Manufacturers in Florida account for 5.32% of total production in the state, and employ 4.46% of the labor force. Florida is a major agricultural state, but agricultural products aren't even among its 10 most common foreign exports. The National Manufacturers Association (NAM) represents 14,000 member companies across the country, in all industrial sectors. Florida has been famous for its orange cultivation and orange juice ever since Anita Bryant first plugged it in in the 1970s.
When you think of Florida, you might think of Disney World, Key West and a man from Florida who brought his alligator in a beer race. But Florida is investing in new technology that it hopes will keep the state prosperous for years to come. With its strong economy and strong infrastructure, Florida is an attractive destination for many manufacturers. Florida's key organizations include the Kennedy Space Center, a notable milestone for aerospace travel and exploration.
Florida is home to world-renowned biomedical, pharmaceutical and medical device research companies. Manufacturers are an important resource for both developing and researching sales leads in the manufacturing sector. Florida has more than 100 airports, 15 deepwater ports within 90 miles of any business, 3,000 miles of freight railroad tracks and more than 122,000 miles of highways. Florida's export products include motor vehicles, computers and components, telecommunications equipment, aircraft, engines and parts, minerals such as gold, oil and gas, agricultural products, forest products, and seafood.
An IndustrySelect subscription can give you the first name of Florida's 12,000 industrial companies and more than 42,000 executives. Since the birth of the personal computer in Boca Raton, Florida's information technology industry has grown and diversified into photonics, mobile technologies, communications equipment, modeling and simulation, and digital media. Solar employment increased 21% in Florida last year, according to the Orlando Sentinel, and residential solar installation accounted for 63% of those jobs. From citrus plantations and nurseries in Central and South Florida, to vegetables in various regions of the state, cattle and calves throughout the state, these farms and ranches provide Florida with a large and stable economic base.
As Florida's development grew in the past century, more than half of the original 4 million acres of the Everglades drained and water flow was reduced by more than two-thirds. While much of that money went to hotels and recreation, other sectors of Florida's economy receive a big boost from foreigners.