Florida TaxWatch Looks at BRIDG, State’s Manufacturing Industry

Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released a report looking at “the impact of advanced manufacturing in the Sunshine State and highlighting the importance of continued public investment in high-tech initiatives such as BRIDG, which diversify the economy, create jobs, boost wages, and increase local and state tax revenues.”

FTW unveiled “BRIDG: Growing Florida’s Advanced Manufacturing Sector” on Thursday.

BRIDG (which stands for Bridging the Innovation Development Gap) offers a definition of itself on its website.

“BRIDG is a versatile boutique microelectronics fabrication facility with 200mm (8-inch) wafer fab capabilities,” the group noted. “Established in Florida as a not-for-profit, industry-friendly public-private partnership through support of visionary partners, BRIDG accelerates technology commercialization by providing solutions to bridge technology and capability gaps across multiple fields.”

“Even through our nation’s most trying times, we’ve seen that American innovation and ingenuity perseveres through manufacturing. Today, as we all fight through the coronavirus pandemic, we know that it will again be manufacturers that pull our state and nation forward and the report we’ve released today shows just how important this industry truly is in Florida. Our research shows that BRIDG will improve the competitive positioning of the state of Florida for advanced manufacturing and continue to produce a great return on investment for our taxpayers. Florida TaxWatch was pleased to see funding for BRIDG included in the FY 2020-21 budget recently passed by the Florida Legislature, and strongly supports continued public investment in BRIDG,” said Dominic Calabro, the president and CEO of FTW.

BRIDG Interim CEO Brian Sapp also weighed in on the report.

“BRIDG is poised to emerge as Florida’s technical and economic engine for fostering innovation in microelectronics, increasing high-tech employment and regional wage growth, and developing a skilled microelectronics workforce to ensure global competitiveness. Diversifying Central Florida’s economy through the creation of high skill and high wage jobs in the fields of microelectronics and advanced manufacturing is a key factor in the effort to secure the economic vitality of our state and nation,” said Sapp.

“Manufacturing is a major driver of Florida’s economy and according to the latest data from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, more than 20,000 manufacturing companies provide over 381,000 Floridians with high-wage jobs. BRIDG plays an essential leadership role in this economic transformation as a not-for-profit public-private partnership for microelectronics R&D and production.  Located at NeoCity – a 500-acre master-planned technology district in Osceola County – BRIDG has the potential to establish Central Florida as a major global hub for advanced manufacturing, serving as a catalyst for continued growth throughout the state,” FTW noted.

FTW also showcased its “Manufacturing in Florida” video, which was first released at the end of October, on Thursday.

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