Florida Gov. Rick Scott visited Boston Whaler this week to highlight job incentive initiatives and present Boston Whaler President Nick Stickler with the Governor’s Business Ambassador Award, an honor given to individuals for their efforts in creating jobs and opportunities for Florida families.
It was his second visit to the company. Scott’s first visit occurred in May 2015 when Whaler underwent an expansion that added more than 120 jobs, leading the governor to applaud the company’s 600-strong workforce. By Tuesday’s visit, the company had increased its numbers to approximately 750 employees, with plans to add more over the next two years.
Scott has been promoting business incentive programs like the Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund program, which aided Boston Whaler during its 2015 expansion, and he is pushing to keep both Enterprise Florida, the state’s economic development agency, and Visit Florida, its tourism marketing corporation, intact.
“In the first two months of the year ... companies like Boston Whaler have added 54,000 jobs," Scott said. "In the last six years and two months, the private sector’s added 1.3 million new jobs so we are doing really well.”
Before presenting Stickler with the Business Ambassador Award, the governor highlighted an employee who had moved from Ohio to Florida to pursue employment with Boston Whaler after hearing about the opportunity through the Enterprise Florida campaign. The employee, Dan Cloutier, joined the company as a temporary employee in October 2015, and as a permanent Whaler employee in January 2016.
“We appreciate Governor Scott for visiting our facility today and for recognizing our hard-working team members,” Stickler said. “Boston Whaler is proud of the opportunities we have been able to create for Florida families with the support of Enterprise Florida and our local economic development partners. The relationship we have maintained with EFI and their local partners over the years has made a great difference for our company, and we look forward to continuing working together.”