Purcell Talks Jobs with Governor Scott December 2, 2014
Meeting for lunch with recently re-elected Florida Governor Rick Scott on December 1, MIASF Executive Director Phil Purcell had a distinct opportunity to explain how the marine industry is growing and retaining jobs while connecting with education and tourism and supporting other important industries in the region and state. The small gathering in Coral Gables at the Biltmore Hotel included four other corporate executives from law enforcement (police cameras), home security, hospital management and legal businesses. MIASF government relations team members Teye Reeves, Samantha Senne, and Pat Maloy of Floridian Partners arranged the lunch.
“Governor Scott is highly focused on growing and retaining Florida jobs,” Purcell explained, “and is looking for opportunities to connect resources to leverage the effort. We provided a good example by explaining partnerships we have with the region’s research universities – Nova Southeastern Oceanographic Center and opportunities to partner with Florida Atlantic University and the University of Miami – where the tie-in to their Oceanographic programs support environmental initiatives such as coral reef protection and eradicating lionfish. Digging deeper, the universities are also engaged in stem cell regeneration, wind and hydropower research.”
“The marine industry has a less obvious, backup role in supporting and promoting leading edge research and development,” Purcell noted to the Governor. “We are a key component of connectivity for the leisure lifestyle of boating that globally attracts the best minds and entrepreneurs to our region. South Florida’s geographic location to major Midwest and East Coast cities, the Caribbean, and Latin America draw these people to relax and invest and get to know what our communities offer. Many involved in the marine industry are passionate about what lies beneath our oceans and our local universities provide the research gateway to many issues facing the world’s inhabitants.”
Closer to marine industry-specific issues, Purcell said the Governor was aware of and encouraged by the new 2014 Tri-County Industry Economic Impact Study by Thomas Murray & Associates, showing significant job (136,000) and revenue gains ($11.5 Billion) since 2010. Scott also asked about the All Aboard Florida rail expansion plan and if the promoters are adequately listening to and seeking to mitigate marine industry concerns.
“We have a very similar agenda with the Governor,” summarizes Purcell. “Keeping jobs, education and research as priorities suits us and the State well. Knowing Florida’s Chief Executive is aware of and shares our goals suggests a continuing productive relationship with him and lawmakers during this administration.”