Throughout the months of August and September, Grow Smarter’s Targeted Job Creation Workgroup has taken a deeper dive into the St. Petersburg Area’s specialized manufacturing with the intention of better understanding the makeup of this vital industry. Specifically, this workgroup seeks to explain the workforce that local manufacturers pull from in the past, present, and into the future. Where are these workers from? What is their background? Do all of the area’s residents have access to these jobs?
First, let’s briefly explain why Targeted Job Creation is focusing on manufacturing. Despite its gradual but relatively slowly diminishing employment both locally and nation-wide, manufacturing still makes up about 10% of the St. Petersburg Area’s employment with an average wage of $55,667—well above the area median income. This area (see map below) remains the leading manufacturing base in Tampa Bay. Further, about 50% of this area’s 240+ manufacturing firms are even more heavily concentrated near Ulmerton Road in the following zip codes: 33716, 33760, 33762, 33773.
Note: Manufacturing defined as any industry classification between 31 and 34 under the North American Industry Classification System. Sources: Emsi and The American Community Survey
These industries have remained vital to the St. Petersburg Area’s economy for years and it is important going into the future, that the area and its manufacturers understand the importance of a diverse workforce. We will explore these demographic differences in next part of our blog series. Who is holding what jobs among our strong manufacturing sector?