Last week, JRL Ventures Inc./Marine Concepts, a long-time member of the American Composites Manufacturers Association, lent its warehouse in Sarasota, Fla. to host two major players in Florida politics – Senator and presidential candidate Marco Rubio and Governor Rick Scott.

Both politicians addressed a crowd of hundreds to emphasize their desire to preserve small business job growth through manufacturing. Rubio, in particular, stressed his support of less stringent regulation for businesses.

“I don’t know a single job creator in America that is asking for more taxes and more regulations,” said Rubio in his January 11 town hall address.

JRL Ventures/Marine Concepts president Matt Chambers echoed Rubio’s sentiments, and applauded both his and Governor Scott’s commitment to manufacturing.

“We have to [preserve jobs] and care for the environment,” said Chambers. “This country has great resources and great people. Let’s understand that and unleash them to build our country back to what it was.”

Chambers also stressed how important it is for composite manufacturers to get involved politically by joining ACMA’s Government Affairs committee and using it as a resource. Rubio’s recent fundraiser in Sarasota was close to Marine Concepts’ business in Bradenton, Fla., which provided an ideal opportunity to invite him to speak.

Some of the work done by Chambers and Marine Concepts owner Bob Long includes collaboration with Governor Scott to help implement plans to develop one million jobs. Both Chambers and Long have received awards from the governor for small business leadership, and as a result, have a reliable political ally.

“Get involved in your state manufacturing association and reach out at every level to your local and state government,” said Chambers. “The councilmen will be your state representatives one day, [and] your state representative will be your senator in D.C., and maybe one day president.”