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FloridaMakes Network Support Leads to Local Aerospace Company’s Partnership with Major Defense Contractor

With the help of: FloridaMakes


GRACE Aerospace is a full-service aerospace manufacturer and systems integrator with capabilities in product development and engineering, structural fabrication, CNC machining, painting, electrical assembly, systems integration, and rapid prototyping. Government customers have relied on GRACE Aerospace for over 20 years to build and deliver sophisticated systems to exacting standards on time and on budget. GRACE Aerospace’s dedicated team supports and manages projects from inception to completion, resulting in a turnkey solution. GRACE Aerospace is ISO 9001 and AS9100 certified, ITAR-registered, and proud to be a woman-owned small business, certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The Challenge

The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the aerospace industry led Grace Aerospace to consider new markets and new business opportunities. The company needed assistance streamlining operations, identifying and prioritizing areas for improvement, meeting the demands of its customers and increasing the company’s advantage in a highly competitive aerospace manufacturing sector.
Although 2020 was a difficult year due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, GRACE Aerospace used it as an opportunity to reach out to the First Coast Manufacturers Association (FCMA), part of the FloridaMakes Network, for assistance. Rob Caldwell and Lake Ray provided tremendous support, resulting in Grace Aerospace being showcased to wide audiences via articles, webinars, and the Florida Connex supply chain tool, which has helped us gain more positive brand recognition. We truly value our partnership with the FloridaMakes Network and believe that the support we have and continue to receive positions us for stronger long-term growth.
— Pauline Sevigny, President

MEP's Role

Company leadership engaged the First Coast Manufacturers Association (FCMA), part of the FloridaMakes Network and the MEP National Network™, in various support opportunities available through their regional manufacturing association membership. Grace Aerospace participated in many activities including a Business Continuity Assessment (BCA) for disaster preparedness; developing a capability statement and profile for the Connex Florida online supply chain management tool; participation in the FCMA Manufacturer of the Year (MOTY) awards process; and the annual Sterling Manufacturing Business Excellence (SMBE) awards evaluation process. The SMBE and MOTY assessment awards processes are conducted by a cross-functional team of industry experts and advises management of observed strengths and opportunities for improvement in six different business operating categories. The lessons learned during these assessments and related opportunities led to improvements in operations, quality, customer engagement and employee retention; these coupled with the visibility afforded by Connex Florida enabled Grace Aerospace to become a certified provider for a major defense contractor.
Created October 5, 2021, Updated April 30, 2022