Plans for new state agency, the Dept. of Economic Opportunity, begin to take shape

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The new state Department of Economic Opportunity will be headquartered in the Caldwell Building one block south of the Capitol, said Doug Darling, an aide to Gov. Rick Scott who will become the department’s executive director, writes Bruce Ritchie.

SB 2156, signed into law by Scott on June 14, created the new department by folding together pieces of the Agency for Workforce Innovation, the governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development and the Community Planning and Housing and Community Development divisions at the Florida Department of Community Affairs.

The new department will have about 1,625 employees but only 669 of them will be located in the Caldwell Building, said Darling, who now is Scott’s deputy chief of staff and director of Cabinet affairs. Darling was named by the governor July 28 to lead the department when it officially is created on Oct. 1.

The Department of Economic Opportunity will have four new divisions: Workforce Services, Strategic Business Development,  Community Development, and Finance and Administration. The directors of the new divisions have not been chosen, Darling said.

Continue reading Ritchie’s article here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.