Today, Governor Rick Scott announced nearly $22 million in awards for eleven additional Florida Job Growth Grant Fund projects across the state. The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, established by Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature last year, provides $85 million for improving public infrastructure and enhancing workforce training in Florida. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has received more than 235 proposals requesting more than $825 million in funding. Today’s announcement reflects a total of more than $57 million in funding awarded to 21 communities across the state.
Governor Scott said, “I’m proud to announce the nearly $22 million in awards for 11 Florida Job Growth Grant Fund projects across the state. The $85 million Florida Job Growth Grand Fund was established last year with the help of the Florida Legislature to help Florida aggressively fight to be the best destination for businesses to succeed. These projects will help meet infrastructure and workforce training needs across the state in order to promote economic development. These projects are also slated to add more than 18,600 jobs for Florida families. I look forward to the completion of these projects.”
The eleven awarded projects include:
- Osceola Board of County Commissioners ($5,800,000) to complete the NEO City Gateway Road, which will connect U.S. 192 with two main routes into NEO City, a 500-acre master-planned technology district.
- City of Pensacola ($4,000,000) to develop additional taxiways, ramp construction and expansion for future development at the Pensacola International Airport, including improvements to facilities for education and training for aviation workforce.
- Broward College ($3,187,500) to create the Critical Occupation Response through Education (CORE) program to provide workforce training for advanced manufacturing, aviation and information technology.
- City of Marianna ($1,987,322) to extend the runway at Marianna Airport Commerce Park to 6,000 feet, which will allow the airport to accommodate larger businesses jets providing more opportunities for distribution capacity and economic growth.
- City of Titusville ($1,060,500) for the construction of a new water main to support the fire flow needs of the southern industrial district, which supports regional space, manufacturing and logistics industries.
- Volusia County ($1,961,564) for the expansion of County Road 4009 in Daytona Beach, which will provide access to Interstate 95 and enhance commercial and retail development opportunities.
- St. Petersburg College ($1,596,858) to create the Mechatronics and Electromechanical Technician training program, an accelerated, innovative, responsive and competency-based technical workforce program that meets the advanced manufacturing industry’s skill requirements.
- Sumter County ($838,860) for water infrastructure upgrades to benefit and promote expansion for existing manufacturers and distributers along the County Road 470 corridor adjacent to Interstate 75.
- Big Bend Technical College ($100,000) to open a Diesel Maintenance Technician Program and a Diesel System Technical 1 Program that will train students for positions working with diesel transportation vehicles and diesel engines, along with purchasing equipment needed for the hands-on laboratory.
- Valencia College ($1,320,000) to start the Advanced Manufacturing and Distribution Logistics project, which will provide advanced skilled worker training for advanced systems in manufacturing and industrial industries.
- Chipola College ($76,240) to purchase equipment that will enhance and expand the welding program to meet the demand in North Florida for entry-level, high-skilled welders.
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.
Executive Director of DEO Cissy Proctor said, “The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund is one of our state’s critical economic development tools that makes us competitive for attracting businesses to locate, relocate and expand in Florida. We are excited about the opportunities these projects will bring for Florida communities and families across the state.”
CEO of Enterprise Florida Peter Antonacci said, “Enterprise Florida is excited about this investment in these regional projects which will bring more jobs to Florida. EFI is committed to recommending projects with a high return on investment for our taxpayers and looks forward to their success.”
Chairman of the Osceola Board of County Commissioners Fred Hawkins Jr. said, “I’m glad that Governor Scott recognizes the significance that NeoCity will have in creating jobs and expanding employment opportunities in the region. Access to NeoCity is at the heart of this infrastructure project, and making it connected, functional and appealing is fundamental to its long-term success. Creating high-profile roadways that provide connections to our existing transportation network will have an immediate impact in attracting new partners to our project.”
Mayor of the City of Pensacola Ashton Hayward said, “We want to thank Governor Rick Scott and team, for their continued support expanding job growth in Escambia County. My administration has worked tirelessly with Governor Scott to continue our economic momentum. This is another win enhancing our global presence along the I-10 Aerospace Corridor.”
Broward College President J. David Armstrong said, “The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund award will be used to train workers and grow jobs in the skilled workforce areas of aviation, advanced manufacturing, and information technology. All three areas where our region has significant growth opportunities and Broward College has strong programs and partnerships. I want to thank and congratulate Gov. Rick Scott for his leadership and support. Since his first day in office, he has focused on the need for quality jobs and the importance of education and training in providing Floridians the tools for meaningful, sustainable careers. This grant will support Broward College and its partners like the Urban League, The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance and Career Source Broward make our already strong economy and workforce the best in class in these industries.”
Mayor of the City of Marianna Kenneth Hamilton said, “The City of Marianna is truly grateful to Governor Scott for having the vision and forethought to invest in the City’s runway extension project, as well as Florida aviation, which is one of Florida’s targeted industries. This project will allow our community to excel in job growth and retention. Thank you, Governor Scott.”
Mayor of the City of Titusville Walt Johnson said, “On behalf of the Titusville City Council and our Citizens, we are extremely pleased that Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has agreed to provide the City up to $1,060,500 to install a new public water main in the southern industrial district of the City. This project allows the City to support emerging industries in this district representing $350 million in new capital investment and 725 new jobs. These jobs range from entry-level and skilled technicians, to high-skill, high-wage jobs. We are positive this grant will have an impact in attracting new businesses to our city and region.”
County Manager of Volusia County James T. Dinneen said, “On behalf of the Volusia County Council, I would like to thank Governor Scott for supporting and enhancing economic development and job growth opportunities in the Daytona Beach/Ormond Beach area of Volusia County by providing nearly $2 million in state funds toward the $7.4 million project to expand Williamson Boulevard (CR 4009). This 4-laning project will offer immeasurable stimulus for office and commercial/retail development along the corridor with estimated assessed value for tax purposes likely to exceed $70 million and employ more than 500 people.”
President at St. Petersburg College Dr. Tonjua Williams said, “St. Petersburg College is grateful to Governor Scott for making Florida Job Growth Grant funds available and selecting us to be one of the few for an award. The grant will help St. Petersburg College establish a new mechatronics training program that was designed in partnership with our regional businesses to help meet their demand for individuals with the automation and troubleshooting skills required to succeed in advanced manufacturing environments. This initiative is a prime example of the Governor’s vision and dedication to workforce programs that drive our state and local economies and the College’s commitment to collaborative, high-impact educational programs that strengthen our communities.”
Sumter County Board of County Commissioners Al Butler said, “The Florida Job Growth Infrastructure Grant Fund award is an exciting opportunity for Sumter County Economic Development to partner with the City of Bushnell to make water system upgrades in the County Road 470 corridor of the county. These infrastructure improvements will benefit the existing businesses and residents as well as promote future economic growth in this area.”
Big Bend Technical College Director Jodi Tillman said, “This grant will greatly enhance our ability to train students and prepare them for the workforce with valuable skills, from entry-level technician to Master Mechanic. Upon completion the Diesel Technician or Diesel Systems Technician 1 program curriculum, our students will be able to earn a high-skill, high-wage job. We are proud that our program has been selected by the DEO and look forward to graduating a better trained workforce to fill the void in the region.”
Valencia College President Dr. Sandy Shugart said “We want to thank Governor Rick Scott for his leadership in supporting regional workforce training programs that enhance Florida’s economic growth. With these funds, we will be able to expand access to job training programs to low-income citizens in West Orlando. This partnership with the Governor’s office, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the City of Orlando, the Parramore community and the college, illustrates the value of collaboration in creating “economic rungs on the ladder” for our citizens while providing a return-on-investment for the community.”
Chipola College President Dr. Sarah Clemmons said, “This $76,240 grant from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity will increase enrollment and help put more Chipola students to work sooner. The equipment provides improved access to hands-on training so that students can complete the program and get high-skill, in demand jobs.”