Florida Wins Silver Shovel Award for Job Creation & Economic Impact Success

Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that Area Development magazine awarded Florida, through its primary economic development organization, Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI), the Silver Shovel award for significant job creation and economic impact. The state received the same honor in 2013.

Governor Scott said, “This award highlights the work we have done to make Florida’s business climate more attractive to companies. Our workforce is among the best in the country, and we have streamlined regulations, eliminated the manufacturing equipment sales tax, and paid down state debt by 3.5 billion. As a result, we’re creating thousands of private-sector jobs for Florida families every month – more than 600,000 since December 2010 – and our efforts are being recognized by industry-leading publications like Area Development magazine.”

Area Development’s annual Shovel Awards recognize state economic development agencies that drive significant job creation through innovative policies, infrastructure improvements, processes, and promotions that attract new employers and investments in new and expanded facilities. The awards are presented annually to states that have achieved significant success in terms of job creation and economic impact.

“Florida continues to draw the attention of business leaders and site selectors across the nation, and this recognition will certainly shine a light on the work we’re doing to tell the state’s business story,” said Secretary of Commerce Gray Swoope, who serves as president & CEO of Enterprise Florida. “Florida’s resources and pro-business climate allow us compete for community-changing projects and we’re thrilled that so many industry leaders have chosen to locate or expand in the state. The future is bright for business in Florida.”

Each of the 50 states was invited by Area Development magazine to submit information about its top 10 job creation and investment projects. Only those projects that were initiated in 2013 were considered. The qualifying states were then rated based on the following weighted factors: direct jobs creation, new jobs per capita, amount of investment, number of projects creating high value added jobs, industry diversity and number of new facilities. Based on its score, Florida won one of three Silver Shovel awards for significant job creation and economic impact.

Projects recognized as part of Florida’s Silver Shovel award include:

Amazon.com Inc. – Tampa and Lakeland

Industry-leading company creating two fulfillment centers

1,000+ jobs; $300 million in capital investment

Bank of America – Jacksonville

Leading financial corporation expands regional headquarters

200+ jobs; $13 million in capital investment

Bristol-Myers Squibb – Tampa

Life science leader creating its North America Capability Center

579 jobs; $21.1 million in capital investment

Healthplan Services – Tampa

Expansion of leading provider for health insurance

1,000+ jobs; $34.4 million in capital investment

The Hertz Corporation – Estero

Corporate headquarters of national rental car company

700+ jobs; nearly $69 million in capital investment

NAVY FEDERAL Credit Union – Pensacola

Major credit union expanding campus by adding two new buildings

2,200 jobs; more than $206 million in capital investment

Northrop Grumman Corporation – St. Augustine and Melbourne

Aviation and aerospace company establishing two centers of excellence

1,000+ jobs; more than $100 million in capital investment

USAA – Tampa

Expansion of leading financial services company

1,215 jobs; $164.3 million in capital investment

Verizon Communications – Lake Mary

National corporation establishing Center of Excellence

750 jobs; $50 million in capital investment

The Silver Shovel award from Area Development is the latest in a string of business accolades for the Sunshine State, including:

#1 state for renewed consideration post-recession among site consultants (Area Development)
#2 state in the nation to do business (Chief Executive Magazine)
#2 best business climate (Business Facilities)
Top 5 small business & entrepreneur-friendly policies (SBE Council)




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