Florida Governor Rick Scott Highlights Job Creation at Boston Whaler
For the second time in two years, Governor Rick Scott paid a visit to Boston Whaler, where he found support for the job-incentive initiatives he’s been fighting to preserve. The governor also used his visit as an opportunity to present Boston Whaler President Nick Stickler with the Governor’s Business Ambassador Award, an honor given to individuals for their efforts in creating jobs and opportunities for Florida families.
Scott’s first visit occurred in May 2015 when Whaler underwent an expansion that added more than 120 jobs, leading the governor to applaud the company’s 600-strong workforce. By Tuesday’s visit, the company had increased its numbers to approximately 750 employees, with plans to add many more over the next two years.
Boston Whaler proved to be a tempting stop on Scott’s whirlwind tour across Florida to promote what he says is the state’s 3.3 percent jobs growth rate—and, more specifically, Enterprise Florida, the program he believes spurs it.
Enterprise Florida is at the center of a prolonged legislative fight. Scott has been promoting business incentive programs like the Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund program, which aided Boston Whaler during its 2015 expansion, and he is pushing to keep both Enterprise Florida, the state’s economic development agency, and Visit Florida, its tourism marketing corporation, intact.
But the governor was met with friendly faces in Edgewater on Tuesday. Surrounded by more than 50 Boston Whaler employees and holding the company up as a shining example, Scott said: “In the first two months of the year … companies like Boston Whaler have added 54,000 jobs. In the last six years and two months, the private sector’s added 1.3 million new jobs so we are doing really well.”
Before presenting Stickler with the Business Ambassador Award, the governor highlighted an employee who had moved from Ohio to Florida to pursue employment with Boston Whaler after hearing about the opportunity through the Enterprise Florida campaign. The employee, Dan Cloutier, joined the company as a temporary employee in October of 2015, and as a permanent Whaler employee in January of 2016. Today, Cloutier works in Assembly, where he was part of the team that integrated the award-winning 320 Vantage into production. He is also a member of the Mentor program and the PACE committee, working to implement employee improvement and safety suggestions. Cloutier affirmed that the move to Florida has been extremely beneficial, and credits his job with Boston Whaler as providing financial security and increased confidence for him and his family.
“We appreciate Governor Scott for visiting our facility today and for recognizing our hard-working team members,” Stickler said. “Boston Whaler is proud of the opportunities we have been able to create for Florida families with the support of Enterprise Florida and our local economic development partners. The relationship we have maintained with EFI and their local partners over the years has made a great difference for our company, and we look forward to continuing working together.”