Governor Rick Scott today announced eight awards for $28.6 million in funding from the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund. The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, established by Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature last year, provides funding for improving public infrastructure and enhancing workforce training in Florida. Since this July, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has received more than 90 proposals requesting more than $531 million in funding. Today’s announcement reflects a total of more than $113 million in funding awarded to 41 communities across the state since the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund was established. In total, through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, more than $39 million has been awarded to 15 rural communities.
Governor Scott said, “The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund supports job growth through projects that allow communities to meet the changing infrastructure and workforce needs for their regions, encouraging business to invest and expand in Florida, which means more opportunities for Florida families. More than $113 million has already been awarded to promote strong economic development in 41 communities across our state, and we are excited to continue to grow Florida’s economy – which has already created more than 1.6 million jobs since December 2010.”
The eight awarded projects include:
- Columbia County ($10,200,000) for the construction of a wastewater treatment plant which will serve the North Florida Mega Industrial Park, nearby correctional facilities, Florida Gateway Airport, Florida Gateway College and other areas east of Lake City.
- Hardee County Industrial Development Authority ($2,360,000) to provide water and sewer infrastructure for the development of an additional 20 lots of land within Hardee County Commerce Park, which will make the area more attractive for manufacturing companies looking for new locations.
- Indian River State College ($1,530,000) to address the workforce gap in the marine and aeronautical manufacturing sectors by implementing successful training models and providing students with on-the-job training that aligns with the current supply and demand of jobs.
- Jackson County ($5,880,000) to redevelop the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys campus into a regional distribution and manufacturing center, including a state center of excellence for Autism Spectrum Disorder transition training.
- Melbourne Airport Authority ($4,000,000) to design and construct an enclosure structure at the Orlando Melbourne International Airport to serve as a noise barrier for aircraft engine testing, attract new clients within the aviation industry and meet the needs of current airport tenants.
- Pasco County Sheriff’s Office ($1,800,000) to develop the Florida Forensic Institute for Research, Security and Tactics, a state-of-the-art law enforcement training center complex that will offer cutting-edge training to transform public safety through research, education and innovation.
- School District of Indian River ($532,000) to expand the School District of Indian River County’s Technical Center for Career and Adult Education’s program offerings to include welding technologies, building construction technologies, commercial and culinary arts.
- South Florida State College ($2,296,895) to support the development of jobs in three areas: (1) an expansion of an advanced manufacturing curriculum where students will pursue courses designed for mechanists and industrial maintenance; (2) the creation of a construction institute aimed at providing programs in basic building trades and residential construction; and (3) a program for veterans and transitioning military personnel to be trained as electronic warfare technicians to fill a need for Florida’s defense-based industries.
These proposals were reviewed by DEO, Enterprise Florida (EFI) and chosen by Governor Scott based on their strong return on investment to the state and to meet the demand for a robust workforce or infrastructure needs. Return on investment was calculated to determine the best projects for the state and economic development in the regions.
Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of DEO, said, “The Florida Job Growth Grant continues to make Florida a top competitor for attracting businesses to our state. We are proud to support regional projects that strengthen our skilled workforce and provide necessary infrastructure to support Florida businesses, families and communities.”
Peter Antonacci, CEO of Enterprise Florida, Inc. said, “By investing in these projects, Florida has committed to developing a stronger workforce and expansive infrastructure that will help create new jobs for Floridians and provide more opportunity for communities to succeed. Enterprise Florida’s Board of Directors will continue to make sure Florida remains the number one destination for business.”
For more information about the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, visit FloridaJobs.org/JobGrowth.