Volusia Manufacturers Association Spreads Awareness One Poster at a Time

Manufacturing is a vibrant industry and serves a pivotal role in supporting not only the local economy, but an
entire nation. The industry is rich and verdant with opportunities, and offers high-tech, high wage jobs that are not only exciting, but requires expertise in devising innovative ideas and solutions. Despite a few set-backs, manufacturing has made a comeback. The resurgence of manufacturing has stirred the interest of many, and prompted manufacturers in Central Florida to take an innovative step in raising awareness about manufacturing, and underlining “skilled worker shortage” in the region.

To set the idea in motion, Volusia Manufacturers Association (VMA), a regional non-profit trade
association representing over 400 manufacturers in the Volusia and Flagler counties in Florida recently started the “poster” project campaign—an effort targeted to raise awareness among students, educators, parents and the community at large about the robust manufacturing sector in the region. The posters are a permanent display at the Advanced Technology Center at Daytona State College in Daytona Beach, FL., and are strategically placed at a centrally located facility that houses over 2000 students each semester, and conducts tours for students and community groups. According to Jane Fifer, executive director and CEO of VMA “showing them the depth of our manufacturers will certainly help support VMA’s mission of building manufacturing awareness.”

The posters (10' x 8', 8' x 8' or 4' x 8') depict products that are manufactured by local manufacturers, and
showcase the jobs/careers that are available locally. Unveiling of the first 29 company posters was held on August 23, 2012. Over 100 individuals from business, education and the community attended the event, with everyone impressed with the caliber of the information and design of the display boards. The project has just begun. Placement of display is based on a first come, first served basis whereby manufacturers can choose a preferred location, with price for design and production ranging anywhere between $148 to nearly $400.

The poster project also ties in with a larger VMA led regional, “Dream it! Do it!” outreach/educational
initiative.“We are replicating these posters to be hung in the manufacturing related career academies in Volusia County high schools” Fifer said. VMA is proud to have the posters located in as many places so students, teachers, and parents can expand their understanding and learn about local manufacturing, and VMA members can avail of a skilled workforce in the end. This effort, together with the many outreach activities of FLATE, “Made in Florida”, CAME and other regional manufacturing associations are sending a strong message locally and statewide about the great careers in Florida’s advanced manufacturing industry.

For more information on VMA’s manufacturing career posters, or to display a poster at the ATC contact Jayne Fifer at jayne.fifer@vmaonline.com, or visit www.vmaonline.com.