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Governor Rick Scott works as park ranger for the day

1:04 PM, Jul 19, 2012   |    comments
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Thonotosassa, Florida -- He's worked in a donut shop, a restaurant, an orange grove, cattle ranch and even at Tampa International, but Thursday was Governor Scott's first look inside a state agency at Hillsborough River State Park... part of the state's park system.

Photo Gallery: Gov. Scott works as park ranger for day

Today marked his 11th "Let's Get to Work Day."

"I didn't realize how many people come to state parks," said Governor Scott, "but every time you talk to somebody you learn something new."

The let's get to work days are an idea from former Governor Bob Graham.

"It's important to know what's going on," said Brett Gormon, a park ranger who had the governor as his morning assistant in landscaping.

For the governor, It's a real life lesson on the impacts of his budget.

"The state budget is about $80 million for the state parks, so you learn more about how the budget works, how the money is being used, what sort of revenue base there is," said Governor Scott.

"We've had time to talk about budgets -- we've had time in the past, but this is a nice, relaxing way to do it and to discuss opportunities in the future of the park service and it looks bright," said Donald Forgione, Director of the Florida Park Service.

Forgione says they've dealt with budget cuts by moving people around and relying on volunteers who log about one million hours each year.

The governor's labor in the park is coming one day before Florida's latest unemployment numbers for July are expected to be released.

Right now, the state stands at an 8.6 unemployment rate which represents 794,000 people still out of work.

Gov. Scott says he's hoping to see improvement in tomorrow's numbers.

"I know that we have 258,000 job openings on the state database, the Department of Economic Opportunity, our workforce boards, we have 24 workforce boards, they are filling about 27-30,000 jobs a month... if you look at those numbers that we do know, we're headed in the right direction," said Gov. Scott.

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