Sarasota’s manufacturers represent ‘best of the best’ in Florida | Sarasota Herald Tribune

Mullet’s Aluminum was mentioned in an article on Monday, October 3, 2022 in the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

Sarasota’s manufacturers represent ‘best of the best’ in Florida Manufacturing doesn’t seem top of mind when you first think of Sarasota County, but when you take a deep look into what makes our economy tick, it has become a key economic diversifier. In· fact, 485 manufacturers are employing 9,500 people in our community, and 1,250 new manufacturing jobs are projected to be added over the next five years.

As the Economic Development Corporation’s vice president of business development services, I have had the unique privilege of meeting with the people who are leading Sarasota County’s manufacturing giants, touring their facilities and witnessing the incredible work their teams are doing.

From the fiber optic cabling of Washington, D.C., government buildings to fragments that make the world’s largest oil drills function, some of our world’s most relied upon products are being produced right here in our community. It is important for us to not only recognize these companies and the work they do, but also their vital role in our community and its economy.

Harmar Mobility and Mullet’s Aluminum Products are two examples of local companies with worldwide implications.

Harmar Mobility manufactures a red light and noticed the metal lift on the back of the car in front of you? Look closely arid you’ll most likely notice a Harmar sticker on it. In fact, Harmar is the largest supplier of wheelchair and scooter lifts to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. That’s definitely something of which we can be proud.

Mullet’s Aluminum Products is recognized as one of the largest architectural aluminum manufacturers in the Southeast. Mullet’s executed amazing projects like the railings of the recently renovated St. Petersburg Pier, and one of their more interesting projects took place at the Kennedy Space Center. The “Last Room on Earth,” as it’s called, is the final steppingstone before astronauts board their capsule for space travel. Right here in Sarasota County, the Mullet’s team constructed what they described as one of the most technically challenging and complex items they’ve ever built. Their project is making Sarasota County forever noted in our country’s ongoing space exploration legacy.

Harmar and Mullet’s have both deservingly been recognized on a statewide level. The Sterling Council and FloridaMakes recently announced their 2022 Florida Sterling Manufacturing Business Excellence (SMBE) Award honorees, which is presented annually by the governor to high performing, role model organizations, both private and public, that demonstrate superior management approaches and role model results.

Included on a list of just11 state-wide winners were Harmar and Mullet’s. Their awards are so indicative to their impact on our state that Kevin Carr, CEO of FloridaMakes, took the liberty to note how “they truly represent the best of the best among manufacturers in Florida.”

The manufacturing industry is just one sector that is garnering Sarasota County national attention amid relocations. I hope our community can recognize the work of companies like Harmar and Mullet’s and many others, collectively supporting them while we work to diversify our economy. They are instrumental to the future of our business ecosystem.

Erin Silk, a Certified Economic Developer, is vice president of business development services at the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County. She can be reached

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