NEW TAMPA — Gov. Rick Scott strode into the courtyard at USAA to thunderous applause from about 200 employees of the financial services company Wednesday night.
The event was part of the Republican governor's "Jobs Jamboree" tour following his re-election Nov. 4. Much like on the election trail, Scott was quick to hit on the theme of job creation.
"We've added 679,000 jobs in the past three years and 10 months," the governor told the crowd, who clapped and cheered between noshing on barbecue. "And that's hard to beat."
The governor spoke for about five minutes, hitting on job creation statewide as well as the growth anticipated at USAA, which runs a processing center at 172000 Commerce Park. The governor was in Naples on Tuesday and will be in Orlando on Thursday as part of the jamboree.
The company said it's on track to add 1,215 jobs by 2019 and in June broke ground on a 420,000-square-foot facility in Brandon to accommodate future needs. It was contacted a couple weeks ago by Scott's staff to inquire whether it would host a jamboree barbecue, and readily agreed.
Perhaps no one was more surprised than Sunday Delgado, a 43-year-old mother of two and a claims adjuster at USAA.
Contacted over the Thanksgiving weekend about whether she would share the podium with the governor during his remarks, Delgado agreed, thinking others would stand alongside her.
Then she learned she would stand alone with him. The governor praised Delgado and said it takes jobs to keep folks like Delgado, a single mother, "working to take care of her family."
"You don't say 'no' to your manager," she said, laughing afterward. "It was very exciting I'm still on cloud nine."
Contact Rich Shopes at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3368. Follow @richshopes.