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Rick Scott touts job creation, goes back to familiar source

TALLAHASSEE – Gov. Rick Scott announced today that L-3 Crestview Aerospace, a New York City aircraft contractor, will create 340 jobs during an expansion over the next two years of its manufacturing operations in Okaloosa County.

“These are hundreds of jobs that will positively impact Florida’s communities – and is a great sign of Florida’s growing economy,” Scott said in a release.

The announcement comes just three days before the release of November’s jobs figures for Florida. Florida added 14,700 jobs in October. The unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in October, higher than the national rate.

Scott has struggled to fulfill his promise of creating 700,000 jobs in seven years as governor. Through October, the total number of jobs created since Scott took office in January 2011 was 154,000.

This is at least his second time trumping L-3 Crestview Aerospace in making the larger argument that jobs are getting created on his watch. In October, Scott toured the L-3 Crestview Aerospace facility in a visit where he highlighted job creation in the state.

Here’s Tuesday's release:

 Gov. Scott and L-3 Crestview Aerospace Announce Expansion of Aircraft Manufacturing Operations


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott and L-3 Crestview Aerospace (L-3 CA) announced that the company will create 340 jobs within two years through the expansion of their aircraft manufacturing operations in Okaloosa County.


The project also marks an investment of more than $13.7 million, which will include $7 million in facilities upgrades and the retrofit of hangar space at Bob Sikes Airport in 2013 and 2014.

Governor Scott said, “After visiting L-3’s facility in October, I am proud they are continuing to help Florida’s families with the creation of 340 more jobs. Florida is an aviation and aerospace leader because of the growth and innovation of businesses like L-3 CA.  These are hundreds of jobs that will positively impact Florida’s communities – and is a great sign of Florida’s growing economy. Since taking office, the private sector has created nearly 175,000 jobs, Florida has experienced the largest drop in unemployment in the nation - and as families get more jobs, residential real estate is projected to rise for 2013, which is great news for Florida communities.”  

L-3 CA, a division of L-3’s Integrated Systems Group, is a world-leading provider of aerostructure fabrication and assembly and aircraft modification. Since June 2011,158 of these jobs have already been added.

“We’re a vertically integrated, one-stop shop for detail parts fabrication and machining through end-item aerostructure assemblies and fixed- and rotary-wing modifications,” said Jeff Barger, L-3 CA’s vice president and general manager.  “The continued growth of our facility and workforce increases our capacity to provide high-quality aerostructure fabrication and aircraft modification services to our existing and new customers.”

Organizations that partnered to support L-3 CA’s expansion included the Bob Sikes Airport, City of Crestview, Crestview-Okaloosa Industrial Air Park, Economic Development Council for Okaloosa County, Enterprise Florida Inc., Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners and Workforce Development Board of Okaloosa County.

“As one of Okaloosa County’s top employers, the Economic Development Council has been honored to assist L-3 Crestview Aerospace on their business expansion needs,” said Kay Rasmussen, interim president for the Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County.  “Larry Sassano, the EDC’s previous president, started working with L-3 over a year ago as a targeted industry for high growth and high wage job potential.  This is a wonderful success story of utilizing multiple partners to bring a project to fruition.”

Headquartered in New York City, L-3 employs approximately 51,000 people worldwide and is a prime contractor in C3ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) systems, aircraft modernization and maintenance, and national security solutions. L-3 is also a leading provider of a broad range of electronic systems used on military and commercial platforms.