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Statement By:
Jose Gonzalez, Vice-President, Governmental Affairs, Associated Industries of Florida

Regarding Job Creation Benefits and Positive Economic Impacts of SunRail

May 5, 2011

“Associated Industries of Florida has been an ardent supporter of SunRail due to the enormous return on investment the project will bring Florida in terms of job creation and economic development through construction, development along the SunRail corridor, improved transportation for Central Florida’s workforce and increased foreign trade through improvements to freight rail that will benefit Florida’s ports. SunRail will have immediate job creation benefits and will help diversify and strengthen Florida’s economy.

The State will purchase 61-miles of freight rail corridor from Florida-based CSX Transportation for $432 million.  This entire amount will be completely reinvested into much-needed freight infrastructure in Florida. This $432 million re-investment by a private corporation will significantly improve freight movement and help Florida become a leader in manufacturing, warehousing and distribution centers, logistics and global trade.

As the legislative session comes to a close, we’ve seen that Gov. Rick Scott understands the real economic improvements that will come with Florida’s port enhancements, which will bolster our ability to surface from this economic downturn and arise as a national trade center. With the expansion of the Panama Canal in 2014, Florida is positioning itself to be the trade capital of the Eastern seaboard – effectively transforming the state’s economic base. However, this cannot happen without substantial infrastructure improvements that start with SunRail – a project that will also benefit all regions of Florida.

In the four-county region directly impacted by SunRail, more than 11,500 jobs will be created by this project alone. With the addition of the freight improvements, distribution centers and other Florida-based warehouses for trade purposes, we will see the creation of thousands of additional, sustainable jobs. We’re at a turning point with SunRail and the choice ultimately lies with the Governor. The return on investment for SunRail is real and sets off a series of other events that are critical to the job-creation and economic development agenda he has set.

We ask Gov. Scott to support SunRail – Central Florida’s top transportation priority.”