Florida has the potential to create 150,000 new trade and logistics jobs over the next five years, according to a highly anticipated study released Monday by the Florida Chamber Foundation.
The study, titled Florida Trade and Logistics Study 2.0 (TL2.0), was presented by Bank of America and the Florida Department of Transportation at the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Future of Florida Forum in Orlando.
According to the study, Florida is uniquely positioned in the center of the hemisphere, and with the widening of the Panama canal and the resurgence of Latin American and Caribbean trade, Florida has an opportunity to excel as a global hub.
The study identifies seven strategies that integrate workforce, transportation, and business climate to achieve dramatic jobs growth. They include:
- Continue the strong leadership role of the Governor and the historic alignment of Florida’s public and private leaders and organizations that have been critical to recent successes in the global market.
- Continue the recent strategic emphasis on trade and logistics, including its identification as a statewide targeted industry.
- Integrate, expand, and provide sustained funding for programs with proven impact or positive initial results.
- Make strategic investments to ensure Florida is “best in class” in all aspects of global trade and investments.
- Ensure an ongoing, strategic presence for Florida at the national level where Florida can shape federal decisions on trade agreements, trade regulations, customs and other trade-related business processes, and transportation policies and investments.
- Enhance regional partnerships across Florida to target export market opportunities and advance economic development, workforce, transportation, and land use decisions that maximize the global opportunities for each region of the state.
- Develop a Florida Trade and Logistics Institute to continue research, education, and collaboration in support of Florida’s global vision, including support for implementing the recommendations of this report.
These recommendations are worth investing in.
The first Florida Chamber Foundation Trade and Logistics study, released in 2010, resulted in 23,000 new trade and logistics jobs, 9,000 new manufacturing jobs, and a record $66 billion in goods exported by Florida companies — an increase of $11 billion.