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Tuesday October 21st 2014

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Florida Chamber study shows 150,000 potential jobs tied to exports, imports over next five years

The Florida Chamber Foundation today released its Florida Trade and Logistics Study 2.0 (TL2.0), identifying a potential of 150,000 new trade and logistics jobs that can be created over the next five years. The TL2.0 study was released at the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Future of Florida Forum in Orlando.

The study, commissioned by the Florida Chamber Foundation and presented by Bank of America and the Florida Department of Transportation, builds on Florida’s once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the state’s economy to become a global hub for trade, logistics and export-oriented manufacturing activities.

“The Florida Chamber Foundation’s study provides a roadmap for tremendous private-sector job growth and positive economic activity,” said Tony Carvajal, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber Foundation. “In addition to identifying a potential 150,000 new jobs, the Trade and Logistics Study 2.0 recommends developing a trade, logistics and manufacturing talent pipeline, creating Centers of Excellence and the Southeast’s first merchant marine training institute.”

Florida is uniquely positioned in the center of the hemisphere, and the shift in the U.S. population to the south, the Panama Canal widening, the resurgence of Latin American and Caribbean trade, and the continued revolution in logistics practices create an opportunity for Florida to excel as a global hub.

In 2010, the Florida Chamber of Commerce put a stake in the ground by calling for the doubling of Florida-origin exports and achieving economic diversification. The same year, the Florida Chamber Foundation released its first Florida Trade and Logistics Study, which has resulted in:

  • 23,000 new trade and logistics jobs create from 2010-2012,
  • 9,000 new manufacturing jobs,
  • A record $66 billion in goods exported by Florida companies (an increase of $11), and
  • Establishing a friendlier business climate, through nearly a dozen successfully passed Florida Chamber-backed bills, for trade, logistics and manufacturing industry.

The TL2.0 study identifies seven strategies that can be accomplished through a coordinated statewide action on workforce, transportation, economic development and business climate. The strategies include:

  • Continue the strong leadership role of the Governor and the historic alignment of Florida’s public and private leaders and organizations that have been critical to recent successes in the global market.
  • Continue the recent strategic emphasis on trade and logistics, including its identification as a statewide targeted industry.
  • Integrate, expand, and provide sustained funding for programs with proven impact or positive initial results.
  • Make strategic investments to ensure Florida is “best in class” in all aspects of global trade and investments.
  • Ensure an ongoing, strategic presence for Florida at the national level where Florida can shape federal decisions on trade agreements, trade regulations, customs and other trade-related business processes, and transportation policies and investments.
  • Enhance regional partnerships across Florida to target export market opportunities and advance economic development, workforce, transportation, and land use decisions that maximize the global opportunities for each region of the state.
  • Develop a Florida Trade and Logistics Institute to continue research, education, and collaboration in support of Florida’s global vision, including support for implementing the recommendations of this report.

TL2.0 builds upon previous Florida Chamber Foundation research, including the first Trade and Logistics Study, the International and Transportation Cornerstones (1998/1999) and other statewide initiatives such as the Florida Department of Transportation’s Florida Transportation Plan 2060. The study also uses the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Six Pillars framework to clearly identify essential areas for strategic development tied to creating jobs, advancing economic growth and diversifying the state’s economy.