Governor Rick Scott announced his 2017-2018 “Fighting for Florida’s Future” Budget recommendations today, which include $1.2 billion for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to invest in economic development programs that add jobs. The “Fighting for Florida’s Future” Budget also includes an $85 million investment in economic incentives to help Florida outcompete other locations for new economic opportunities and job wins, and $76 million for VISIT FLORIDA to continue Florida’s record tourism by marketing the state across the globe.
Governor Scott said, “While Florida has made great strides over the past six years, we are competing every day with other states and nations to attract growing businesses that will invest in our families and communities. Job creation helps the poorest, most disadvantaged families find the opportunities they need, and we must do all we can to secure a bright future for Florida by diversifying the economy and supporting business growth. By making these critical investments today, we are ensuring Florida remains the best place for our children and grandchildren to succeed.”
Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, said, “The ‘Fighting for Florida’s Future’ Budget will help Florida continue to be a national leader in economic development and job growth. Our investments in tax cuts, critical infrastructure and strong communities have helped cultivate an environment that fosters innovation and job creation all across the state. This budget will ensure we can continue these important investments on our mission to make Florida the best place in the nation to live, work, visit, do business and raise a family.”
The “Fighting for Florida’s Future” Budget includes:
$85 million for the Economic Development Toolkit to Make Florida More Competitive for Jobs
The “Fighting for Florida’s Future” Budget invests $85 million in Florida’s economic development toolkit, including business incentives, which will help attract new businesses and job creation to the state. A strong economic development toolkit that includes incentives will help Florida outcompete other states for job wins that result in a strong positive impact in communities across the state.
The budget also includes $23.5 million for Enterprise Florida operations.
Chris Hart, President and CEO of Enterprise Florida, said, “The ‘Fighting for Florida’s Future’ Budget will ensure Florida can remain competitive in our efforts to win new jobs and investments all across the state. This budget has the tools we need to grow jobs and create new opportunities for hardworking Floridians and their families.”
$76 million for VISIT FLORIDA to Promote Florida as the #1 Tourist Destination
The “Fighting for Florida’s Future” Budget invests $76 million for VISIT Florida to market the state around the globe, resulting in record numbers of visitors and an incredible economic impact to the Sunshine State. For every dollar invested in VISIT FLORIDA, taxpayers saw a return of $3.20, and VISIT FLORIDA received more than $133 million in private matching funds.
Ken Lawson, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA, said, “Through the ‘Fighting for Florida’s Future’ budget allocation, VISIT FLORIDA and our local tourism marketing partners will continue to promote the state’s diverse destinations to visitors all across the globe, creating jobs and generating vital state and local tax revenue that benefit all Floridians. On behalf of the statewide tourism industry, I would like to thank the Governor for his strong leadership and his recognition of VISIT FLORIDA’s ability to deliver a significant return on the state’s investment in tourism marketing. With a renewed focus on transparency and accountability, VISIT FLORIDA is committed to realizing our vision of establishing Florida as the No. 1 travel destination in the world.”
$23 million to Train Florida’s Workforce to be the Top Workforce in the Country
This funding includes $20 million for Quick Response Training and $3 million for the Incumbent Worker Training Program to provide customized training and upgrade the skills in the state’s workforce to keep Florida businesses competitive.
Britt Sikes, Chairman of the CareerSource Florida Board of Directors and General Manager, Enterprise Accounts Division, DEX Imaging, said, “Florida has one of the world’s most talented and trained workforces, which helps our state grow existing businesses and attract emerging and evolving businesses. To continue meeting the needs of top employers in high-skill industries such as advanced manufacturing, aerospace and defense, engineering, information technology and cybersecurity, it is critical that we invest in developing Florida talent.”
$19.5 million for Space Florida to Keep Florida First in Space
This funding will help diversify our economy by attracting high-skill, high-wage jobs and ensure Florida remains at the forefront of the globe’s aerospace launch and manufacturing industries.
Frank DiBello, President of Space Florida, said, “Space Florida is committed to investing in the state’s strong aerospace industry and ensuring the continuing growth of this unmatched high-value industry. The ‘Fighting for Florida’s Future’ Budget shows our commitment to economic diversification and the development of a skilled workforce that can meet the needs of Florida’s aerospace companies.”
$1.8 million for Community Development and the Competitive Florida Partnership
This funding provides disadvantaged and rural communities with the support and resources needed to diversify their local economies and encourage new business investment.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…
Syd Kitson, Chairman of the Florida Chamber Board of Directors and CEO of Kitson and Partners, said, “Governor Scott’s ‘Fighting for Florida’s Future’ Budget shows a commitment to diversifying Florida to ensure we have the nation’s strongest economy. This budget will help Florida businesses continue to grow jobs and develop the next generation of the state’s workforce.”
Tom Feeney, President and CEO of the Associated Industries of Florida, said, “Florida businesses depend on the state’s talented workforce and critical infrastructure to grow and continue investing in our state’s communities. The ‘Fighting for Florida’s Future’ Budget has the right investments that will help us put more Florida families on the path to prosperity through a new job.”
Bill Herrle, Executive Director of the National Federation of Independent Business/Florida (NFIB), said, “Small businesses across Florida will benefit from the smart investments in the ‘Fighting for Florida’s Future’ Budget. The Governor’s commitment to cutting taxes and bureaucratic red tape has helped create a strong business climate in Florida that helps our small businesses create jobs.”
Randy Miller, President and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation, said, “Gov. Scott’s strong budget recommendations will help Florida’s retail businesses and consumers across our state prosper. Our state’s more than 270,000 retailers are excited about the investments in the ‘Fighting for Florida’s Future’ Budget that will position Florida for sustained growth.”
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity combines the state’s economic, workforce and community development efforts. This new approach helps expedite economic development projects to fuel job creation in competitive communities. For more information, including valuable resources for employers and job seekers, please visit www.floridajobs.org.