Creating an Opportunity Economy

By: Gov. Rick Scott | Posted: December 9, 2013 2:05 PM
Rick Scott

Rick Scott

The Tampa Bay Times’ Dec. 7 editorial focused on one of the most important subjects to all Floridians -- jobs. But, the challenges facing our growing state won’t end when we reach a certain number of jobs created or a certain unemployment rate. We are working to build an opportunity economy that will create jobs for generations to come.

In 2010, as the Times said, I laid out a goal to reform our economic policies so job creators could add 700,000 jobs in seven years. Unfortunately, the Times’ editorial added up all the jobs employers reduced over the last few years, but failed to mention the great news that we have experienced net job growth over that same time. Simply put, the full math on our state’s economy is that we have added more than 440,000 net, new private-sector jobs since we began implementing pro-growth policies. This means that in less than three years, we are more than halfway to the 700,000, seven-year job-creation goal. In fact, Florida added more jobs in the month of October than any other state in the country. The Times doesn’t mention it, but Florida’s job growth rate has been outpacing the nation’s and that of other large states for many months. The numbers show our economy is turning around -- and more quickly than the national economy.

Only one portion of our economic policy focuses on winning competitive jobs projects. These projects are usually ones where Florida competes with other states and countries for business investment and ultimately job creation. The Times focused solely on these competitive projects in its editorial, which, unfortunately, does not factor in all the other jobs our economy created over the same period of time.

Even when limiting a review of our economy to only those competitive projects that win the investment of taxpayer funds, we’ve had a remarkable turnaround. Florida was not considered a competitive state on significant economic deals in 2010. I met with economic consultants who said that Florida was considered for only about one out of 20 competitive projects. Today, Florida competes for about one out of four economic projects. The difference? A new business climate in Florida.

We have drastically reformed Florida’s economic policies in the last few years. We changed tax increases to tax cuts. We changed rising spending and rising debt to streamlined services and reduced debt. We changed red tape and regulations on job creators to policies that streamlined permitting and eliminated thousands of onerous regulations. This is a new business climate, and it’s working. Just this August, national ratings agency, Fitch, upgraded our economic outlook from “negative” to “stable” and said, “economic performance is improving.”

Our competitive economic projects include massive, multiple-year wins, including: Hertz Corp. (700 new jobs, $68.75 million in capital investment), Northrop Grumman (1,000 new jobs), Navy Federal Credit Union (1,500 new jobs, $200 million in capital investment), Verizon (750 new jobs; $50 million in capital investment), and Boeing (550 new jobs; $163 million in capital investment). It is important to know that these expected jobs are not created overnight. In fact, they are all multiple-year projects that will invest millions into Florida communities and create direct and indirect jobs for years to come.

Because our economy is growing, we have been able to make record investments in our education system -- including $480 million for teacher pay raises. We have also been able to invest in transportation system priorities -- like our ports; and in environmental projects -- like our historic $880 million plan to restore water quality in the Everglades.  

Creating a great jobs climate, investing in our education system and improving how we deliver services in everything from health care to transportation is the foundation of an opportunity economy. We want to be a catalyst for growth in Florida’s technology sector -- from a small startup company to the creation of major technological defense systems. We want to harness the potential of our ports in world trade, and continue to build up our manufacturing industry. We want to encourage greater innovation at our cancer centers. And, that is just a start. We want to build an opportunity economy in Florida for our children and grandchildren. We don’t just want more jobs -- we want our state to be an engine for job growth for generations to come.

Rick Scott was elected as Florida's 45th governor in 2010.  

Comments (6)

10:55PM DEC 10TH 2013
I feel like Governor Scott gets results because he comes from a business background, rather than a political one. I think he makes old-school politicians nervous, because he approaches problems like a businessman, not like a politician. He's not perfect, but who is?
8:48AM DEC 10TH 2013
"Creating" jobs is a never ending task with a continuous growing population. That's been the cry ever since I can remember. And it'll continue as long as our population continues to grow. Because even if he's successful creating the 700,000 in 7 years, by then, we're likely to have another 700,000 more people needing a job.

Few more years and we're projected to become the 3rd most populated state in the country. (Without adding any more resources on which to base a economy.)
10:30PM DEC 9TH 2013
corruption, educational chaos and environmental destruction are rick scott's legacy.
Jote' Thompson
9:01PM DEC 9TH 2013
Rick Scott has done little to help this state with it's job situation. Rick Scott has done a lot for his friends, especially at the Paris Air Show. If Rick Scott really wanted to help Florida he would reduce regulations and he would get out of the way and let Floridians thrive. Rick Scott implemented Common Core and ObamaCare. Rick Scott arrested Sheriff Nick Finch in Liberty County and replaced him with a Scott friend. Then Scott was ordered to reinstate Nick Finch.

Adrian Wyllie, Libertarian for Governor will open up free markets and end years of Scott/Crist corporate cronyism, which has ruined our state. Wyllie, will surely win in November and Rick Scott, well he'll need to find a new job.
Dean Franklin
6:27PM DEC 9TH 2013
That promise was 700k extra jobs, above and beyond normal job growth. I heard tape of Gov Scott making that promise and we are not even close. And we have proof our education system is lacking. Epic Fail!
4:20PM DEC 9TH 2013
Rick Scott is so full of hot air, even he believes it! We cannot return him to Tallahassee! He's lied, taken credit for things he had nothing to do with, and our economy is oh so very slowly coming back thanks to the hard work of the people, NOT Scott.

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