Local manufacturers shared their insights on the future of South Florida’s manufacturing industry this week during the first of five exclusive roundtable lunches with a renowned broadcast journalist. “Kaufman, Rossin Presents: Power Lunch with Tom Hudson” offers South Florida CEOs and industry experts an opportunity to discuss trends and concerns in manufacturing, healthcare/life sciences, real estate, the investment industry and technology.
These roundtables are offered in conjunction with our sponsorship of The Sunshine Economy, a new series of one-hour WLRN radio broadcasts that are hosted by Hudson and that examine key drivers of the South Florida economy. You can catch the show on 91.3 FM on Mondays at 9 a.m. and again at 7 p.m.
This week’s manufacturing roundtable centered around a fill-in-the-blank statement: “The South Florida manufacturing industry will be a powerful force in our economy when ______________.”
Guests shared concerns about the challenge of finding qualified, well-trained workers for certain positions and the need for local community colleges and technical institutes to partner with businesses to ensure that graduates are leaving school with the right training – including language skills. Donna Bean, Human Resources Director at Bolton Medical, said her company paid for one year of English classes for its employees because it has had a difficult time finding well-qualified production employees who are fluent in English.
Another topic of concern was logistics. Leslie Kaplan, co-founder of Ready. Set. Cupcake!, said food distributors and transporters are not used to picking up goods in Florida; they usually drop off food products here instead. As a result, they tend to charge more to transport food products out of the state than to bring them in – a challenge for a company like hers, which relies on distributors to take her product to grocery stores and other buyers far and wide.
You can watch videos and view photos of the manufacturing roundtable on YouTube and Flickr, and keep an eye on our blog for highlights from the next power lunch, which will focus on healthcare. We welcome you to join the discussion online and keep the conversation going on Twitter by following @KaufmanRossin and @WLRN and using hashtag #SunshineEconomy. Let us know what you think of the radio show and the lunch series!