About to leave office to take his seat in the U.S. Senate, on Friday, outgoing Gov. Rick Scott announced five awards for nearly $9 million in funding from the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund.
The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, which Scott and the Florida Legislature launched in 2017, provides $85 million for improving public infrastructure and enhancing workforce training in Florida. Since July, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has received more than 100 proposals requesting more than $620 million in funding. Friday’s announcement reflects a total of more than $151 million in funding awarded to 50 communities across the state, including more than $42 million to 16 rural communities.
“With our focus on local communities through programs like the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, every single county in Florida has experienced a drop in its unemployment rate over the past eight years. This means that more families across our great state are able to live their dreams. I’m proud of our work to support Florida families and I will never stop fighting to make sure that Florida is the best place in the nation to get a great job and raise a family,” Scott said on Friday.
The five awarded projects include:
• Lake County Board of County Commissioners ($2,500,000) to widen and extend Round Lake Road in the Wolf Branch Innovation District, opening over 1,300 acres to attract businesses in a number of targeted industries including a mix of office, warehouse, advanced manufacturing, technology, and Research and Development companies.
• LaunchCode Foundation ($496,193) to provide intensive introductory coding and programming training to aspiring technologists through LaunchCode’s Tampa Tech Talent Training Initiative at Brewster Technical College. Upon completion, students will have the skills and credentials necessary to be entry-level application and software developers.
• City of Fort Pierce ($1,917,841) to provide sewer connectivity to 37 industrial parcels located in the City of Fort Pierce, to attract new businesses and provide opportunities for the expansion of economic development.
• Palm Beach State College ($2,060,919) to create the Center of Excellence in Engineering Technology, providing a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to engage, recruit, train and graduate engineering students, addressing the area’s unmet need for highly trained, middle-skill engineering workers in targeted industries at both the Belle Glade and Palm Beach Gardens campuses.
• Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners ($1,700,000) to expand the curriculum of Charlotte Technical College to include an Aviation and Powerplant Mechanics Certification Course, preparing students to enter jobs in the aerospace industry.
These proposals were reviewed by DEO, Enterprise Florida, Inc. and chosen by Scott based on “their strong return on investment to the state and to meet the demand for a robust workforce or infrastructure needs” while the governor’s office noted “return on investment was calculated to determine the best projects for the state and economic development in the regions.”
“The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund is bringing much needed investments in infrastructure and workforce development to regions across the state. We are proud to help these Florida communities attract businesses and support their workforce,” said Cissy Proctor, the executive director of CEO.
Mike Grissom, the interim president and CEO of Enterprise Florida, also weighed in on Friday.
“Enterprise Florida is proud to partner with DEO to continue to grow Florida’s economy by
investing in our state’s infrastructure and workforce. These projects will support Florida’s business community and create new jobs for Florida families,” he said.