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Scott uses Canada trade mission to tout company’s move to Boca Raton

by John Kennedy | June 8th, 2011

Gov. Rick Scott turned back the clock a few months to claim a victory on his trade mission to Canada, joining with Garda Worldwide Security CEO Stephan Cretier to announce the company is moving its U.S. headquarters to Boca Raton.

Groundwork for the move began last year — well before Scott was elected — and took shape in January when Palm Beach County, Boca Raton and state officials offered the company a $1 million package of incentives. The company  will bring about 100 jobs from Pasadena, Cal., to Boca Raton, with salaries paying in the $65,000 range.

Although the $69.1 billion state budget signed by Scott last month is poised to cut thousands of jobs in state agencies, school districts and in the health and social services fields, the governor said he was eager to count Garda’s 100 positions toward his goal of creating 700,000 jobs in Florida over seven years.

In making the announcement from Montreal, Cretier said Scott called him on the governor’s fifth day on the job in January to say, the CEO recalled, “Hey, we want Garda in Florida.”

“I have been very impressed,” Cretier said, of Scott and the state’s courtship.

Scott, who said he plans to meet with 120 companies while in Canada, called Garda’s move a “win-win, for both Quebec and Florida.”

“I’m extremely pleased we were able to close the deal,” Scott said on Wednesday’s conference call with Cretier.

The incentives would be paid over six years, the county 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 expects to have its 100 jobs filled by the end of 2013, and will receive its incentive dollars over six years, according to terms of the deal worked with the county. It chose Boca Raton over Wilmington, Del., and Broadview, Ill., which also had negotiated to land Garda’s American headquarters.

Cretier, a former baseball umpire, said he started the company 15 years ago with a $25,000 mortgage on his house. Last year, Garda reported $1.2 billion in revenue, Cretier said Wednesday. 

Garda’s interest in Palm Beach County coincided with a drop in the cost of doing business in the area. A report released earlier this year by The Boyd Co. of Princeton, N.J., says it’s cheaper to operate a corporate headquarters here than in most U.S. cities. Palm Beach County ranks 40th of 55 metro areas.

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9 Responses to “Scott uses Canada trade mission to tout company’s move to Boca Raton”

  1. Big Johnson Says:

    Transplanting jobs is not the same as creating jobs to “get to work”. So far he is way in the red as far as job creation.

  2. dark gator Says:

    More Kalifornians and Kanucks moving to Fla. Nice going Scott.

  3. ! ! ! Says:

    Wow, this company has 45,000 employees world wide and they are sending 100 here! I wonder how much they had to pay them to move to this sand trap?
    Scott you are a Fascist!

  4. Tea Lady Says:

    This is great news from Gov. Scott! Companies are flocking to Florida because of our fiscal sensibility!

    Sure it’s just a start, but a journey of a 1,000 miles starts with a single step.

    Gov. Scott is showing us that lower taxes, fiscal responsiblity, and limited government are setting Florida up to recover! =)

  5. Rick Says:

    This was started last year before he was elected as Govenor, so how is it that he is claiming to be responsible?

    Tea Lady; Tell me how Scott’s “fiscal” responsibility have anything to do with a company bringing .002% of the overall positions they have world wide, especially when the ground work was started under Charlie?

    This is not news……

  6. Fuzzy Math Says:

    Maybe I missed out on the new Government Job Accounting System..but if Scott counts this 100 jobs towards the goal of creating 700,000 jobs in seven years, doesn’t he also have to subtract the thousands of state jobs that will be lost to layoffs?

  7. OBIWAN Says:

    Super! We took 100 jobs from a place that treats its workers with some dignity. We should be proud. This is what America is all about.

  8. Vote Out All Republicans Says:

    You know he’s grasping at straws when he wants to claim responsibility for “creating” 100 jobs. Akin to spitting in the desert – it doesn’t change anything.

    Subtract from that all of the positions that were cut under the new budget and tell me how many were created. Looks like he needs to “create” 700,000-plus jobs just to keep his promise.

    tea lady, you need to be Baker Acted!

  9. Richard Fecker Says:

    What a mess

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