HOLIDAY, Fla. — A Tampa nonprofit dedicated to manufacturing has found its new permanent home.
AmSkills has opened its doors to a new location in Pasco County — a move that looks to bring more opportunities and jobs to the area.
“Our goal is to get people excited for manufacturing — to get them in," said Alessandro Anzalone, chief operating officer.
Inside the new warehouse, you'll find machinery buzzing and passionate workers, and minds, behind them.
“Kids love it," Anzalone said, while showing off one of their robots. "Every time we go to a school, they want to play with it, they want to program it, and we teach them how to program it. It’s very simple to program.”
Anzalone is the COO of AmSkills. He's been working in manufacturing for 30 years, but not once has it gotten old.
“Manufacturing is exciting — there is never a dull day in manufacturing, ever," he said. "Manufacturing is not every day the same. Actually, one of the reasons we have robots, is to avoid having humans doing always the same — because the robots do the repetitive work. So we let them do that but we do the programming of the robot. The programming is different for every robot.”
Before having its own roof, AmSkills worked remotely, often traveling to schools throughout the area to showcase different robots and teach the advantages of working in manufacturing.
Now, those teachings are getting a boost.
“We were limited to what we could do," Anzalone said. "Now that we have a home base we can do much, much more. We have, again, most of our equipment is on wheels so we can set up like today with 30 people in a particular training. We can set the center of the room with that equipment, wheel it in, do the training, move back and then we can do another one. We can have different groups of people working in different trainings.”
And it’s coming at a good time. Anzalone said there are more than 9,000 jobs available in the manufacturing industry in Florida.
“It is crucial for our area," he said. "If you really want to have sustainable growth, the only thing that really provides that is manufacturing. And why? Because in manufacturing you always turn something that is low cost into something that is expensive. A car for example — how much is the material in a car compared to the price of the car? The rest is the value added the manufacturing provides to it.”
It's an opportunity to grow and bring more jobs to the Bay area.
“I would like to see us be in one or two more high schools next year," Anzalone said. "We’re also exploring other certifications we haven’t offered in the past — some that I have had the opportunity to work with before, I want to bring them to AmSkills.”