Calling business owners the “backbone of Florida growth over the past five years,” Cissy Proctor helped kick off the annual Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Capitol Days event Wednesday.
“A strong economy is good for all of us,” said Proctor, newly appointed executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
Proctor told the crowd she had been on the job five days , if you count weekends. She started on Saturday. Although she’s new in the role, Proctor has spent several years with the DEO, most recently as chief of staff.
Proctor spent the bulk of her 10-minute speech talking about the job gains under Gov. Rick Scott.
“Think back to the recession just five years ago. I’d be surprised if anyone here wasn’t harmed during the recession in some way,” she said. “Over the past five years, our economy, as I hope many of you have felt and lived, is getting stronger and stronger. WE really do have a great story to tell today.”
Proctor said that during the past five years businesses across Florida have created 1 million private-sector job. The unemployment rate has dropped to 5 percent, and more employers are looking to hire.
“We can’t rest now,” she said. “The momentum we’ve built up over the past five years is really remarkable, and a great way to see how much momentum we have is seeing how we compare to other states. Florida is beating the nation in the Top 10 states in private sector job growth. In fact, Florida has beat Texas eight months in a row now.”
The two-day Florida Chamber Capitol Days are meant to give business leaders a chance to interact with lawmakers and advocate for issues important to them.
“More than anything, I believe we can’t give up now,” Proctor said. “Florida’s economy is really leading the way, but saying on this path is the only way to ensure the future will be brighter for Florida families, Florida workers and Florida students.”