Northwest Florida’s unique geographic location within Florida makes the region an ideal solution for advanced manufacturing companies seeking a site in the Southeastern United States. With 850 traditional and advanced technology manufacturing companies and more than 25,000 employees, Northwest Florida has the transportation infrastructure, educational institutions, and skilled workforce needed to support diverse manufacturing projects.
The region provides an outstanding physical infrastructure to support advanced manufacturers. Interstate 10 traverses the region, extending from Jacksonville on the Atlantic Coast to Los Angeles on the Pacific. A major CSX rail line parallels I-10, and numerous short-line railroads bisect the CSX line, connecting to the region’s deepwater and barge ports in Panama City, Pensacola, and Port St. Joe, in addition to the Intracoastal Waterway. The ports of Jacksonville, Mobile and New Orleans are also easily accessible by truck or rail from the Panhandle. The region’s 4 commercial airports provide nonstop service to many East Coast, Midwest and Southwest cities. In addition, there are multiple Foreign Trade Zones in Northwest Florida.
Northwest Florida offers a highly skilled workforce, with educational and workforce training resources specifically tailored to the manufacturing industry. Northwest Florida’s six Air Force and Navy bases provide a pipeline of highly skilled and dedicated workers, many trained in aviation, surface, and seagoing transportation equipment, but with technical skills easily transferable to a wide range of occupations and disciplines. More importantly, these workers separate from the military with the work ethic, discipline, and problem-solving skill sets required by today’s advanced manufacturing employers.
The region’s educational institutions—from high school Career Academies to state and community colleges to 4-year and graduate education programs at Florida State University, Florida A&M University, and the University of West Florida—provide best-in-class training for advanced manufacturers. Among the specialized manufacturing training resources are the Advanced Technology Center, located at Gulf Coast State College, and the Advanced Manufacturing Training Center, located at Tallahassee Community College. These educational resources are augmented by an outstanding network of Workforce Boards that provide an array of services to manufacturing employers, including recruitment, applicant screening, and worker training programs.
Northwest Florida is the business location solution for manufacturers needing a Southeastern United States location. More information about Northwest Florida’s manufacturing assets can be found in our brochure, Manufacturing in Northwest Florida.