Northeast Florida stands strong as one of the largest manufacturing regions in the state. With industrial sites encompassing more than 1,000 acres, two certified mega sites and an easily accessible location on the western-most part of the coast, the region’s manufacturing industry is positioned to thrive. As Northeast Florida builds its reputation as an advanced manufacturing hub, many companies are choosing to relocate, expand and invest in the region.
BUILDING MATERIALS MANUFACTURING
In May, Cosentino Group announced their plans to establish a multiphase manufacturing facility in West Jacksonville. Consentino is a family-owned Spanish company that acts as a global leader in the production and distribution of sustainable surfaces for architecture and design. This expansion will strategically support its North American market—which makes up the majority of Consentino’s global sales—as the Jacksonville location will be their first manufacturing facility in the United States.
A leader in the roofing, waterproofing and insulation industry, IKO Industries plans to create a $270 million manufacturing campus in Clay County. The 300,000-square-foot facility will house three production lines for asphalt shingles, insulation board and rolled roofing. This will be IKO’s first facility in Florida and will create 100 jobs for the region.
Success in the region and close proximity to JAXPORT led CertainTeed Interior Products Group to expand its gypsum wallboard manufacturing facility in Palatka. This $235 million investment will more than double the plant’s production capacity and create 100 new jobs. Additionally, the planned upgrades will move the company towards carbon neutrality through energy-saving equipment and automation technology.
Plant Agricultural Systems (Plant A-S), a Fort Lauderdale-based agricultural services provider, announced its plans for the development of advanced production facilities in the town of Sanderson. The $750 million investment will fund the creation of facilities across 772 acres with the expectation of hiring more than 600 employees over the next several years. Plant A-S’ commitment to Northeast Florida is its first step towards the development of nearly 2,000 acres of controlled environment agriculture. Through the use of hydroponic technology, fresh produce will grow using 70-90 percent less water in fully solar-powered plants.
FOOD & BEVERAGE PRODUCTION
Danone North America enjoys the benefits of Northeast Florida’s advanced manufacturing industry alongside many other food and beverage manufacturers. Earlier this year, Danone announced a $65 million investment in their Jacksonville facility. The addition of a bottle production line will create 40 new jobs for Northeast Florida residents.
Jacksonville’s location on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and mouth of the St. Johns River provides the local maritime industry with a unique advantage. BAE Systems is a prime example of a booming advanced manufacturing company in Northeast Florida. The company’s recent $200 million investment allowed BAE Systems to break ground on a modern shiplift and land-level repair complex at Jacksonville’s shipyard. Once the expansion is complete, BAE Systems’ drydocking capacity will increase by 300 percent. Furthermore, the new shiplift system will be the largest in North and South America with the ability to accommodate both military and commercial vessels.
As companies relocate, expand and invest in Northeast Florida, the region’s advanced manufacturing industry will continue to grow and provide hundreds of new jobs each year. Earn Up seeks to make our region’s talent pipeline aware of local employers so that newly created jobs are filled with highly desired talent. Investments from new companies, local businesses and future workers will strengthen Northeast Florida’s position as a state and national leader in advanced manufacturing.