You are invited to Celebrate Manufacturing Month with the VMA!

As you know, our local manufacturers are facing a serious skilled labor shortage.  Our manufacturers’ ability to address this issue has been hindered by the lack of awareness that manufacturing exists in our area, the public perception that careers in manufacturing are undesirable and by insufficient preparatory education.

What can we do build better understanding and knowledge?  While the USA will be celebrating Manufacturing Day on October 2nd, the state of Florida, and in particular, the VMA, will be celebrating Manufacturing Month the whole month of October.  The intent of this effort is to create a unified voice to dispel the misconceptions about manufacturing and to inspire the next generation of American workers to pursue careers in manufacturing. VMA is absolutely committed to building awareness of the lucrative and satisfying careers in manufacturing, as you will see by the schedule below.  The events with the ** are open to the public.  Please plan to attend all three!

We will kick off the month with the 9th “We Make It Here” Manufacturers Showcase on October 1st, conduct student plant tours, schedule speakers into classrooms, hold a ribbon cutting at the new Advanced Manufacturing Academy at Pine Ridge High School in Deltona, distribute t-shirts and brochures highlighting careers in manufacturing, and more throughout the month and the two county area.  We will end the month with our CEO Leadership Speakers Series with Huw Bower, president, Boston Whaler.

Brand new this year, is the Manufacturing Champions Bus Tour for our local school counselors. The date is Friday, October 23rd from 7:30 AM-4:00 PM.  School counselors (formerly called guidance counselors) from Volusia and Flagler counties will converge at their assigned locations to board one of the two busses VMA is renting for the day.  Each bus will hold about 50 people.  Picture the tour like the tour trolleys in St. Augustine.  Busses will have manufacturing videos, tour guides will talk about the manufacturers as we drive by, some employers will be asked to be outside to cheer busses on.  We will tour three manufacturers; give them a lovely lunch, goody bags and door prizes. Our expectation is the school counselors will be Manufacturing Champions by the end of the day.

 FYI Manufacturing Month Activities Schedule:
**October 1   9th Annual “We Make It Here” Manufacturers Showcase  Noon to 7:00 PM.  Includes Great Manufacturers, a Job Fair, a Robotics Competition and 3D and CNC  Art contest.  This event is free and open to the public. The tickets included are to help you spread the word. Not needed to get in.  

October 6

  • Spruce Creek HS Academy of Information Technology and Robotics
  • 6S Training by MED schedules for all Tuesdays in October
  • DeLand HS Seniors – speakers at the school
  • October 8

  •             New Smyrna Beach HS Engineering Academy Tours Boston Whaler
  •             DeLand HS Engineering Academy   Intro to Manufacturing Speakers
  • October 9

  • Mainland HS Academy of Design and Manufacturing Technology Intro to Manufacturing Speakers
  • October 13

  • Mainland HS Academy of Simulation and Robotics Student Plant Tours to Raydon and Bob’s Space Racers
  • Mainland HS Career and College Expo
  • October 23
    Manufacturing Champions School Counselor Tour – Pick up at Thompson Pump and Medtronic then launch and land at Teledyne; tour Hudson Technologies; lunch at Celebration in Ormond Beach; busses will separate and tour the Ormond Industrial Park and the Daytona Beach Industrial Park. Goody bags, posters, t-shirts.   Participants will be pre and post tested and be required to share information with colleagues to receive professional development credits.

    **October 27
    Pine Ridge HS Advanced Manufacturing Academy Ribbon Cutting 9:00-9:30 AM 926 Howland Blvd, Deltona, FL 32738

    **October 28   CEO Leadership Series Speaker, Huw Bower, president, Boston Whaler
      LPGA, 1000 Champion Blvd., Daytona Beach. Dinner meeting 5:30 – 8:00 PM   Networking 5:30, Dinner Served  6:15.  Cost: $30.00   RSVP to 386.673.0505 or

    Will you join me in my quest to turn every person in Flagler and Volusia into a Champion for Manufacturing?  See you in October!

    Jayne C. Fifer, CAE
    Phone: 386.673.0505
    Cell: 386.212.4003

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