There was a time when the prevailing narrative about American manufacturing was, to put it lightly, grim.
Make No Mistake, American Manufacturing is Back
Many companies were resigned to send everything overseas, doing whatever it took for higher margins and lower bottom lines. But today, things are changing: the pendulum is swinging back. The use of advanced technology, the need for quality assurance and changing cost drivers are spurring on the resurgence of domestic manufacturing, and companies like Craig Technologies are leading the charge. Under the vision of CEO and founder Carol Craig, the advanced manufacturer has experienced meteoric growth, expanding from a one-woman consulting firm to a 400-employee enterprise in just 16 years. Headquartered in Florida’s Space Coast, Craig Technologies is one of many companies putting Florida on the map as the go-to location for new and expanding manufacturing operations that need to get up-and-running fast.
Assembling a Well-Calibrated Workforce
At its new Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing Center (ADMC), Craig Technologies is making a name for itself as an “all-in-one” precision manufacturer capable of bringing a concept from design to prototype to the production line—all from one location. It’s a sophisticated product offering that demands the best and brightest talent to succeed. “The high-tech Space Coast workforce runs deep,” says Craig. With Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, NASA and a host of other aerospace manufacturers and major defense contractors nearby, the area’s workforce talent is experienced, diverse and constantly being replenished. Statewide, Florida boasts a manufacturing workforce of more than 342,000 and is recognized as the best state in the nation for aerospace manufacturing attractiveness. “We have a people-first approach to building our business,” Craig added. “Our reputation of excellence is built upon the professionalism and excellence of this highly-qualified talent pool.”
Build on Strategic Supply Chains
Florida’s robust in-state supply chains have also played a critical role in the company’s accelerated growth. Access to an established, high-tech supplier network allows Craig Technologies to pass on critical cost savings to its customers and maintain an edge in a nationally- competitive industry. “We don’t have to go far to find qualified suppliers. From machines and materials to special processes and hard- to-find parts, we’ve been able to find most of what we need right here in Florida,” said Craig. “Our manufacturing business continues to grow because of our reachback to the local supply chain.” Close proximity to NASA has also been a key advantage for the growing company. In 2013, Craig Technologies inherited 1,600 pieces of high-tech equipment previously used to manufacture and repair parts for the space shuttle. Through an unfunded Space Act Agreement, Craig Technologies is now the steward of this state- of-the-art machinery for five years, opening the door to more focused efforts in manned and unmanned vehicles, commercial space systems, energy components and research activities in sectors ranging from transportation to defense.
From machines and materials to special processes and hard-to-find parts, we’ve been able to find most of what we need right here in Florida.
CEO & Founder, Craig Technologies
Grow with Military Precision
As a former Naval officer, Craig knows firsthand how advantageous the military can be, not just as a talent generator, but as a lucrative market for mission- critical manufacturing operations like the ADMC. “Most of our revenue is a result of delivering technical services to defense agencies,” said Craig. “Over the years, we have supported many Florida-based military operations including the Florida National Guard, CENTCOM, SOCOM, and NAVAIR Training Systems Division.” Home to 20 major military installations, including three unified combatant commands, Florida is also one of the top states for Department of Defense contracts, receiving more than $13.6 billion in awards to the direct benefit of savvy contractors like Craig.
Engineer a Profitable Future
Today, Craig Technologies generates more than $42 million in annual revenue—a tremendous leap from Craig’s one-woman beginning in 1999. “Florida is a great friend to entrepreneurs and has an invigorating spirit to help spur business growth,” Craig reflected. Thanks to the state’s pro-growth business climate, robust supply chains and industry talent, more than 19,600 manufacturers are already fortifying their competitive edge in the state. From manufacturing to aerospace to defense, Florida has engineered an ideal business environment where any can thrive.