Scott touts veterans’ hirings during tour (SLIDESHOW)

scott L-3 Crestview Aerospace

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, center, talks with L-3 Crestview Aerospace employee Scott Motteler on Wednesday about a part for the UH-1Y helicopter being built at the plant. Jeff Gaskins, the company’s director of programs, looks on at right.

DEVON RAVINE | Northwest Florida Daily News
Published: Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 10:52 AM.

CRESTVIEW — In the past year, Florida’s unemployment rate for veterans has dropped from 15 percent to 6.8 percent.

Gov. Rick Scott was in Crestview late Wednesday morning to take a tour of L-3 Crestview Aerospace and discuss the importance of hiring veterans. L-3 has worked with the Workforce Development Board of Okaloosa and Walton Counties to hire roughly 70 employees the past year, many of them former military members.

Photos of Gov. Scott's visit to Crestview

“These individuals have gone out defending our individual freedom, and now their unemployment rate is below our state average and thats very positive,” Scott said. “It’s nice to see all these people working. If we’re going to continue to focus on aviation and aerospace, it’s a big opportunity.

“What L-3 is doing, I want to make sure every company is doing, and that’s hiring all these great veterans,” he added. “And it’s working. Unemployment for veterans has come way down from a year ago.”

Scott was shown L-3’s administrative building as well as the buildings where parts for the CH-47 Chinook helicopter are assembled, the machine shop where parts are made from raw stock and the hangar where the UH-1Y Huey helicopter is built. About 25 people toured the L-3 facility with Scott, including state Sen. Don Gaetz, state Rep. Matt Gaetz and several representatives from the Workforce Development Board.

Scott said Florida is well positioned for continued growth. He said most of the big aerospace companies already do business in the state, but he wants them to do more.

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