OKEECHOBEE, FL – Today, Governor Rick Scott and Joseph Charles, President & CEO of Charles Industries, Ltd. announced that Charles Composites’, LLC has established its manufacturing operations in Okeechobee County. The $3.85 million capital investment will bring 28 new jobs to the region.

 

Governor Rick Scott said, “It is great news that we can celebrate 28 new jobs in the Okeechobee community.  Florida’s unemployment rate is well below the national average at 7.1 percent and we continue to create private sector jobs that are helping Florida families succeed.  I am pleased Charles Industries has continued to invest in Florida and that is why I made it a priority to eliminate barriers on manufacturers this year – so employers like this could expand and invest in our state.  This is a win for Florida families.”

 

Charles Composites’, a strategic supply partner of Charles Industries, an Illinois-based manufacturing and technology company, will manufacture and distribute underground enclosures to large utility providers, telecommunication companies, wireless companies, and cable television companies.

 

“I am very excited to be able to open our advanced composite manufacturing center in Okeechobee, Florida. While my other business has manufacturing centers in the Midwest, the support from Governor Scott was instrumental in making the decision to locate in Florida,” said Joe Charles, President of Charles Composites.  “The assistance from Okeechobee County leadership along with the community’s supporting infrastructure also played a critical role in my purchase of the property.”

 

Florida manufacturers, like Charles Composites, are a powerful economic engine for the state’s economy. In addition to removing unnecessary taxes on manufacturers, Florida’s strong workforce and top-ranked infrastructure make this the perfect state for manufacturers to locate and expand. The industry cluster counts nearly 18,000 manufacturers who employ more than 300,000 workers across the state.

 

“The manufacturing industry in Florida is growing thanks to the competitive advantages our state can offer,” said Secretary of Commerce and President and CEO of Enterprise Florida Gray Swoope. “We’re thrilled that Mr. Charles has chosen Okeechobee as an ideal location for Charles Composites’ manufacturing operations.”

 

Charles Composites has purchased a 40,000-square-foot facility on five acres ideally suited for the development and manufacturing of advance composite enclosures. Charles Composites chose Okeechobee because of its proximity to major roadways, railways, major airports and ports such as Miami, Tampa, and Ft. Pierce.

 

“Okeechobee County is very pleased that Charles Composites chose to locate their manufacturing business in the City’s industrial park,” said Robbie Chartier, County Administrator of Okeechobee County. “This manufacturing business will be an asset to Okeechobee’s economy and we are happy to have them here.  We will continue to work with them to assist in any way we can for their success.”

 

The project was made possible through partnerships with Okeechobee County, the Okeechobee Chamber of Commerce, the Department of Economic Opportunity, Workforce Florida and Enterprise Florida.

 

“The expansion of Charles Composites in Okeechobee is another indicator that the pro-growth policies of this administration are working,” said Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Jesse Panuccio. “We appreciate all of our partners who made this expansion possible and look forward to seeing 28 more families in the area gain meaningful employment.”

 

As part of the project, Workforce Florida, Inc. has offered Charles Composites funding through the Quick Response Training (QRT) grant program. The grants are structured to be flexible and “respond quickly” to meet the business’s training objectives. This is the first award of a QRT grant in Okeechobee County.

 

“We are committed to ensuring this new Florida manufacturer has access to a highly skilled workforce,” said Chris Hart, President/CEO of Workforce Florida Inc. “These new jobs in rural Okeechobee County represent new economic opportunities for Florida families and the community.”

 

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Charles Industries, Ltd. is a privately held, diversified manufacturing and technology company and leading provider of environmentally protected Innovative Enclosed Solutions™ and network infrastructure solutions serving telecommunication, wireless, broadband/CATV, utilities, marine and industrial markets. Founded in 1968, the company is ISO 9001:2008 and TL 9000 registered and headquartered in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, with four additional U.S.-based manufacturing centers.

 

Enterprise Florida, Inc. is a partnership between Florida’s business and government leaders and is the principal economic development organization for the state of Florida. Enterprise Florida’s mission is to facilitate job growth for Florida’s businesses and citizens leading to a vibrant statewide economy. In pursuit of its mission, Enterprise Florida works closely with a statewide network of economic development partners and is funded both by the State of Florida and by private-sector businesses.

 

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