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Rick Scott: Turbine Maker's Job Cuts in Orlando Why Feds Must Cut Red Tape

September 18, 2012 - 6:00pm


Gov. Rick Scott said the federal government needs to do a better job of cutting regulations, as evidenced by the announcement from a Germany-based turbine maker to cut 60 positions in Orlando -- in part because ofthe looming expiration of a key U.S. wind tax credit.

Congress has to do what weve been doing in Florida: reduce taxes, reduce regulations, streamline the permitting process, Scott said on Wednesday.

I know theyre having a tough time figuring out if there is a return for the taxpayers and so I look forward to getting more information. But I know that whether it is that or sequestration thats going to happen in January, these things are going to have an impact on our state, on jobs in our state.

Siemans, which has reported a 40 percent drop in new orders, claims the credits are needed to help compete against cheap natural gas prices in the United States.

The jobs are among 615 being slashed at factories producing windmills.

At the same time, Scott has also called for the Department of Economic Opportunity to set up shop before a massive round of announced layoffs from
Fort Worth-based American Airlines kicks in in November that could impact as many as 1,414.

Speaking at the ribbon-cutting for the month-old Governor's Charter Academy in Tallahassee, Scott addressed the layoffs coming to Florida from the two companies.

Its disappointing when anybody lays anybody off in the state, whether its wind turbines or airlines, Scott said.

Hopefully other airlines and other air transport organizations will hire those same workers. One thing great about our state is we have a diversified economy.

Scott has directed the Department of Economic Opportunity to work with the Southwest Florida Workforce Investment Board, the Beacon Council, the Miami Chamber of Commerce and the associated labor unions to work with the aviation workers.

The Texas-based carrier has advised more than 11,000 mechanics, ground workers, clerks and airport agents companywide of the pending layoffs.

The notice to Florida lists the pending layoffs -- to occur between Nov. 16 and Dec. 16 -- as centered in transportation and warehousing positions.

The company advised the Dallas Morning News that the layoffs should impact up to 4,400.

According to the Miami Herald, the majority of the companys 9,000 Florida employees impacted work at Miami International Airport.

But the airline and a local union representative said the number of workers likely to lose their jobs in Miami is expected to be much lower, the Herald stated. And some of those whose jobs are outsourced could find employment with companies that are contracted to do the same work.

The layoff announcements come on the eve of Fridays monthly employment numbers for Florida. Neither number will be reflected in the report.

Scott expressed hope on Tuesday that the job growth trends would show an improvement from July to August after the report had its first month of downward movement after a-year-and-a-half of growth.

Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.

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