Faced with an exodus of workers, Florida Gov. Rick Scott announces a deal to keep farm jobs in state
FLORIDA — Florida Gov, Rick Scott, said Wednesday that the state would continue to keep about 3,600 farm jobs and would work with local governments to create jobs.
Scott also said he would work to improve education, expand jobs opportunities for youth, and expand access to affordable child care for low-income Floridians.
In a statement, the governor said the state will continue to invest in rural communities.
“Our commitment to rural Florida will continue and we will continue in our work to help our citizens and communities thrive,” Scott said.
The governor has pledged to keep jobs in the state, which is in a deep recession.
The state is losing roughly one in five of its workforce, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.
The federal government has estimated that the unemployment rate for Floridias 10-year-olds is nearly 14% — twice the national average.
Scott has long touted the economic development of Florida.
Last year, the state received $3.3 billion in federal funds, including $1.4 billion in tax credits.
He said in February that the money would allow the state to attract new jobs and stimulate economic activity.
The state is struggling with a severe drought, and many of its rural areas are suffering from a lack of fresh water and nutrients, making them susceptible to wildfires.
Scott said the governor was confident that the drought would be resolved by the end of the year.
“We will have our emergency management plan in place, and we have the support of the Florida legislature to be able to do that,” Scott told reporters Wednesday.
The drought in the western part of the state has led to more than 1,000 deaths and more than 11,000 missing people since it began in mid-December.
The governor said he expects the drought to last until April.