Businesses are Built to Last in Greater Daytona

Greater Daytona crafts a growing advanced manufacturing sector.

By
Bill Lewis
On Saturday, May 15, 2021 - 15:22
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A technologically driven and highly diverse advanced manufacturing sector numbers more than 450 operations in Greater Daytona.

In Greater Daytona, manufacturers benefit from cost advantages and a wealth of workforce development resources.

Volusia County is home to six postsecondary education institutions, all engaged in providing the future workforce for manufacturers. Daytona State College, for example, offers degree programs in advanced manufacturing.

Public schools are also dedicated to preparing students for successful manufacturing careers. Volusia County Schools has focused on building a STEM workforce, with 39 career academy programs, 11 focused on advanced manufacturing, and increasing numbers of certification programs. 

Florida's business-friendly tax climate includes a number of specific tax exemptions for manufacturers, such as exemptions on machinery and equipment for new and expanding Florida manufacturers, research and development equipment to create new products and electricity for manufacturing.

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Jeff Adkins

Diversity of Opportunities

Manufacturing thrives in the Greater Daytona region, but the field is not limited to a few select industries. More than 450 manufacturers make everything from boats to simulators to medical technology, aircraft and more, thanks to the wide variety of resources and local talent to pull from.

For companies considering a move to the Sunshine State for their manufacturing needs, Greater Daytona provides an attractive advantage over other cities throughout the state: its competitively affordable wages.

For the manufacturing industry, average wages are $43,130, which are lower than those found in Miami, Tallahassee, Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando and Melbourne, while still providing employees access to the quality of life the region is known for.

Making Waves

An anchor of Greater Daytona's advanced manufacturing sector is its roster of marine trades companies, including Boston Whaler, Teledyne Marine, EdgeWater Boats, and Everglade Boats.

Teledyne Marine's campus encompasses two buildings with 100,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 50,000 square feet for research and development and administration. The company has more than 350 employees ranging from skilled labor to technical engineering.

Boston Whaler's parent company, Brunswick, opened a fiberglass research and development center at Boston Whaler's Edgewater campus in 2019.

The sophistication of the region's manufacturing sector can be seen in the way many of its companies pivoted in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. Brunswick, for example, converted some of its upholstery operations into crafting masks to allow its employees to return to work safely.

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Good Eats

The region's food manufacturing sector is at the center of innovation, with companies such as Ormond Beach's Future Foods Enterprises, which produces plant-based protein products, Smart Baking, which makes gluten-free low-carb products, and Loën Laboratories, which makes refined products for people and animals.

Future Foods converted a former U.S. Foods distribution facility in Ormond into a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. The company's proprietary manufacturing methods use just four ingredients to create a product remarkably similar to meat in texture.

Future Foods is focused on selling its products to foodservice companies and restaurants, with plans to add a retail component in the future. 

Smart Baking Company invested more than $1 million on a 50,000 square-foot location in DeBary. The plant, which opened in early 2020, was expected to add 40 jobs to the company's 85-person workforce.

Smart Baking Company produces Smartcakes and Smartbuns, which are healthy baked goods that are gluten- and wheat-free, low calorie, high fiber and non-GMO.

If you'd like to learn more about the Greater Daytona region, check out the latest edition of Greater Daytona Region/Volusia County.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bill Lewis is an award-winning business journalist whose work has appeared in publications across the United States.