Florida Gov. Rick Scott visits Honeywell in Pinellas County in bid for more manufacturing jobs

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Fighter pilots might not immediately think of local manufacturing companies like Honeywell and Lockheed when they're behind the controls of their multi-million dollar machines.  But Governor Rick Scott would like the manufacturing world to think of Florida.

"We are competing with other states and other countries for jobs like these, for plants like this.  Whether it's engineering, or whether it's building things, manufacturing, we're competing every day.  I want all those jobs in Florida," Scott said.

Scott toured classified areas of Honeywell in Clearwater today and put state lawmakers on notice that creating and keeping jobs in Florida is serious business.

"One of the things I'm doing with this session is eliminating the sales tax on machinery and equipment.  So companies like Honeywell will say, 'This is the place I want to be more than anyplace around the world.'"

And the companies that are local play a key role in helping to develop tomorrow's workers from right here in the bay area.

"We work very closely and in collaboration with local universities and other agencies where we bring people on board; work with them, train them, bring them up to speed on the technology," explained Karl Bogdan of Honeywell.

Lockheed recently expanded their Pinellas Park operation.  Programs that range in teaching different skill sets are out there for job seekers.  A recent peek into the Collaborative Center for Emerging Technologies at SPC's Clearwater Campus confirmed that the companies are on the hunt for workers.

"Companies go out, there looking for skilled workers. They've got the technology.  They've got the equipment.  They're looking for skilled workers" said Brad Jenkins, the Associate Dean of Engineering/Technology at SPC.

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