Military and Defense

Summit Focuses on Protecting, Growing and Supporting Florida’s Defense Industry, Military and Veterans Workforce

State Leaders Gather at Florida Chamber Foundation’s Annual Military, Defense and Veterans Opportunity Summit


ST. PETERSBURG, FL (August 17, 2016) – Governor Rick Scott will join military and defense industry experts and elected officials at the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Military, Defense and Veterans Opportunities Summit in St. Petersburg today to discuss the opportunities and challenges in Florida’s military economy and leveraging veteran’s expertise and skills.

It is estimated that every Florida business is located within 100 miles of a military installation, making Florida one of the most strategically important states for the U.S. armed forces and a pivotal location for military personnel, defense industry innovations and veterans.

“Florida’s military and defense industry puts nearly 775,000 Floridians to work each year and contributes almost $80 billion to our economy,” said TONY CARVAJAL, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber Foundation. “However, Florida is expected to experience significant demographic, political and economic shifts throughout the next 15 years that will need to be addressed in order to support our veterans and bring more high-wage, high-skill jobs to Florida’s workforce.”

Today’s event will feature a lineup of experts including:

  • Governor Rick Scott
  • Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam
  • Congressman Gus Bilirakis
  • Senator Jeff Brandes
  • Representative Paul Renner
  • Representative Jimmie Smith
  • Cissy Proctor, Executive Director, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
  • Glenn Sutphin, Executive Director, Florida Department of Veteran Affairs

“The military and defense industry is a pillar of Florida’s economy, improving economic prosperity and providing jobs for thousands of Floridians,” said COMMISSIONER PUTNAM. “Florida continues to be at the forefront of new innovations and technology, attracting both the companies and talent needed to grow this industry.”

Additional items for discussion will include BRAC and sequestration, federal issues, veteran leadership and the future of military, defense and homeland security industries.

In addition to the day-long conference discussions, a new animated online video, entitled Florida Leads in Military, Defense and Homeland Security Industry, will be released.

Follow the Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2016 Military, Defense & Veterans Opportunities Summit on Twitter using the hashtag #IsFLReady.


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