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Attract new investment and create high-paying quality jobs

"My top priority is job creation. My plan is to attract new investment and create high-paying, quality jobs.


Subjects: County government, Economy, Jobs

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After former Miami-Dade county commissioner Carlos Gimenez was elected county mayor in June 2011 to replace his recalled predecessor, PolitiFact Florida unveiled the Carlos-O-Meter to track the mayor's promises.

In August 2012, Gimenez won re-election to a four-year term which officially starts Nov. 20. We have added one promise to the meter from his 2012 campaign.

Gimenez promised on his campaign website to "attract new investment and create high-paying quality jobs."

Gimenez didn't state the number of new jobs, size of investment or definition of a high-paying quality job attached to that promise. County spokeswoman Suzy Trutie said that the mayor was referring to jobs in information technology, engineering and life sciences. Trutie said that Gimenez has met with individuals and organizations within those industries to explore the feasibility of establishing or expanding their operations in Miami-Dade County.

During the campaign, Gimenez mentioned several steps he would take to achieve that promise, including an expedited permitting process and eliminating outdated regulations. Gimenez also wrote that he was a co-chair of the One Community One Goal Initiative -- a collaboration between multiple partners including The Beacon Council, the county's economic development arm.

That initiative aims to create 75,000 new jobs in Miami-Dade County between 2012 and 2017 with a focus on these targeted industries:

- aviation

- creative design (advertising, architecture, fashion, etc.)

- hospitality and tourism

- information technology

- international banking and finances

- life sciences and health care

- trade and logistics

Tony Villamil, dean of the business school at St. Thomas University, chairs an economic roundtable for the Beacon Council. Villamil told PolitiFact Florida that it is difficult to forecast the number of new jobs because changes in the global economy will affect that outcome in Miami-Dade County.

The goal of the initiative is to "change the composition of the job growth" toward industries that have higher wages, he said.

Moody's projects job growth of about 85,000 for the county during that timeframe, Moody's economist Chris Lafakis told PolitiFact. (Here is the most recent jobs analysis from Moody's.)

Lafakis said that employment has risen by 5,900 since Gimenez took office in July 2011. But the largest increases have been in low-paying areas such as retail or moderate-paying jobs in professional and business services and education and health care.

The One Community initiative was independent of Gimenez's campaign, so we are not evaluating the goal of creating 75,000 jobs as a campaign promise. But we are going to evaluate Gimenez's progress toward the promise of attracting investment and creating high-quality jobs and that will overlap with the One Community initiative.

We have not heard enough specifics about actions Gimenez has taken toward this promise, so we are leaving it unrated for now.

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Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Campaign website accomplishments page, 2012

Beacon Council, One Community One Goal plan and flyer, May 2012

Moody's, Miami-Dade County employment and income, July 2012

Interview, Suzy Trutie, spokeswoman for Miami-Dade County, Nov. 15, 2012

Interview, Jack Osterholt, Deputy Mayor for Miami-Dade County, Nov. 14, 2012

Interview, Ana Acle-Menendez, spokeswoman for the Beacon Council. Nov. 15, 2012

Interview, Tony Villamil, Dean of the Business School at St. Thomas University, Nov. 15, 2012

Interview, Chris Lafakis, economist at Moodys, Nov. 13, 2012