Job Creator: Kevin Carr of FloridaMakes

Kevin Carr has dedicated his career to enhancing the nation’s manufacturing sector with a focus on improving the competitiveness and profitability of small and medium- sized manufacturers.

After earning an engineering degree, Carr worked at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard where he learned the critical role played by America’s manufacturers. He had the opportunity to conduct advanced manufacturing research, assess best practices, handle focus groups and evaluate production facilities such as Boeing, Lockheed, Harris and Northrop Grumman.

These experiences guided Carr to the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP). As the first director of MEP, Carr created technical centers to help small and medium-sized manufacturers adopt advanced technologies. This initiative evolved from seven states into a fully integrated national system serving manufacturers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. To date, MEP has worked with 80,000 manufacturers to create 729,000 jobs and generate $88 billion in sales.

Carr transitioned to the private sector consulting on technology-based economic development. He worked with manufacturing associations to develop FloridaMakes. In 2015, it was selected by NIST and awarded $3.5 million a year for 10 years to be matched by state and local industry sources. FloridaMakes works with manufacturing companies to improve productivity, value and technological performance. To date, 55 Florida manufacturers reported economic results of more than $86 million from FloridaMakes services. Additionally, these manufacturers retained or added a total of 884 manufacturing jobs as a direct result of FloridaMakes efforts.

Carr was inducted into the NIST Gallery of Distinguished Scientists, Engineers, and Administrators for outstanding leadership. Additionally, he earned Harvard’s Innovation in Government Award and U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal.