Governor Rick Scott today announced plans to double Quick Response Training (QRT) program funding to make the state more competitive for businesses looking to expand and create jobs in Florida. Governor Scott made his announcement while highlighting the successful expansion of Bi-Lo & Winn-Dixie, which used the QRT program.
Governor Rick Scott said, “Not only are we here to honor the investment of Bi-Lo & Winn-Dixie in Florida, but to also announce that we will work with the Florida Legislature to double state funding for Florida’s Quick Response Training program – bringing total funding to $12 million – so we can make our state even more competitive in the recruitment and retention of companies. This all comes down to one word: jobs.
“As Governor, it is my job everyday to make Florida more competitive in the global economy as we compete for business investment and job creation. One of the things that helped us to compete – and eventually bring Bi-Lo to Florida – was our state’s Quick Response Training program.”
The QRT program is successful because it works with employers, workforce boards, colleges and school districts to find the best situation to provide training for new employees. The program matches the needs of businesses with colleges who can provide specific skills to workers to match a company’s needs. This is a win-win for the state – because the state tailors education training specifically for businesses, and in turn, connects a worker with a job.
Governor Scott said that before Bi-Lo & Winn-Dixie merged, they were two impressive businesses that employed families across the nation. Bi-Lo’s roots stem from Greenville, South Carolina where over the years they expanded to employ 17,000 people. Winn-Dixie has been a steadfast symbol of our very own Jacksonville community for many years, and has employed countless Floridians through the years.
Last year, Bi-Lo & Winn-Dixie announced they would merge to create a business that’s worth more than $500 million – and totals 690 grocery stores and 63,000 employees. This makes them the 9th largest supermarket chain in the country. With their merger came the decision to locate their corporate headquarters right here in Jacksonville, Florida.