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Manufacturing industry in need of workers

Posted at 7:01 PM, May 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 16:04:37-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. According to Career Source Tampa Bay, since February, unemployment in Hillsborough County has jumped from 2.9% to 14.5%.

However, there are still plenty of good jobs out there in the field of manufacturing.

Advanced Airfoil Components has 170 people working in their plant, and not only have all of them kept their jobs during the pandemic, but this business is looking to double that employment in the next year, according to Nikole Watson, Sr. HR Business Partner.

“There’s a misconception about manufacturing, and I don’t think people really realize what opportunities they can get in a manufacturing environment,” said Watson.

Advanced Airfoil Components hasn’t missed a step during the pandemic. They are essential. Inside the 200,000 square-foot plant, they are making parts for power turbine engines.

“Business has continued to grow for us, and the need is there because power generation is continuing to be needed, people need to keep the lights on,” said Watson. “We have entry-level manufacturing positions that really only require a high school degree or a GED. What we are looking for is employees that are able to work in our team environment.”

Career Source Tampa Bay said, if you lost your job and are thinking about transitioning careers, this could be the perfect fit.

“The manufacturing sector has been doing very well in this COVID-19 environment. We work with probably 15 manufacturers that are adding staff, so we are always looking to connect talent to opportunity,” said Dan Schneckenburger, Director of Business Services with Career Source Tampa Bay.

Hillsborough Community College is making sure their students know that less than two years of vocational training could lead to a $40,000 a year job right out of school.

“Our mission is to provide a talent pipeline to the employers in the manufacturing sector,” said John Meeks, with HCC. “We take a look at the enrollment on a daily basis, and we’ll add courses as needed throughout the year.”

For more information on Advanced Airfoil Components, go to