Governor Scott said, “This award highlights the work we have done to make Florida’s business climate the best in the nation. We have worked to remove burdensome regulations, eliminated tax burdens, and have paid down state debt. As a result, we’re creating thousands of private-sector jobs for Florida families every month, 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.
“This is a great honor for our organization and our state,” said Secretary of Commerce Gray Swoope, who serves as president & CEO of Enterprise Florida. “This award speaks to the dedication of the EFI business development team and our relentless pursuit of competitive projects. Florida is in contention for more economic development projects than ever before, and we are capitalizing on our strengths as a super-state.”
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 2012 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 in the category.
Projects recognized as part of Florida’s Silver Shovel award include:
- Digital Risk, Boca Raton/Maitland/Jacksonville – 1,000 jobs, $3 million capital
- Navy Federal Credit Union, Pensacola – 700 jobs, $6.8 million capital
- Arthrex Manufacturing, Naples – 600 jobs, $50 million capital
- Univision Network, Doral – 346 jobs, $274 million capital
- L-3 Crestview Aerospace, Crestview – 340 jobs, $13.7 million capital
- Air Products & Chemicals, Port Manatee – 250 jobs, $53.6 million capital investment
- Pratt & Whitney, West Palm Beach – 230 jobs, $63.7 million capital
- Medtronic, Jacksonville – 175 jobs, $14 million capital
- Harris Corporation, Melbourne – 100 jobs, $100 million capital
- BI-LO, LLC., Jacksonville – 100 jobs, $83.7 million capital
The Silver Shovel award from Area Development is the latest in a string of business accolades for the Sunshine State, including:
- Chief Executive Magazine announced that Florida is the #2 state in the nation to do business.
- Fast Company named Florida the #1 state for innovation in its May 2013 magazine.
- Florida ranks #1 for exports in Brookings’ Top 10 State and Metropolitan Innovations to Watch.
- Florida ranks #5 in small business tax climate by the Tax Foundation.
- Florida’s tax climate is among the Top 5 best for business.
- Florida ranks among the 10 Best States for Starting a Business by CNBC.
The National Business incubation Association named the University of Florida’s Sid Martin Biotech Incubator the 2013 Incubator of the Year and the University of Central Florida’s Business Incubation Program the 2013 Incubator Network of the Year.
Secretary Swoope added, “We have a renewed focus on economic development in the state and recent announcements like Hertz, Verizon and Northrup Grumman are a sign of what’s to come. I want to thank the companies recognized by this award for their confidence in choosing Florida as their business home, as well as our local economic development partners for hard their work on these projects.”