Media Contact:
Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Communications Manager
CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion
p: 352-291-9559 \ m: 352-816-1264
[email protected]

Survey Contact:
Kathleen Betz
Executive Director
Mid-FL Regional Manufacturers Association
p: 352-840-5764
[email protected]

OCALA, Fla. (July 27, 2021) — Enhanced employee benefits, many extended to part-timers, is one of the ways regional manufacturers have stepped up offerings to stay competitive, according to the 2021 Manufacturing Wage and Benefits Survey.

The survey was conducted by CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion in partnership with Mid-FL Regional Manufacturers Association (MRMA) and the Ocala Human Resource Management Association (OHRMA). It provides a comprehensive look at the state of manufacturing/distribution/logistics and supply chain employment in Citrus, Levy, Marion, and Sumter counties.

“It is so important for collaboration on this type of project to help the entire community,” said Donna Strickland, OHRMA president, adding that the group was grateful to partner in the endeavor.

The goal of the survey, the third conducted since 2015, is to provide insight about benefits and working conditions among manufacturing, logistics and supply chain companies. The results are intended to help identify current trends and best practices in employee recruitment and retention.

Companies that participated in the survey receive complimentary copies of the report. It is available for $300 for members of MRMA and OHRMA and $500 for all others.

Mart T. Davis, MRMA president and board chairman, said that “given the disruption in the labor market caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, I think the results of this survey are an invaluable tool for HR teams and hiring managers.”

“As we have all seen on marquees of multiple employers in the area, it’s no longer a ‘post a job and wait for resumes and/or applications to roll in’ world,” Davis said. “Even entry-level and low skill jobs have become difficult to fill. This survey lets you know what you need to be competitive in a tight labor market. If you don’t have this information, you’re not in the game.”

Cory Weaver, CareerSource CLM’s director of operations, agreed that the release of the survey is ideally timed as the partnering organizations look forward to an increase in those returning to the workforce.

“The manufacturing sector plays a vital role in our local economy,” she said. “Manufacturing in Central Florida has continued to grow despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In June, the Ocala metropolitan statistical area, which includes all of Marion County, had the fastest annual job growth rate in manufacturing at 8.6 percent compared to all the metro areas in the state.

Weaver noted that the report blends statistical Labor Market Information (LMI) and real-world data for businesses to work with as important company decisions are made.

“As the economy rebounds it is important for business leadership to have a firm understanding of the economic landscape not only in their own community, but in surrounding communities that are also vying for a skilled workforce,” she said.

Kathleen Betz, MRMA executive director, said the report provides average starting wage, average current wage and weighted average wage for each position as well as turnover rate by industry subsector, which is new this year. It will also show expected new hires planned for each position in the next two years, per survey participant, and level of difficulty participants find in filling positions.

“The local workforce and wages have changed significantly in the last few years and are expected to continue to change in the next couple years,” Betz said. “It will be even more important for companies to be competitive compensation-wise with other companies in the surrounding regions that are pulling from the same labor pool.”

Betz said the report also highlights average wage and experienced wage for all companies in the four-county area as well as for each surrounding region for all positions with that title.

A recent Labor Shed study of employment demographics and commuting patterns in the CareerSource CLM region showed that many people live in one county but work in another. The study, released in May by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, found that 48.9 percent of the workforce living in Marion County worked in another county; 57.2 percent of workers living in Citrus County worked elsewhere; and 72.3 percent of those in Levy County commuted to another county for work. In neighboring Sumter County, 70.6 percent of workers who live there travel to other counties for work.

“We know that workers will go where the jobs are and continue to seek out the most competitive wages,” Betz said. “The (wage and benefits survey) provides important information that will allow you to compare your wages to wages paid by all companies that have that position.”

Survey responses are confidential and converted to nondescript numbers so no company is identified.

For more information, or to purchase the full Wage and Benefits Report, contact Betz at 352-840-5764 or [email protected].


CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is a member of CareerSource Florida and a proud partner of the American Job Center network. CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is supported by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and other agencies as part of awards totaling $8.7 million (revised annually). CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities and in Spanish. All voice telephone numbers listed above may be reached by persons using TTY/TDD equipment via the Florida Relay Service at 711. If you need accommodations, call 800-434-5627, ext. 7878 or e-mail [email protected]. Please make request at least three business days in advance. Stay connected with CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion on FacebookTwitterYouTubeInstagram and LinkedIn.

Mid-FL Regional Manufacturers Association (MRMA) was founded in 1992 to provide an environment for manufacturing, distribution, logistics, supply chain, service support providers and educators to exchange ideas, share knowledge, discuss opportunities and share solutions for the mutual benefit of the manufacturing environment in Marion, Levy, Citrus and Sumter counties.

Ocala Human Resource Management Association (OHRMA) is a nonprofit organization of human resource professional from the Marion County community affiliated with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), an international organization of more than 180,000. 

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