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Oct. 23, 2018

Chamber Launches Manufacturing Boot Camp Program

Vero Beach, FL.  The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce accepted a Proclamation from the Board of County Commissioners recognizing the importance of the manufacturing industry in Indian River County.  Joining communities around the state, the Chamber and the Commissioners noted the strong positive economic impact attributed to local manufacturers, in terms of job creation – full-time jobs with benefits - and products made that are shipped out of the region, out of FL, or exported out of the country with revenues coming back to Indian River County for reinvestment. Members of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, the Manufacturing Boot Camp Task Force and representatives from Piper Aircraft attended in support.

“The manufacturing sector plays a key role in diversifying our local economy,” explains Helene Caseltine, Economic Development Director for the Chamber. “This recognition is part of our business retention and expansion program, which is a crucial component of our overall economic development plan.” The National Association of Manufacturers designates the first Friday in October as Manufacturing Day. Florida Governor Rick Scott proclaimed October as Manufacturing Month in Florida

In accepting the Proclamation, Caseltine added that the Chamber’s Economic Development Office has implemented a Manufacturing Boot Camp program for high school seniors, replicating a successful program in neighboring St. Lucie County. The program is designed to provide students an alternative career path, especially for those who are not college-bound, while strengthening the local talent pipeline.

Partnering with the School District of Indian River County, CareerSource Research Coast and local non-profits, the Chamber launched the program on October 16.  Caseltine coordinated tours of local manufacturing facilities for career counselors from Sebastian, Vero Beach, and Charter High Schools as well as Gifford Middle School.  Groups toured Piper Aircraft, Triton Submarines, Float-On Boat Trailers, Nylacarb plastic injection molding, and M.A. Ford which makes precision carbide-cutting tools.  Counselors experienced first-hand what today’s manufacturing world is like, asking questions about skills needed, wages and the overall work environment. Next spring, a group of graduating seniors, selected by their school counselors, will be immersed in the manufacturing industry, touring facilities, talking with owners and plant managers plus learning the soft skills needed for employment.

For more information about the Manufacturing Boot Camp program, or locating to and expanding a business in Indian River County, call or email Helene Caseltine in the Chamber’s Ecoomic Development Office at 772-567-3491 or

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit business organization located in Vero Beach, FL. The Chamber provides a wide variety of business services and benefits for its members, and advocates on behalf of the local business community to create an environment in which all businesses can thrive and succeed. The Chamber serves as the primary organization for tourism and economic development services on behalf of the Indian River County Board of County Commissioners.



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