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FloridaMakes Launches Annual Award for Florida’s Top Manufacturing Apprentices

Florida's top manufacturing apprentices will be honored at the annual MakeMore Manufacturing Summit in October 2022

ORLANDO, FL – FloridaMakes, a statewide organization operated by an alliance of Florida’s regional manufacturers associations and partner organizations, has announced a new statewide award, celebrating Florida’s top manufacturing apprentices. The Apprentice of the Year award will be given to manufacturing apprentices who demonstrate outstanding commitment to their professional development and show how they have made a positive difference to their company. Apprentices must be enrolled in a registered manufacturing apprenticeship program.

“The Manufacturing Apprentice of the Year awards program will bring further awareness of apprenticeships as a high-quality career pathway that provides access to high-skill, high-wage in demand careers,” said Marcelo Dossantos, FloridaMakes Director of Talent Development and recent appointee to Governor Ron DeSantis’ State Apprenticeship Advisory Council. “We also want to recognize all of the great work being done throughout the State of Florida by manufacturing apprentices.

“We have very talented and exceptional people who have chosen to pursue careers in manufacturing, and they should be recognized.”

According to Apprentice Florida, a program run by the Florida Department of Education, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, and CareerSource Florida, 97% of employers recommend apprenticeships as a training model. 91% of all apprentices are still employed nine months after their apprenticeship ends.

“I started as an apprentice over forty years ago and today I oversee one of the most well-respected, high precision machining companies in the country, supplying components and assemblies for the aircraft, aerospace, defense, and medical industries,” said Roy Sweatman, President of Southern Manufacturing Technologies and FloridaMakes Board Member. “I can honestly say that our best source of talent are the skilled individuals who come to us through registered apprenticeship programs.”

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