Scott jobs announcement from Montreal sounds like deja vuby John Kennedy | June 7th, 2011
Gov. Rick Scott’s trade mission to Canada is lined up to tout its first big score Wednesday, but the announcement from French-speaking Montreal will sound like deja vu to many Palm Beach County residents.
Scott is expected to unveil that Montreal-based Garda Worldwide Security is moving its U.S. headquarters from California to Boca Raton, bringing with it about 100 jobs by the end of 2013. The jobs will pay in the $65,000-salary range, county officials said.
Scott repeatedly says he’s all about “jobs, jobs, jobs.” But is the Garda announcement really “news, news, news?”
After all, Palm Beach County commissioners in January approved the county’s $210,000 share of an incentive package for Garda World Security Services. Boca Raton late last year approved its $210,000 portion of the package, while the state of Florida later OK’d $580,000 to bring the firm.
The County Commission’s action came a week after Scott took office, powered by his campaign promise to create 700,000 jobs in seven years. But county officials said talks with Garda began last summer, well before Scott was sworn in.
“There were a number of things the company had to do in preparation,” for Wednesday’s announcement, said Gary Hines of the Palm Beach County Business Development Board.
The incentives would be paid over six years, the county has said. Garda has 45,000 employees around the world and sells a variety of security services, including armored vehicles to transport cash and background checks of potential employees.
Garda’s interest in Palm Beach County follows a drop in the cost of doing business here. A report released earlier this year by a nationwide financial firm found the county’s costs ranked 40th of 55 metro areas.