DORAL, Fla. - Florida Gov. Rick Scott praised U.S. Gas & Electric in Doral Thursday after the company created 32 jobs in recent months.
Scott has visited three companies this week that are adding jobs.
USG&E President Doug Marcille said the call center was nearly moved away from South Florida. The company sells utilities services in 11 states from its call center in Doral.
"At Massachusetts at one point, yes, back in 2009, and because of the Miami Chamber of Commerce's involvement and the Beacon Council and the governor's office, we were convinced to stay here. We found this call center, and with the great labor pool and low tax base and other low costs, we become more competitive than we would have otherwise if we had moved to another state," said Marcille.
Marcille said the company started in January 2005 with only two employees. Today -- the company has nearly 200 employees.
Scott presented Marcille with the Governor's Business Ambassador Award.
"I mean I do this -- I've got calls this afternoon, to call companies about why they should be here," said Scott. "Because of calling on companies, cutting regulations, having a pro-business attitude, unemployment in Florida has dropped faster than any other state in the entire United States."
Scott said he spends part of each day calling companies who want to come to Florida and others to convince them to stay.
"How are you doing on your pledge, your campaign pledge, you said 700,000 jobs, 7 years. Here we are roughly, a little more than two years into your tenure -- how you doing?" asked Local 10 Senior Political Reporter Michael Putney.
"Oh, we're doing great," answered Scott. "One-hundred seventy-five thousand private sector jobs so far in 22 months."
Unemployment in Florida dropped from 10.2 percent in 2011 to 8.5 percent last month. But a Legislature's Office of Economics Research study says 91 percent of the drop in the unemployment rate is due to people dropping out of the workforce.
USG&E also plans to add 300 more jobs next year.
"We think that we're going to be expanding in 2013 from about 200 employees now to almost 500," said Marcille.
"I'm very appreciative of companies that are adding jobs because the way I think about it is, each family in this state cares about a job and they care about their children's education," said Scott.
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