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Business Observer: Finding Talent

NTMA mentioned in Business Observer 

Friday, August 04, 2017

Hanging in the lobby of Southern Manufacturing Technologies Inc. is a large picture of a soldier holding a javelin missile. The picture is of Cpl. Steven Hollahan, whose troop was under attack from the Taliban when he set a record for the longest javelin missile shot ever recorded to take the enemy down almost a mile away.

Though some may be aware the javelin missile was produced by Lockheed Martin Corp., what many may not be aware of is that some of the parts in that missile came from Tampa — from Southern Manufacturing Technologies Inc.

Getting the word out through stories like that is exactly what SMT’s President Roy Sweatman hopes to do to let people know that a small manufacturer in Florida is making parts for the big names. In fact, just a few months ago, SMT parts were in the missile defense system that was tested to block a missile coming from North Korea or other threats. In the past month, the company had a part that was in the Tomahawk missiles in Syria. “We’re in the supply chain,” Sweatman says.

SMT is not a new name on the block. The company was founded in 1953. Sweatman came from Ohio and bought the company in 1983. Since then, he’s grown the five-employee company to 110 employees and $13.5 million in revenue.

Walking through the manufacturing facility, you see hundreds of metal parts. Learning what they are used for is what’s really impressive. The parts include a piece used in a fuel pump for Blackhawk helicopters and a turbo valve that can be used in a breathing apparatus or to control an IV drip. The company’s list of customers include Woodward, Honeywell International and Cobham. For each of its two largest customers, SMT produces more than 300 parts at its Tampa facility.

Read more here.