government would simply invest in them. Additionally, far more than $30mil in loans and grants must be made available to small and medium sized businesses to get back on their feet.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

Florida can be a leader in not just the installation of solar panels and battery storage technology but the manufacturing of it as well. With the incredible talent we have as a state, incentives for homeowners to install this technology would drive an incredible number of manufacturing, installation and maintenance jobs. In addition, more investment into workforce development boards and loan and grant programs for small manufacturers would help a great deal.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

We must work towards a future where people leave high school with marketable skills. That starts with ensuring a high quality public education emphasizing STEAM education and ends with technical training programs and deeper connection with workforce development boards.>

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

I would love to learn more about the industries legislative priorities for the upcoming cycles.

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

Employers, including manufacturers, are seeking needed protection from frivolous and lawsuits especially those related to COVID-19. Providing this protection, for employers who have used reasonable care, is vital to get our economy moving again.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

In order to have a well prepared workforce, we need to continue to invest in pre-K through 12 education. This should include ensuring students are aware of college and non-college routes to well paying careers. Our future depends on it. We need to continue to invest in transportation and communication/digital infrastructure so Floridians can compete in the 21st century economy and beyond.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

We need to invest in opportunities for youth to explore STEM in a fun, educational way as early in their education as possible. Exploring career options and choosing ban apprenticeships and technical training should be options for every middle and high school student in Florida. Infrastructure investment that eliminate the digital divide will help assure every child has opportunities to learn, grow and be aware of new tech and manufacturing opportunities are investments that need to be made to be sure Florida and America has a workforce prepared to compete in the 21st century economy.>

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

Keep up the good work. Please call on me. Your success is vital to the future of Florida and created opportunities our residents need and want.

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

The Florida Legislature is made up of individuals with little background in manufacturing. My personal experience is only from the occupational health side. It would be best for them to stay out of the way and allow those who understand manufacturing to run their business as best suits market demand.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

Reduce taxes and remove barriers to entry while ensuring an environment friendly to working families.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

I have no specific positions here.>

Central Florida: Manufacturers Association of Central Florida (Lake, Seminole, Orange, Osceola, and Volusia Counties)

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

The Florida Legislature should hold the Governor accountable for unconstitutional actions imposed on individuals and small business owners. All businesses should be allowed to open at 100% capacity.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

The state government should not impose restrictions or otherwise have unreasonable hurdles to jump for safe manufacturing businesses.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

Offer high school and/or college credit for students in the STEM and technological apprenticeship programs. If no programs exist, create them. >

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

Government should be almost entirely hands-off the manufacturing industry. Only step in when rights are being violated.

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

As the State begins to recover from economic development, we must first ensure that our small businesses have access to resources to help them stay in businesses. Small business is the fuel to the Florida economy and we must protect them. We also can propel the economy by getting COVID under control.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

Stem and Workforce training are essential to the future of our state. While it is important to encourage students to study those subjects, we must also provide access to trade, technical, and vocational opportunities. We can do this by working closely with our school districts to expand opportunities for students. The business community also has a role in hiring students and letting them get a start.>

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts.

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

Ensure no additional tax burden is placed on Florida's business community. Aggressively work to safely re-open Florida's economy.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

Expand workforce development programs at K-12, State College and career re-training centers in order to provide FLorida manufacturing operations with a stable and well-trained skilled workforce.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

Fully fund current programs and significantly expand Space Florida's partnerships to grow the design and manufacturing sectors of the Space industry. Florida currently only has 3% of the U.S. space industry. This is an area for significant future growth.>

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

Florida Makes has been an accurate & valuable resouce for me during my first term.

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

Allow businesses to open as long as they adhere to cleaning instructions and question staff daily about illness. Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

The state should continue to recruit businesses by offering tax incentives that more progressive state refuse to offer.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

The State of Florida’s second largest industry is computer simulation. Schools should offer more computer training for students to encourage a better understanding of technology.

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

Manufacturing and technology jobs are good for the economy.

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

We need to help the small business owners and those who are unemployed.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

Florida needs to investing in companies, labor force, and material production.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

We should encourage as many different forms of trade, career and education as possible. >

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

My opponent crafted the current unemployment system that is crippling our economy.

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

Pass tort reform, cut taxes, and cut government regulation.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

By adding more funding for technical education.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

By adding more funding for STEM Education and funding for technical apprenticeship opportunities. >

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

We need to diversify our economy, so we do not rely so heavily on tourism. We could expand tax credits in the film and television industry to bring in high-paying jobs, that would spend money in our restaurants and hotels. We should invest in green energy technologies that would not only help our environment, which tourism and agriculture rely on, but would create jobs and industry for our state economy. And we need to extend broadband to more areas across the state to allow more rural areas to be a part of our state economy in a more efficient way.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

We need to invest in aerospace and green technologies. We should be a leader in both industries, manufacturing parts right here in Florida. Parts for self-sustaining water reclamation stations, solar power, zero-emission public transportation, and satellites could all be manufactured right here in Florida. Companies could bring their headquarters here based on the current business climate and there could be added incentives for materials manufactured here in Florida.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

We should expand technical opportunities in our public schools. This would be an excellent opportunity for charter schools to offer an alternative for students who have demonstrated a preference for technical apprenticeship. We should expand scholarships in Florida for STEM education, to not only encourage students to strive in those areas, but to keep them here at our outstanding Florida colleges and universities.>

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

As we see a reconfiguration of the global economy, the Florida Legislature should promote manufacturing in fields such as robotics, fiber optics, 3D printing and other areas that could be alternative careers for workers displaced from the tourism and hospitality industries. Automation is increasing and workers will need to up skill to be prepared for coming job openings. COVID-19 has revealed that Florida can no longer rely primarily on tourism and hospitality which have been tremendously negatively impacted by the pandemic.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

The State should offer incentives to companies that are engaged in manufacturing in Florida. Attracting manufacturing to Florida will address supply chain issues that have surfaced due to trade wars and the virus. Enterprise Florida should be key in terms of promoting the State as an economy where manufacturers can find the talent and technology needed to sustain their operations. Florida should also invest in research institutes to identify emerging trends and business needs.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

A highly skilled workforce will be needed to support manufacturing in STEM areas. Schools must begin to emphasize science, technology, engineering and math in order to prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow. Apprenticeship programs in STEM areas should be incorporated into the curricula of secondary and post secondary educational institutions. Apprenticeships lead to employment and allow students to gain valuable practical experiences that make them competitive in the job market. >

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

Ensure that trades don't have unreasonable barriers to entry, ensuring licensing and permitting rules are flexible and not overly burdensome, low taxes, tax breaks for attractive new businesses.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

Tax incentives and low regulations.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

Encourage and support STEM and Technical charter schools and ensure school curriculum recognizes the importance of technical education. >

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

Set up investment funds to encourage manufacturing and new entrepreneurial businesses. Reduce taxes on new businesses for the first year and offer tax credits to investors. Support programs in our schools to ensure a skilled and trained workforce.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

Reduce burdensome regulations and obstacles and develop policies that promote innovation. Employment opportunities are key to economic growth.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

Offer the opportunity of STEM curriculums in all public schools. Develop, in partnership with industry and education leaders, a framework that could expand technical opportunities.

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

I support public-private partnerships to encourage both the expansion of existing manufacturing industries and the recruitment of new manufacturing businesses to Florida.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

I support tax incentives from both the state and local government to increase Florida's manufacturing businesses.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

I support additional educational funding for public schools to advance STEM educational opportunities and I strongly support apprenticeship programs and certification training programs that support employment opportunities in manufacturing and other technical and trade vocations.>

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

Thank you for this opportunity to share my views with your organization

Space Coast: Manufacturers Association of Florida’s Space Coast (Brevard County)

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

To promote job growth and economic development, the Florida Legislature needs to introduce new forms of state income by expanding and diversifying other industries like manufacturing, agriculture, etc. and not not relying as heavily on tourism. In order to do this, we need to create new green jobs that employ more people and protect our environment. Our economy will grow better when we have workers and consumers who are able to grow the economy instead of big corporations pouring money in. If we give our citizens the tools they need to become employed and active members of our economy, it will recover and continue to thrive. Because we are recovering from COVID-19, we also need to introduce workplace and state policies to promote healthy habits and keep our workers safe.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

The best way for the state to invest in manufacturing is to give the next generation the best opportunity to work trade jobs. The only way we will accomplish this is by de-emphasizing that college is the only path as a viable avenue to securing a successful career. If we push more high schoolers to apprenticeships and other trade jobs, we will be investing in our future and manufacturing. Having gone to a small private institution for my undergraduate degree and then a larger public university for my master’s degree, I truly believe that college isn’t for everyone and we need to teach our children that there are other options and routes for success.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

The Florida Legislature should introduce new opportunities to allow for work-study and high school credit for students to pursue technical apprenticeships. In order to do this, we need to keep public dollars in the public school system. We also need to help expand high schools that would be willing and able to put together STEM programs and create cooperative measures from local companies to work with students. If we put together agreements with local manufacturing businesses to take stock in and train the high school students, they can learn the trade skills and this will allow for hiring after high school graduation. >

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

We need to make sure that we are going to give every opportunity to our citizens to find employment as we recover from COVID-19. One way to create these new jobs is by increasing the manufacturing industry by creating new green jobs.

Nature Coast: Nature Coast Manufacturers Association (Citrus, Hernando, and Pasco Counties)

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

Encourage more STEM training in schools, incentivize skills training for those students not college bound, and promote public/private partnerships for apprenticeship training.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

Develop infrastructure in opportunity zones that encourage business growth. Improve transportation systems; roads, etc. to facilitate logistics. Keep taxes low. Train a workforce and provide for lower cost workforce housing. Reduce burdensome, ineffective and inefficient regulations.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

See answer above. Incorporate STEM and industrial certifications as a portion or school evaluations. Test middle school students on aptitude and council students as they matriculate given those results. >

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

FL needs more clean manufacturing. I have passed legislation legalize and encourage the industrial HEMP industry in FL. We can continue to look for new and exciting industries; i.e. space.

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

A way to open has to also be a safe way because, although economic development is important you can't prosper at all if your working population is sick and/or incapacitated and both the workers and the businesses need to be represented by representatives that can provide legislative assistance that also considers both the employees as well as the employers.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

The State should invest in manufacturing only when it benefits all parties and must consider the workers more than the wealthy businessmen who pay wages that the working people cannot be expected to survive on, much less support their families on.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

A STEM/Workforce is fine as long as it brings along a union that protects not just the employers but also the employees.

Northwest Florida: Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council (Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun, and Gulf Counties)

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

encourage jobs outside the scope of college and tourism.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

Partnering with businesses and local leadership to determine the best fit for each area. using the resources available to create a more collaborative impact on gaining a better skilled workforce.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

Continue to support organizations that teach and encourge STEM, to include continued funding and incentives for these programs. I am a huge advocate for STEM, and serve on our local MESS Hall board for many years.>

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

Thank you for what you do! I look forward to working with your organization.

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

It should ensure businesses that we take the spread of this virus seriously and we have been willing to follow set protocols to protect employees, customers, & purveyors. It should promote our workforce as talented, educated, & capable. It should tout our low tax rates, available properties, Interstate access, and other compatible logistics applications available.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

Through tax reliefs for businesses on a sliding scale that starts small to help them get started, then increase as they become profitable. It should encourage manufacturing because it brings great paying labor force jobs with economic growth to our state.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

I think apprenticeships are not used to their potential. Instead of saddling young people with crushing debt for a degree they may never find a job to fulfill, it is important to find a workable alternative. Focusing on science, tech, engineering, and math makes a smarter more informed generation of workers to ensure we have a better chance at a longer future.>

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

I will conduct research and let you know. Thank you for the opportunity to answer these questions.

Sarasota – Manatee: Sarasota-Manatee Manufacturers Association (Sarasota and Manatee Counties)

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

To promote more manufacturing Jobs.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

I read an article in Florida Trend about investing in manufacturing jobs. Quote from the article: "Until the corona virus outbreak, Florida's manufacturing sector was booming growing both in jobs and productivity. Longer term, as the impact of Covid-19 diminishes, it's biggest challenge may be attracting workers." Therefore, jobs fell. We need a consensus candidate who will create jobs with computers and electronic products aerospace parts and other transportation equipment." Now, that the corona virus is a way of life for Florida, these scientific technologies should have an impact for combating the Covid-Virus. Since the Virus is airborne, for example, aerospace would be a good example.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

Science and Technology are important for apprenticeship opportunities. The SEAP program helps High School students to obtain an apprenticeship opportunity. This program will help create jobs for High School students entering the work force. Now, that Covid 19 is a way of life, Science and Technology should be a paramount to combat this serious Virus.>

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

Thank you for allowing me to answer your questions. I will always protect the manufacturing industry in Florida.

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

Encourage “Made in America” legislation at the federal level to move more of the manufacturing work back from overseas; provide low land use costs for manufacturing companies in Florida; assist in affordable housing for low-skill/low-paid workers; reduce regulation

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

Low tax, low regulation. Continued investment in infrastructure. Take advantage of the fact that FL is the southeastern most stepping off point for the US. Improve transit options—strengthen ports, deepen waterways, improve roads, airports, etc.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

Tuition assistance for students who graduate into STEMM industries or jobs, as well as for STEMM major students who stay in Florida for 2-4 years after graduating.

South Florida: South Florida Manufacturers Association (Indian River, Okeechobee, Saint Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe)

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

The Florida Legislature can continue to invest in infrastructure and invest in public/private partnerships with universities and private industry to maximize innovation and future growth. We can provide investment into companies and promote job growth by providing property tax exemptions for 2 years for businesses with less than 50 employees and for 1 year for businesses less than 100 employees provided those funds are directed into their various industries. The would help to jump start small businesses in the recovery phase from the pandemic.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

Florida is well positioned for aerospace and marine technology due to our pre-existing industries. I think that we can further expand into technology development and the pharmaceutical industry as we try to bring many of these jobs back from overseas. Public/private partnerships can help to provide the support to get those industries off the ground.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

I feel the education system needs to be refocused on STEM courses and providing appropriate instructors for to excel instead of the failed common core courses of the prior administration and is a key part of my platform. Students that are interested in the technical aspects instead of STEM should be able to focus on apprenticeships earlier in their education and allow them to get a jump start on developing their technical skills. >

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

I look forward to further developing job growth in Florida

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

The legislature needs to create a unified and effective response. It should provide added assistance and guidance to local businesses to rebuild as we recover from the COVID-19 economic hit. As they receive this assistance, they could also receive grants and incentives for giving job opportunities to those left unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

The state should work towards creating a series of programs targeted towards small and medium manufacturing companies that educate and promote technology advancement as not a way to cut costs or eliminate jobs, but rather, as a way to become more competitive.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

Create and perhaps incentivize programs for manufacturing companies to host hands on tours and engagement with students in high school and college that promote entering into manufacturing careers.

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

Florida can offer tax incentives when new businesses locate manufacturing plants to the state. The state legislature can encourage local municipalities and counties to reciprocate with tax incentives of their own. I am against the state paying companies or other entities to relocate to the state. The state could also advertise the fact that Florida is a "right to work state."

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

The answer to question #4 above answers the "how." The state should never get involved in bribery of any kind either offering or receiving. Any exchange of goods and services at no charge is bribery. Our state offers some of the best incentives already with low taxes (individual and corporate) and a wonderful climate. Some areas even offer low land prices and tax bases.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

Florida has been on the cutting edge of promoting and expanding STEM and technical education and apprenticeship opportunities. Current programs can easily be expanded by the Legislature through the Department of Education and incentives to counties that have little or no opportunities in existence. >

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

When I started my career and family during and after college, we lived for several years in manufactured homes--many of which were on wheels. We called them "mobile homes." I am a believe and supporter of the manufactured homes industry.

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

Covid is something of a terrible thing that has put a damper and strain on our economic system. I would want manufacturing and assembly completed in the United States and in Florida. Florida has made great contributions to the aviation industry and space industry. I will check line-item vetoes to see what could be appropriated back into the budget. Low interest loans possibly a grant depending on the company situation. Florida also has an advisory Council for small minority businesses development opportunities. Corporations can look into the department of management services within the state of Florida that’s housed within the purchasing department.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

Reverting back to my school hood experiences this form of education needs to start at least in middle school. Shop classes of various sorts to teach how manufacturing is done and how things are made in the real world. I’ve had machine shop classes welding classes woodworking etc.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

I grew up in New York City attending public schools. The public schools had shop classes and other forms of hands-on training such as aviation math, science, performing arts,. Most who came out of a public school system when I graduated were able to function in the job market. They were internships through union jobs.>

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

I’m retired law enforcement and military. Most of my working career has been hands on with trades.

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

In light of COVID-19, we must set up mechanisms to help the existing businesses and protect the industries we have now. We need to offer more large, medium and small size business loans (PPP business loans). We must ensure that they are as sound as they can be in this economy. We must also lobby Congress for additional funding.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

By offering incentives for industry to come to Florida especially in rural and economic opportunity zones to help with the local economy. We must also invest in technical apprenticeship opportunities to develop a qualified workforce.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

As a Broward County School Board member for the last 16 years, we have worked to expand our STEM Education, CTACE and technical apprenticeship opportunities including offering technical programs to our students while they are enrolled in high school . We have one of the largest technical college programs in the southeastern United States. The State Legislature must provide additional funding to create much needed programming, the State Department of Education and local Districts must apply for federal grants, strategic partnerships must be encouraged between school districts and local industries and the State should allow flexibility within graduation requirements to allow students to leave high school with industry certification.

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

Allow me to start by saying two essential components interwoven to my answers to all of these questions. For any state or region to be "manufacturing friendly," it requires several fundamental attributes. To start, a pool of well-educated and trained people provides the human capital to provide a workforce and management cadre. Even today, with the increasing use of automation and artificial intelligence, our people are our most important asset. Next, manufacturing needs a well-functioning supporting infrastructure, starting with transportation. All manufacturing facilities are wholly dependent on transportation infrastructure to bring raw materials to the factory floor and move finished products out, both with minimal delays. In an increasingly global marketplace, this now means quick access to air and ocean freight facilities equipped for large-scale, intermodal transportation, and with the capacity for future expansion as manufacturing in Florida expands. Lastly, these two factors are tied together through a superior education system, from pre-K to post-grad, coupled with an equally robust vocational-technical training program. Having good schools and safe communities (as well as one state income tax) is a significant incentive to recruit and retain superior talent in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Superlative colleges and universities not only serve to create a pool of new employees, as well as serve as excellent partners for the research and development of new products. ___ Long before receiving this questionnaire, I pointed out in my website (http://navariniforflorida.com/issues/leadership-to-build-our-economy/) that one of many things I will take the lead as State Representative is to encourage my colleagues in the Florida Legislature to seek out and support public-private partnerships to improve, modernize and expand critical business generating infrastructure across Florida. What will be critical in this is establishing and encouraging a synergistic mix of established Florida-based companies coupled with new out-state / out-of-country partners, always making sure we are not inadvertently importing unfair competition to Florida firms. The state should be actively involved in ensuring our gateway infrastructure, such as our seaports, airports, and intermodal and ground transportation systems, are improved to state-of-the-art, and with additional built-in capacity for future expansion. These upgrades will allow us to fully maximize our geographic advantage of being located in the center of the Americas, and our demographic advantage of our hard-working multi-lingual workforce. Lastly, key in all this is that the s t a t e i s n e v e r i n v o l v e d i n p i c k i n g w i n n e r s a n d l o s e r s b u t i n s t e a d s e r v e s a s a c a t a l y s t t o g r o w o u r p r o f i t a b l e c o m p a n i e s ' p o o l . T h i s s h o u l d i n v o l v e d e c i s i v e a c t i o n o n s e v e r a l f r o n t s . W e s h o u l d b e m o r e a c t i v e i n t h e f o m e n t i n g o f f e d e r a l , s t a t e , t r i b a l , c o u n t y , a n d l o c a l g o v e r n m e n t s , p e r h a p s e v e n a n g e l i n v e s t o r s , i n c r e a t i n g l o c a l a n d r e g i o n a l i n c u b a t o r s t o f o s t e r t h e d e v e l o p m e n t a n d s u c c e s s f u l g r o w t h o f b o t h h i g h - t e c h a n d t r a d i t i o n a l s m a l l b u s i n e s s e s . A n o t h e r , m o r e d i r e c t w a y t h e l e g i s l a t u r e c a n h e l p m a n u f a c t u r i n g g r o w t h i n r e w r i t i n g m o r e p u t a t i v e l a w s i n t o m o r e c o m m o n - s e n s e

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

As mentioned before, the state's proper function in a free-market economy is not to select winners and losers but rather to present an even playing field, and allow the market to guide toward improvement without outside interference. Regulations should serve a purpose larger than to merely "regulate" and obstruct growth,. Regulatory agencies should take more interest in proactively assisting companies in following reasonable regulation, such as in workplace safety and environmental protection, rather than just putative actions after the fact. Such an attitude does far less in protecting workers and the natural environment and far more in needlessly raising costs. Beyond the improvement of critical infrastructure as mentioned in my responses to other questions, at the state level, our “investments” should be in the direction of helping our existing businesses prosper and grow. Concurrently, we should encourage new (and when possible, non-competing) domestic and international companies re-locate and invest in Florida. The perfect scenario for this would be to assist international firms to link with Florida manufacturers to serve as their manufacturing partner for the U.S. market. Additionally, we should be assisting Florida manufacturers in finding and service new markets for their products overseas, either as part of a broader federal trade mission or when necessary on our own, as to globalize the market for Florida manufacturers. Lastly, as the Legislature, we should continuously be striving to right-size our state structure and expenses as to keep our tax burden as light as possible on all the taxpayers of Florida.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

Back during the presidential debates in 1992, the late Ross Perot used economist Michael J. Boskin's comparison of the manufacture of potato chips and computer chips to stress the importance of STEM education and its direct impact on high tech industries. While both chips add to our lives at an elemental level, I also understand and embrace the point Perot was trying to make. Moving from the debate stage to the factory floor, if we are interested in growing manufacturing in Florida, the state needs to its part in having a more robust education program for all its citizens, starting, of course, with our school-aged children. Again, referring to my website (http://navariniforflorida.com/issues/leadership-to-improve-education/) written way before this questionnaire, I address this in detail and invite your attention to the same. I see the question less as STEM vs. Vo/Tech and more along the lines of why not both? I firmly believe that every Florida student should have access to both, for if presented properly, they can complement each other. For example, let us take two future mechanical engineering students. While in high school, one of the only took advanced STEM classes. The other student augmented her studies and earned her SAE certification as an auto mechanic or FAA Airframe and Powerplant license. Not only will she have lower student debt upon graduation (as even a part-time aircraft mechanic makes more than a bartender or waiter), but when she applies to one of your member companies, she will be able to add five years operational experience on top of their Bachelor degree. Which one would you hire? As your next state representative, I would like to see that we greatly expand internship and apprenticeship programs across the state, so every student wanting to learn real-world manufacturing has that opportunity. In so doing, together, we will create a cadre of better-qualified and more educated students. Both will significantly benefit Florida. >

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

The idea of manufacturing as a smoke-stake industry of the industrial north-east is as obsolete as an eight-track tape. Today, Florida manufacturers, both large and small, have added over 55.8 billion dollars to the Florida economy, well over 5.3 percent of the State GDP (2018). Our 12.500+ companies across the state provide direct employment to over 367 thousand Floridians as well s an unmeasured number of thousands of additional workers through these firms' secondary impact, both adding immeasurably to local or regional economies without causing any environmental impact. Even with its relatively small numbers, only 4.23% of non-farm employment, manufacturing in Florida adds a much-needed diversity and stability to what is now in significant part a tourist-driven, service economy. In short, while impactful, I see there is still untapped opportunity to grow, and an economic imperative to do as much. With these facts in mind, I would be a strong proponent that the State of Florida, particularly the Florida Legislature, take firm and coordinated steps with our manufacturing organization partners, working together to forge a path forward to grow economically and environmentally sustainable manufacturing business across Florida. When elected, I look forward to working together with Florida Makes and its partners toward this end. Together, we can grow manufacturing in Florida.

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

COVID-19 has exacerbated Florida's lack of economic diversity, where low-paying service and agricultural jobs dominate. These are jobs that are too vulnerable to virus transmission as well as economic cycles. My district, in Hialeah, was once a vibrant light manufacturing center. Today, most of the manufacturing buildings are boarded up. Whatever steps the state government can make to bring back clean, modern American manufacturing jobs to Hialeah and other communities in Florida is a priority for me. This should include traditional manufacturing and assembly, and to the extent possible, high-technology and energy innovation enterprises and job shops.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

I want to learn from the experts how Florida can establish effective incentives and a fertile climate for manufacturing in the state. Just across the border, in Georgia and Alabama, they are making cars, buses, rail cars, and much more. Why not Florida? It is critical that we diversify our economy, with an emphasis on high-paying manufacturing and energy jobs.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

Florida's education system should be tailored to provide encouragement and pathways for technical careers in order to build a strong manufacturing workforce, as we work in parallel to recruit and establish new manufacturing employers and educational infrastructure throughout the state.>

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

For a decade, I was a manufacturing jobs advocate for the non-profit American Welding Society, where I worked as communications director. Prior to that, I was an economic development consultant to several Florida cities, where I worked to attract manufacturing companies. Most recently, I worked as an executive at a Florida manufacturer of lighting products. I am now retired, but I want to work as a legislator to restore high-paying manufacturing careers to my community, where good manufacturing jobs were once plentiful, and to other Florida communities, through strong vocational education, incentive policies, and economic growth programs.

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

To ensure job growth and economic development, the Legislature should ensure that we are first addressing the public health crisis- our economic crisis cannot be solved until the public health crisis is addressed. We should have a state-wide mask mandate and robust contact and trace program. The Legislature should ensure that any Floridian who needs or wants a test can receive one, and first responders and schools have adequate supplies of tests and PPE. From there, the Legislature should ensure that our unemployment system works and then expand it as we may see continued waves of unemployment. Finally, the state should look at ways to support Florida’s small businesses, which bear the brunt of this crisis.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

In Florida, our environment is our economy, and the challenges of the climate emergency, while daunting, provide a huge economic opportunity- including in manufacturing. Florida should create a comprehensive plan to address the climate emergency, which includes the manufacturing of solar panels and other climate mitigation tools right here in Florida. Florida should also look for ways to support small and particularly women or minority-owned manufacturing businesses.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

The Legislature should look at ways to partner with industry and schools to advance STEM education opportunities, starting early and leading into apprenticeship opportunities. Particularly, the Legislature should look at encouraging programs that focus on increasing the inclusion of women and communities of color in STEM programs. This could include increased funding or ensuring laws promote STEM education and programs that can grow our workforce while ensuring equity and robust standards. >

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

The pandemic and climate emergency are forcing our state’s economy to diversify and adjust, and I am a strong proponent of creating good-paying jobs for Floridians. I am committed to building environmentally friendly manufacturing opportunities throughout our state.

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

I believe in providing low-interest (or even interest free) small business loans for those looking to start a small business in renewable energy, such as solar panel installation or manufacturing. Already solar energy is one of the fastest growing markets, and I believe the sunshine state should be the hub of innovation, manufacturing, and installation in the U.S., and benefit from the jobs this brings.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

As indicated above, I'd like to diversify our manufacturing to focus on the creation of renewable forms of energy, such as solar panel manufacturing. This is a growing field that is still in its infancy, with lots of opportunity in the future

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

I believe that, after resolving some other pressing educational issues, there should be a formal apprentice program in all public schools throughout the state by creating partnerships with local businesses. If local businesses can apply and receive a small accreditation, they can apprentice high school juniors and seniors who can receive educational credit for their apprenticeship.

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

We need to invest in economic development - it takes resources in order to attract businesses to relocate or start in FL. We need affordable housing and top-notch education to attract companies. It will take an investment in the short-term in order to reap the benefits in the long-term.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

We need to invest in local manufacturing operations as these companies can provide good-paying and stable jobs. We saw from the pandemic how important it is to have goods produced here at home because overseas supply chains can get interrupted. As indicated above, we need to invest in attracting companies to our state.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

We need to provide the funding to schools to offer STEM programs and we need to provide as many technical apprenticeship programs as possible and support them financially. These are the pipelines to good jobs and we also need the workforce here to attract companies.>

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

I continue to work on economic development opportunities in my district, specifically in the manufacturing sector. I represent an area of high unemployment and I work closely with my local government and business development board to bring those jobs and companies to our area.

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

Use CARES money to support businesses that have been adversely affected by the pandemic.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

I support bringing more manufacturing to Florida and would consider giving businesses incentives to open in Florida.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

We need more technical apprenticeships and funding them now will pay off with a more skilled workforce. >

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

We need to diversify our economy and manufacturing needs to be part of the diversification

Southwest Florida: Southwest Regional Manufacturers Association (Charlotte, Lee, Glades, Hendry and Collier Counties)

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

In July, nearly 11% of Floridians were unemployed. With Covid-19 likely to influence our tourism season for years to come, the Florida Legislature has a unique opportunity to help create secure, sustainable manufacturing jobs for our citizens. I propose investing in innovative training programs for trades, arts, and science. This investment in our future will pay dividends as more and more Floridians are able to access secure, high-paying jobs. I would like to see more goods being produced in America, including green technologies, medicines and medical supplies, and other goods.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

American manufacturing is integral to our economic independence and national security. I have a unique proposal to support our manufacturing industry: as a co-signer of the Florida Climate and Economic Defense Initiative, I am an advocate for investing in the manufacturing of green technology, including solar panels and storm water filtration systems. As our climate is changing, demand for these products are growing nationwide. A proactive approach to these emerging industries will position Florida as a leader in manufacturing.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

As the Executive Director of an adventure-based science and arts (STEAM) camp for underprivileged youth, I have witnessed firsthand the importance of exposing our younger residents to STEM education. Florida’s students deserve access to high-quality curriculum and schools. I support increased funding for our public schools, access to high-quality early childhood education, and programs that prepare students for college, technical and trade schools. Technical apprenticeships and internships are one vehicle to achieve that goal. As a Florida State legislator, I will focus on improving STEM teacher education, increase STEM funding, and use experiential learning to pique young people’s interest in STEM. We need to create programs that bring role models to the forefront and generates energy and excitement about STEM jobs. Apprenticeship can boost students’ confidence while building competence. Research shows that experiential learning models, such as apprenticeship, can help. My own apprenticeship as a veterinary assistant helped with connecting the worlds of school and work and inspired me to pursue STEM as an adult.>

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

My time as a gator wrestler taught me two things: to be brave and to be quick on my feet. We have a unique opportunity to create sustainable high paying jobs for Floridians, but we must be bold and rapidly adapt to changing conditions. I fundamentally believe in American manufacturing and will do everything I can to support quality jobs for my constituents. I fundamentally believe in bi-partisanship and compromise - I’ll work with anyone and everyone to invest in American manufacturing.

Jobs & Economic Development: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote job growth and economic development, particularly as part of the state’s recovery from COVID-19?”

Investing in sustainable development and manufacturing will create the jobs we need for Florida to economically bounce back from the uncharted territories created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Manufacturing: “How should the state best invest in manufacturing and why?”

The state should best invest in manufacturing through technological advancement. Investing in innovation and sustainability is the best way to advance all of our industries in the 21st Century.

STEM/Workforce: “What should the Florida Legislature do to promote STEM education and expand technical apprenticeship opportunities?

STEM careers are some of the most important of our future and we should continue to invest in those fields in our public schools. In a 21st Century world with advancing technologies, we need to ensure that our students are well-prepared for the future. I believe that Apprenticeship Education is another valid pathway for post-secondary education. It is important that we should provide students other routes than just traditional college. Learning a trade or skill through apprenticeship is another great career pathway. I believe that we should expand apprenticeship programs and further promote them to students during college and career fairs in Florida. >

Do you have any other comments and/or feedbacks about the manufacturing industry in Florida?

Once elected, I look forward to surrounding myself with experts to best inform my decisions before any vote. I envision having a very close relationship with Florida Manufacturers, constantly learning about any new issues and also being a big advocate for apprenticeship programs, investing in the manufacturing industry and making sure we properly plan for the future of our state.