Gov. Rick Scott made a stop in Manatee County Wednesday afternoon to congratulate one of the small businesses that contributed to creating nearly 1.5 million new jobs in Florida over the last seven years.
“My goal is — month in and month in — to add jobs,” Scott said. “We’ve been adding about 20,000 jobs a month over the last few years.”
Scott made his appearance at Rapid Composites, 2216 72nd Drive E., which the president of the small business, Alan Taylor, described as a “sophisticated hardware development company.” Taylor was honored with a Governor’s Business Ambassador medal for Rapid Composites’ efforts to create jobs in Florida.
“As an established provider of engineering services with the skill, training, expertise and resources to take projects from concept through production, Rapid Composites has experienced incredible growth over the past few years, and we look forward to continuing to grow,” Taylor said.
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According to Taylor, the company invested millions toward building a new state-of-the-art facility near the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. That project created 11 full-time and four part-time jobs, he said.
“Florida small businesses like Rapid Composites are helping create new opportunities each day,” Scott said. “And we must continue to do all we can to cut taxes and reduce burdensome regulations to make it easier for these job creators to succeed and invest in our state.”
The 19-year-old engineering company boasts more than 140 pieces of intellectual property and the ability to mold its drones in less than eight minutes.
Scott, who is a Navy veteran, said he was impressed with Rapid Composites’ product lineup, which includes drones capable of firing projectiles and weapon attachments for rifles. Taylor said the company specializes in integrating carbon fiber into its designs to produce lighter equipment.
Most of the equipment Rapid Composite manufactures is designed to be used by the military and law enforcement agencies. The company can go from a “napkin blueprint” to the final product all in-house, according to Taylor.
James Buchanan, who is running for the Florida House District 71 seat, attended the event, as well. He said he’s proud to have a company like Rapid Composites in his backyard.
“It’s a great example of a local, successful business. We need to make sure we’re continuing to help our small business owners by reducing regulation and lowering taxes so they can be even more successful,” said Buchanan, adding that he looks forward to continuing the agenda of Scott, a fellow Republican, if elected.
But Scott said jobs are just one of his focuses during his last legislative session as Florida’s governor.
“I’ve got 334 days left in this job,” said Scott when asked about his future in the world of politics. “I’ll continue to focus on making sure when I finish that this is the number one state to get a job, the number one state to get a great education and a place where you can be safe.”