Sunday, June 17, 2018
Business

Manufacturing isn't what you think, industry tells young women

TAMPA — It's a dirty, tedious job, with strict clock-in, clock-out hours, and most of the employees are men.

At least that's the public perception the manufacturing industry grapples with as it struggles to attract women.

Currently, women make up about 27 percent of the U.S. manufacturing workforce, and Hills­borough County businesses, politicians, educators and community leaders are working to change that. They boast of high-tech machines that create food products, medical devices and gadgets that are used in defense and aerospace where women can work in clean, open workspaces with plenty of opportunities for job growth and flexible schedules.

Last week, about 50 parents, students and industry representatives gathered at Middleton High School for a ''women in manufacturing'' panel discussion focused on changing public perception and encouraging young people and their parents to consider jobs in the sector.

"It's a job I'm proud of," said Nidia Morales, a production team leader at CardioCommand Inc., in Tampa. Morales said she has been in the industry for more than 30 years and was originally drawn by a newspaper advertisement on job training.

"I was scared when I was first put on the assembly line," she said. "But even if you don't have the skills, they help teach you."

Industry employees can receive-on-the-job training, as Morales did, or enter the field with a college degree in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field.

Morales, for example, builds medical equipment, like catheters. That work held extra meaning after her mother became ill and doctors used the device in her treatment.

"I built that with my own hands, and it was used to save her life," she told the crowd.

While manufacturing in Florida grew 4.4 percent from September 2015 to 2016, it remains a relatively minor piece of the local economy. The sector supports 62,500 jobs in the Tampa Bay region, compared with about 1.15 million in the service industry and 227,000 in professional and business services. Local average manufacturing wages in the region start at about $26,000 a year and go up to more than $80,000.

Contact Alli Knothe at [email protected] Follow @KnotheA.

Comments
Your barista is a robot. Should it be friendly?

Your barista is a robot. Should it be friendly?

SAN FRANCISCO - The cold, steely arm of Fernando the Barista swirled the foam of my matcha latte, set it down gently, and waved goodbye from inside a glass case. San Francisco, 2018. Where you can get robot pizza and robot salad, and now, a robot mat...
Published: 06/16/18
Extending Albert Whitted’s runway could help Innovation District take off

Extending Albert Whitted’s runway could help Innovation District take off

ST. PETERSBURG — Albert Whitted Airport wants to extend its main runway. But what would benefit the airport could also benefit the St. Pete Innovation District.Moving the runway would ease building restrictions around the airport, allowing the Univer...
Published: 06/15/18
Updated: 06/16/18
Florida’s unemployment rate drops to 3.8 percent

Florida’s unemployment rate drops to 3.8 percent

Just when it seemed like Florida’s unemployment rate couldn’t get lower, it did. According to the state figures out Friday, Florida’s jobless rate dipped to a near 18-year low of 3.8 percent in May after holding steady at 3.9 percen...
Published: 06/15/18
St. Petersburg home becomes finalist in HGTV contest

St. Petersburg home becomes finalist in HGTV contest

ST. PETERSBURG — A house in St. Petersburg’s Old Northeast is a finalist in HGTV’s Ultimate House Hunt contest. Built in 2007 in the Mission Revival style, the 4,000-square-foot home a block from Coffee Pot Bayou is among 12 nationwide in the "curb a...
Published: 06/15/18
Florida’s first not-for-profit coding school is opening in St. Petersburg

Florida’s first not-for-profit coding school is opening in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — Filling in a hole that was left by The Iron Yard’s exodus last year, a new computer coding school will open its doors to its first class in downtown St. Petersburg on July 23.The Academy at Suncoast Developers Guild will operate thro...
Published: 06/15/18
Tampa-based Robbins Property Associates pays $43-million for Boynton Beach apartment community

Tampa-based Robbins Property Associates pays $43-million for Boynton Beach apartment community

Tampa-based Robbins Property Associates, has bought Aventine at Boyton Beach, a 216-unit apartment community, for $43 million.Aventine, garden-style apartments that are 95 percent occupied, will be renovated and renamed "Verona at Boynton Beach."It i...
Published: 06/15/18
Florida craft beer guild: Big Beer is pushing us out of Publix

Florida craft beer guild: Big Beer is pushing us out of Publix

The national battle between Big Beer and local craft breweries is playing out on the shelves of your neighborhood Publix — and some favorite Florida brewmakers are losing.The guild that represents Florida brewers says at least 12 small breweries have...
Published: 06/15/18
Accused of racial profiling, Lowe’s ends policy of checking customer receipts as they leave

Accused of racial profiling, Lowe’s ends policy of checking customer receipts as they leave

Memorial Day weekend was supposed to bring three productive days of home improvement for Will Mega, a dean at a North Philadelphia charter school.He’d go to two Lowe’s locations near his home in Philadelphia’s Wynnefield neighborhood for a grill and ...
Published: 06/15/18
McDonald’s to test alternatives to plastic straws in U.S.

McDonald’s to test alternatives to plastic straws in U.S.

NEW YORK — McDonald’s said Friday it will switch to paper straws at all its locations in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and test an alternative to plastic ones in some of its U.S. restaurants later this year.The burger chain and other fast-food comp...
Published: 06/15/18
Strange brew? Tampa Bay group hopes to grow hops and medical marijuana in the same spot

Strange brew? Tampa Bay group hopes to grow hops and medical marijuana in the same spot

ST. PETERSBURG --- Among topics that stir passionate interest, two that rank high are medical marijuana and craft beers.A group of Tampa Bay entrepreneurs has ambitious plans to profit from both.They are leasing a vast warehouse space in St. Petersbu...
Published: 06/15/18