July 31, 2013
Gov. Rick Scott came to Orlando on Tuesday to help The Golf Channel celebrate the creation of 88 new jobs as part of a government-incentive deal.
A spokesman for the Golf Channel said the network has added the new jobs primarily in digital media and had made a capital investment of $4.4 million.
Those figures exceed the requirements of two incentive deals the network made with Orlando and the state.
"The expansion has been consistent and steady but in the last couple of years since Golf Channel has been part of NBC Sports, we've really super-charged that growth," said Mike McCarley, president of NBC Golf Media. "Because of the pro-business, pro-growth environment that both the mayor and the governor have created, it's really helped us add more and more of the jobs to the Orlando area."
In exchange for creating 75 jobs and investing $1.9 million in capital improvements, the company is slated to receive $583,000 in government incentives under the Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund and the Quick Action Closing Fund, a discretionary pot of money controlled by the governor. It has also been approved for a $112,500 Quick Response Training Grant from Workforce Florida.
The jobs must have a minimum average annual salary of $75,000, not counting the value of benefits.
The popular cable TV network has been in expansion mode recently, including the construction of a new combination studio-newsroom earlier this year.
With a studio full of employees looking on, Scott praised the Golf Channel for its success and said the network's announcement brought Florida closer to adding the 700,000 jobs he promised during his campaign for governor three years ago.
"We're almost halfway there, with 333,000 jobs in two-and-a-half years," he said, flanked by economic development officials and politicians, including Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. "I grew up in a family that struggled to have a job, so every time we announce jobs, it's a big deal, because more families can get to work."
Scott has made job creation the cornerstone both of his first term and for his re-election bid next year.
Kathy DeVault, director of strategic partnerships for the City of Orlando, said the positions were at risk of going to Stamford, Conn., where Golf Channel's parent company has a large presence.
Earlier Tuesday, Scott was in Flagler County to announce the expansion of Aveo Engineering, an electronics maker for the aerospace industry. - Orlando Sentinal
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