Regional Task Force Launches Manufacturing Workforce Survey


February 19, 2013



Skills gap initiative will identify current workforce needs and create talent pipeline for future growth

TAMPA, Fla. / A regional task force of business and economic development leaders have joined together to address a growing nationwide demand for skilled labor in the manufacturing industry. The Hillsborough-Pinellas Manufacturing Skills Gap Analysis will identify the current workforce needs of area manufacturers, and provide recommendations to develop a strong pipeline of talent for the future.

“The manufacturing industry is thriving, and the outlook is positive for continued expansion,” said Rick Homans, President and CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation.  “This initiative will allow us to better align employee skills and training with employer job requirements, and connect our local businesses with qualified workers.”

The Hillsborough-Pinellas Manufacturing Skills Gap Analysis is a cooperative effort led by the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, Pinellas County Economic Development, the Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance, WorkNet Pinellas, the Tampa Bay Partnership and the Florida High Tech Corridor.

“Based on our initial findings, we believe as many as 4,000 manufacturing jobs are available each month in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties,” said Ed Peachey, President and CEO of WorkNet Pinellas and the Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance.  “This is a chance for us to put Tampa Bay residents to work, in a rewarding field that offers significant opportunities for professional advancement.”

After extensive research and one-on-one interviews with manufacturing industry leaders, the task force has created a comprehensive survey that will allow them to:
• Identify the specific skills in demand by area employers
• Develop both immediate and long-term recommendations to increase the quantity and quality of manufacturing workers within the region
• Help educational institutions and elected officials allocate training resources in the areas of greatest impact

Manufacturing businesses located in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties are urged to complete the brief survey by Friday, March 8 at www.ManufacturingSkillsGap.com.

Answers to the survey will remain confidential, with data reported only in aggregate.  A summary of the results will be made available to all respondents.

“The participation of our local manufacturers is critical to our success,” said Mike Meidel, Executive Director of Pinellas County Economic Development.  “We need their feedback to develop a strategy that will increase our competitiveness, support our existing employers and ensure the long-term success of our manufacturing industry.”

For more information on this initiative, businesses are encouraged to contact the Tampa Hillsborough EDC at (813) 218-3300.

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