Lake County highlighting its growing manufacturing-based economy

September 30, 2014 | By Michael W. Freeman, Orlando Sentinel

Senninger Irrigation, a business that has its headquarters in Clermont, has become a leading manufacturer and designer of patented irrigation products, Lake County’s Economic Development and Tourism Department likes to point out.
The company that was founded in 1963 has also proven to be a popular and enduring one with local farmers who work hard to protect their crops, the department notes. Senninger has developed water and energy-efficient sprinklers, spray nozzles, pressure regulators and other irrigation solutions for agriculture, mining, and dairy industry firms.

Lake County is happy to be home to Senninger -- one of several manufacturing companies that the Economic Development department is promoting in October. In fact, as the county notes, Lake County is now home to more than 300 manufacturing businesses.

Although the National Association of Manufacturers says manufacturers in Florida employ 4 percent of the workforce, Lake County’s manufacturing workforce is higher and totals 7 percent of the county’s economic base.

That’s an encouraging statistic, noted Adam Sumner, manager of the Economic Development and Tourism Department.

 “Lake County is proud to have a strong manufacturing base,” Summer said in a news release. “We support new and expanding manufacturing businesses because we know that Florida’s manufacturers create higher paying jobs and strengthen our local economy.”

To help highlight the critical role these employers play in the economy today, Lake County is launching a three-part series in October, which will spotlight and recognize some its local manufacturers, including Senninger Irrigation.

Others being highlighted in October are Cutrale Citrus Juices USA, located in Leesburg. A state-of-the-art citrus juice processing and bottling facility, its products include Simply Orange, Simply Lemonade and Simply Cranberry juices.

Another is Electron Machine Corporation, which has been operating in Umatilla since 1946 and created the first in-line process refractometer more than 50 years ago, back when orange juice was first concentrated. Their refractometers are used in the pulp and paper, food, and chemical processing industries. In 2013, they were awarded the Governor’s Export Excellence Award.  

Also being recongized is CaptiveAire, which recently opened its newest manufacturing facility in Groveland. CaptiveAire is the nation's leading manufacturer of commercial kitchen ventilation systems, and their client base includes independent restaurants and national brands like Darden.