AIF pushes Florida business at National Association of Manufacturers DC Summit

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Florida business, and ways it can help better push the U.S. economy through tax and regulation reform, were only a few of the hot topics last week at the 2014 National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) Manufacturing Summit in Washington, D.C.

Representing Florida business at the annual event, held June 10 and 11, was the Associated Industries of Florida (AIF), a state affiliate of NAM and the trade group widely known as the “Voice of Florida Business.”

AIF took to Capitol Hill to advocate a variety of issues, such as tax and energy regulations infrastructure, international trade, workforce and labor policies.

“Key to driving our economy and increasing productivity within the manufacturing industry is addressing the EPA emissions mandate and the EPA’s effort to expand the definition of Waters of the U.S. as federal overage – which will drive up costs and reduce jobs,” said AIF President & CEO Tom Feeney.  “AIF supports federal and state programs on workforce education that are designed to close the ‘skills gap’ and help fill the more than 600,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs that are available, but cannot be filled because of the lack of a skilled workforce.”

According to estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labor Statistics, manufacturing jobs in Florida pay an average salary of $63,853. Education and training are critical to fill those high-paying jobs, Feeney noted.

“AIF is committed to advocating on behalf of the business community in Florida,” Feeney said, adding that his group will “make every effort to increase competitiveness and further innovation that will lead to job and economic growth in Florida.”

In addition to AIF representatives meeting with Florida’s congressional delegation, the highlights of the summit included speeches by Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. Sen. Christopher Coons.

Founded in 1895 in Cincinnati, Ohio, NAM is one of the largest national advocates for manufacturing, representing businesses of all sizes in every industrial sector of the U.S. According to NAM.org, manufacturing employs nearly 12 million men and women, and brings in more than $1.8 trillion to the U.S. economy every year.

As a representative for manufacturers nationwide, NAM gives voice to a group with the largest economic impact of any significant sector, one that accounts for nearly two-thirds of all private-sector research and development.

AIF began in 1920 as a voluntary trade group promoting the “principles of prosperity and free enterprise” to all three branches of Florida’s government; it has since grown an association of more than 10,000 employer members, representing nearly every industry in the state.  For more information, visit AIF.com or follow @VoiceofFLBiz on Twitter.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.