Business and industry leaders gather to discuss state’s transportation future

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Today, the Florida Chamber Foundation, in partnership with Florida Department of Transportation, hosted more than 150 business and industry leaders interested in Florida’s transportation future. The one-day event addressed the topics of freight, logistics and trade; mobility, moving people and goods; funding and investment. 

“The transportation industry is a huge part of Florida’s economic development and ability to be competitive in bringing jobs to our state,” said Bentina C. Terry, Gulf Power and Chair of the Florida Chamber Foundation. “Florida is expected to grow, not only in population, but in visitors which puts great strain on our current transportation systems. Solutions to handle that growth were a big part of today’s discussion.” 

In 2014, Florida will pass New York as the third most populous state in America and is predicted to have over 89 million visitors. By 2030, Florida will grow by approximately six million new residents. This growth puts a strain on Florida’s transportation systems and taxpayer’s wallets. From driving your kids to school to the goods you purchase from your local store, everyone is impacted by transportation. 

Attendees had the opportunity to hear from Speaker Will Weatherford, U.S. Congressman John Mica, Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad and a host of panelists with a vested interest in the future of Florida’s transportation systems. 

“From the clothes we wear, to the food we eat, to the homes we live in and the cars we drive – all of it is made possible by transportation,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad. “Transportation is the fuel that powers Florida’s economy, and today we had discussions that put a spotlight on opportunities awaiting Florida.” 

Transportation is economic development in Florida. Nearly three-quarters of a million Floridians hold jobs in trade and logistics industries. Florida is home to the second highest number of exporting companies in the nation. This past November $5.5 billion worth of goods left Florida for international markets. It is imperative to continue investing in sound systems. 

“The Florida Chamber Foundation is constantly focused on identifying solutions to issues facing Florida and bringing together stakeholders that have a vested interest in those solutions,” said Mark Wilson, President & CEO, Florida Chamber. “Everyone here today made a contribution to securing Florida’s transportation future.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.