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St. Pete firm a finalist for statewide manufacturing excellence award

Brian Hartz

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St. Petersburg-based Cavaform International LLC is a finalist for the Governor's Sterling Award for manufacturing excellence. Screen grab.

A St. Petersburg company that makes molds for a wide variety of industries is among the 20 finalists for the Florida Sterling Manufacturing Business Excellence Awards, presented by the Florida Sterling Council and FloridaMakes.

Cavaform International LLC will be vying for the Governor’s Sterling Award, the highest award a manufacturer can receive for performance excellence in Florida, at the June 22-23 MakeMore Manufacturing Summit, which is being held virtually this year. Lockheed Martin Aerostructures in Pinellas Park is also a finalist.

More than 140 companies were nominated for the awards, according to a press release. The criteria used to whittle the field to 20 included leadership; strategy; customers; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce; operations and results.

To make its decisions, the Florida Sterling Council deployed a team of trained examiners to visit each nominee and conduct interviews with managers and employees.

“I commend the finalists for their time and commitment to this rigorous assessment process,” FloridaMakes CEO Kevin Carr said in a prepared statement. “These companies exemplify excellence in a sector poised to make Florida rise toward being a top manufacturing state in the nation.”

The Sterling awards, however, are about much more than just recognizing business excellence in the manufacturing sector. They provide a framework for sharing best practices and taking advantage of opportunities for improvement.

With that goal in mind, FloridaMakes, the release stated, will work with the finalists and their corresponding regional manufacturers association to network and share knowledge via plant tours, webinars and leadership events to benefit Florida’s manufacturing sector.

Cavaform makes molds for products that run the gamut from IV catheter tips and syringes to cosmetics, ammunition and writing instruments. According to its website, the company works with clients in all 50 American states, Europe and South America.

Several other Tampa Bay area companies made the cut as well, such as CAE Healthcare Inc. in Sarasota, RND Automation & Engineering in Lakewood Ranch and Pierce Manufacturing and Veethree Electronics, both based in Bradenton.

“Manufacturing is a critical industry here in Florida, and our manufacturers set the bar for the rest of the nation,” Florida Sterling Council John Pieno stated in the release. “We are pleased to honor these 20 outstanding Florida organizations who are role models in their industries and are deserving of this prestigious award.”

According to FloridaMakes, the manufacturing sector accounts for 94,722 jobs in the west central/Gulf Coast region of Florida — 5.4 percent of the area’s total workforce. With more than 10,000 employees, Tampa-based Masonite (NYSE: DOOR) is the local manufacturing sector’s largest employer, but the vast majority of manufacturers in the region (89 percent) employ fewer than 50 workers and two-thirds have fewer than 10 employees.

FloridaMakes found that food, computer and electronic products and fabricated metal products were the manufacturing sub-sectors in the region that have created the most jobs, with each employing more than 10,000 people.

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