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Scott makes new jobs promises at campaign event

Another week, another policy tour for Gov. Rick Scott with a focus on ... you guessed it ... jobs.

Scott’s campaign brought his “Jobs for the Next Generation” tour to Pompano Beach this morning at Hoerbiger Corp., which manufactures parts for compressors. The company is headquartered in Switzerland and employs about 350 people at the Pompano Beach site. 

Scott chatted up workers as he toured the facility (without the safety goggles that reporters and other visitors had to wear) and then gave a short speech in which he talked up the growth in manufacturing jobs.

Scott also used the event to bash his expected opponent, former Gov. Charlie Crist, for jobs lost during his tenure. Scott didn’t name Crist, but said that FLorida “lost 832,000 jobs in four years” before he became governor while under his watch the state has added “over 620,000 jobs.”

Both statements ignore this context: Crist governed during a national recession while Scott led during a national recovery. Unemployment rose under Crist and fell under Scott though economists warn against any simple claims about credit or blame.

This particular jobs plan focused on manufacturing and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) jobs and included the following promises should he win a second four-year term:

* Permanently eliminate the manufacturing sales tax -- under Scott the Legislature eliminated it through 2017.

* Create a program to give STEM teachers summer jobs in the private sector and pay them with $10,000 in state money

* Secure $10 million to create $10,000 STEM degree programs. (In 2012, Scott urged all four-year colleges to offer $10,000 degrees.)

* Pursue $30 million for workforce training focused on STEM and other high-skilled, high-wage jobs

* Expand the number of National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers in the state from one to three

* Achieve it's first Top 10 and second Top-25 public research institution

The first day of Scott's tour coincided with the campaign announcing an endorsement by the Manufacturers Association of Florida. Scott took his tour to Boca Raton in the afternoon and plans to continue the tour in Orlando tomorrow. 

Kevin Cate, a spokesman for the Crist campaign, said that Crist will soon release his own policy proposal about jobs.