Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Can Rick Scott's jobs czar bring business to Florida?

By Michael C. Bender, Times/Herald Tallahassee BureauTampa Bay Times

Gray Swoope pulls his hands from his pockets long enough to hold open each door he crosses in the state Capitol for anyone who might want to pass through first.

It's a fitting image.

As Gov. Rick Scott's jobs czar, Swoope (rhymes with "hope") must open the door to more business in Florida, finding a better calculus than his predecessors to lure new companies across the state line while keeping existing employers from escaping.

There have been early signs of success. The state's 10.3 percent jobless rate is its lowest since June 2009. In September, Time Warner announced plans to create 500 jobs in Hillsborough County. The company got state and local tax incentives worth $3 million.

But there have been hints of trouble, too.

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