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Gov. Scott says he's targeting defense contractors for Space Coast

Moments after the Endeavor launch this morning, Gov. Rick Scott was on FOX News talking about the "great opportunity" for private business in the Space Coast. When the shuttle program shutters this summer, an estimated 8,000 Floridians will lose their jobs.

"As you know, I've just finished my session," Scott said. "We're going to make this the state where people can open their businesses."

Scott said he is recruiting companies from "all over the world" to open shop in the Space Coast.

"We will get that area of the state back to work."

Scott said he was in talks with Embraer, the company that former Gov. Charlie Crist lured to the state in 2008, and "defense manufacturers."

"There's companies all over the world that are talking about coming to Florida, in particular the Space Coast because of the talent of the employees," Scott said.

FOX anchor Bill Hemmer noted that Florida's 11.1 percent unemployment rate was still two points above the national average. "What is it that is still bumping along down here in Florida that you have not been able to get straight just yet?" Hemmer asked.

Scott dismissed the question and noted unemployment is down almost one point since December.

"Our tourism business is up, our ag business is doing very well, we've got the shipping coming from the expansion of the Panama Canal - the economies of Central and South America," Scott said. "So our economy is getting back to work."

Posted by Michael C Bender at 10:01:39 am on May 16, 2011