In its first year, the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, within the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), provided $85 million for public infrastructure and job training projects that support growth and employment in Florida’s diverse industries. In 2018-19, another $85 million will be provided for public infrastructure and job training projects in Florida. The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund is authorized to award grant funds to projects that “promote economic opportunity by improving public infrastructure and enhancing workforce training.” DEO and Enterprise Florida are esponsible for soliciting proposals and making funding recommendations to the Governor.The following types of projects are eligible for approval:
AIF SUPPORTS targeted infrastructure investments to catalyze certain regions and/or sectors. For example, we support the rapid growth of the emerging Florida commercial aerospace industry by focusing on projects such as the rebuild of decaying bridges along State Road 401 entering Canaveral Air Force Station.
AIF SUPPORTS investment in building a world-class marketing engine with top talent, analytics, and funding that develops and executes data-driven branding strategies. Tourism is our state’s leading industry. Not only does our state revenue rely on tourism, many other businesses in our state rely heavily on out-of-state visitors for revenue. We must ensure that VISIT FLORIDA is fully funded to assist in keeping visitors coming to our state.
AIF SUPPORTS Enterprise Florida’s mission to pursue a more focused mandate to grow existing Florida companies and attract new ones in attractive job fields for the 21st century.
AIF SUPPORTS legislative efforts to help Florida compete for high wage jobs in film, television and the digital media industry. Our great state has much to offer and a sound fiscally responsible program will help us attract the high wage jobs we have lost to Georgia, North Carolina, Louisiana and California in recent years.
AIF strongly encourages the legislature to consider their effect on the state’s pari-mutuel industry. These long-standing members of the Florida business community provide tens of thousands of jobs around the state. Pari-mutuels should be given the ability to compete in order to provide the best entertainment value possible, including Class III gaming, as long as the local county or municipality approves such action.
AIF SUPPORTS the legislature keeping the pari-mutuel industry and its impact on Florida’s economy in focus when considering integrated resorts or other expanded gambling activities.
To promote greater transparency in government, protect due process rights and to acknowledge the “digital divide,” AIF SUPPORTS requirements that public notices be printed in local newspapers as defined by Chapter 50, Florida Statutes, as well as displayed on the Internet.
AIF recognizes that immigration reform is an important issue for our state but contends it should be dealt with at the federal level. AIF OPPOSES efforts to mandate the use of the E-Verify system by employers.
Mandating E-Verify would have a negative effect on employers, especially those small business owners who do not have full-fledged human resource departments. In addition, fears of racial profiling could make it harder for businesses to recruit employees and could harm Florida’s tourism industry.
The Florida Rural Jobs and Business Recovery Act will help small businesses throughout rural Florida access private capital and will create and retain good paying permanent jobs. Rural small businesses and their communities continue to lag in the recovery due in part to the contraction of community banks and the lack of other sources of growth and expansion capital. The Florida Rural Jobs program will incentivize $100 million in private capital to be invested in rural small businesses within two years, and ultimately $150 million over the life of the program.