With Jacksonville increasingly billing itself as Americas Logistics Center, Gov. Rick Scott headed to the First Coast on Monday to promote transportation funding and increased educational opportunities in that field.
Appearing at JaxPort on Monday, Scott said the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is penciled in to receive $8.8 billion, including almost $139 million for ports improvements, under his proposed budget. Floridas ports are readying for the Panama Canal expansion which will also carry larger cargo vessels from the Pacific to dock in ports on the Atlantic seaboard.
Scott insisted on Monday that transportation investments would lead to more jobs.
Last year, we secured a record $8.6 billion for transportation investments and we continue to see tremendous results in Florida as we spur economic development and create jobs, while reducing burdensome taxes on Floridas families and businesses, Scott said. This year, our It's Your Money Tax Cut Budget, invests in transportation projects to further strengthen our world-class transportation system and enable Florida to be a global hub for trade and commerce. From construction jobs to increased trade opportunities, transportation projects provide tremendous job and economic benefit. This investment will enable our state to remain competitive for many years to come."
The increased funding won the applause of FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad. Governor Scotts Its Your Money Tax Cut Budget provides significant investment into much-needed transportation projects, Prasad said. These projects attract businesses, create jobs and improve the lives of the citizens of Florida.
During the event on Monday, Scott also showcased the new bachelor's degree in trade and logistics being launched in the fall by Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ). The new degree will cost students $10,000, as FSCJ -- like the other 22 schools in the Florida State College System -- accepted Scotts challenge to offer four-year degrees costing $10,000 or less. The University of North Florida (UNF), also in Jacksonville, is a national leader in logistics education.
I was proud to highlight FSCJs new $10,000 degree with their brand new president, Cynthia Bioteau, today, Scott said. I applaud FSCJ for working to find ways to improve value in our higher education system and to take on our $10,000 degree challenge. In Florida, we want to create an opportunity economy where we create jobs for the future generations and this brand new degree at FSCJ will do exactly that help our students be prepared for dynamic jobs in growing industries.
Florida College System Chancellor Randy Hanna said the new degree program would help students find economic opportunities and good jobs.
The Florida College System has a responsibility to prepare graduates for careers in the 21st century economy, Hanna said. Governor Scotts $10,000 degree challenge ensures that Floridas students receive a high-quality education at an affordable price. FSCJs $10,000 bachelors degree in logistics will prepare graduates for positions such as warehouse managers, logistics managers, operations managers and logistics coordinators. I commend the governor for his leadership in supporting workforce training and the college for its commitment to access and affordability.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com.