SRMA partners with FutureMakers Coalition to develop SWFL Equitable Jobs Pipeline

February 21, 2023 CONRIC PR

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Feb. 21, 2023) – The Southwest Regional Manufacturers Association (SRMA) will be the leading resource in the manufacturing sector of the Southwest Florida Equitable Jobs Pipeline, a part of the American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge. Working under the direction of FutureMakers Coalition at Collaboratory, the SRMA will conduct in-person skills gap surveys with the manufacturers of Southwest Florida.


Recently, Florida Gulf Coast University, in partnership with FutureMakers Coalition at Collaboratory, was awarded a $22.9M investment to develop industry specific education, training, and career development programs. FutureMakers Coalition aims to transform Southwest Florida’s workforce by increasing the proportion of working age adults with college degrees, workforce certificates, industry certifications, and other high-quality credentials to 55 percent by 2025.


“We are extremely excited to be a part of this effort,” says Rob Harris, Executive Director of the SRMA. “The fact that manufacturing is recognized as one of the four major economic drivers in our region, and that the EDA recognizes the major labor shortage of skilled workers, validates the purpose of the SRMA. This collaboration is a natural fit towards our mission of growth within the manufacturing sector and increased productivity at the company level.”


At a minimum, the SRMA will conduct 40 in-person skills gap surveys and host four roundtable discussions throughout Southwest Florida. FutureMakers Coalition will then work with educational entities in the region to create necessary training programs and get SWFL residents credentialed with the appropriate skills. The SRMA will encourage manufacturers to hire the newly skilled candidates generated through the program. Outreach efforts have already begun. To participate in a one-on-one survey, or to join a roundtable discussion, please visit


“We are looking to leverage relationships with employers to understand the skills they need in employees so our education partners can provide training and we can connect local talent to well-paying jobs in manufacturing,” said Tessa LeSage, FutureMakers Coalition at Collaboratory director, which is serving as the backbone organization for FutureMakers Coalition. “We are thrilled to partner with SRMA to engage and strengthen the manufacturing sector in Southwest Florida.”


The SRMA works to bring manufacturers together to promote industry and individual growth through networking opportunities, making connections, sharing resources, and community involvement. SRMA offers a national network of resources and hosts monthly events and educational opportunities for members and (non-member) manufacturing professionals. For more information about the SRMA, or to see a full calendar of events, please visit, or email

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