By Clifford Davis
Fleet Readiness Center Southeast Public Affairs

Lake Ray, president of the First Coast Manufacturers Association (FCMA), named Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE) as the recipient of the FCMA Manufacturer of the Year Award at the association's annual ceremony Oct. 19 in St. Augustine, Florida.

FRCSE Commanding Officer Capt. Chuck Stuart received the award on behalf of the facility, which performs maintenance, repairs and overhauls of aircraft for military and civilian clients - necessitating a large manufacturing capability.

"For FRCSE to be recognized by such a distinguished group of manufacturers who are dedicated to sustaining and improving the local economy is a tremendous honor," Stuart said. "This award is a testament to the skill, commitment and dedication of our Sailors and civilian employees."

Formed in 1989, the FCMA is made up of more than 300 companies with a manufacturing presence in Northeast Florida. The association provides workforce training and fosters business and networking relationships.

The Manufacturer of the Year Award is given each year to an organization that embodies a commitment to improving the local economy, environmental protection and providing education for its workforce. 

FRCSE achievements cited by the association for the award included the facility's allocation of more than $7 million over the past five years to construct a full-spectrum training building for the education of its employees. In addition, the manufacturing group also noted FRCSE's environmental improvements, consisting of reducing its energy footprint, as well as recycling more than 160 tons of used oil.

The last point was of particular importance to Stuart.

"It is extremely important to us to be good stewards of taxpayer resources," Stuart said. "Running our facility efficiently allows us to do that, as well as get aircraft and components to our military as quickly as possible."