Ron DeSantis Announces Funds for Osceola County, Valencia College for Semiconductor, Manufacturing Training

This week, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced almost $10 million for Osceola County and Valencia College “to support semiconductor and other advanced technology manufacturing in Osceola County.”

DeSantis announced the funds which are through the Florida Job Growth Fund at an event in Kissimmee on Wednesday.

“Included in this award is $6 million to assist with developing infrastructure connecting the county’s emerging NeoCity technology district with the county’s workforce, and $3.7 million to Valencia College to develop a new program that will train students in utilizing robotics technology for semiconductor manufacturing. These two awards will combine to create manufacturing jobs while developing a talent pipeline that supports industry growth,” the governor’s office noted. “Osceola County was previously awarded $5.8 million through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund for the construction of primary northern gateways and a main thoroughfare for NeoCity. NeoCity is an effort in Osceola County to develop a location for semiconductor research, development, and manufacturing through partnerships within the emerging high-tech industry. This award of $6 million will add to the initial investment with planned improvements for the southern gateway, called NeoVation Way. The expansion will include the construction of an approximately 3,160 linear-foot, two-lane roadway with a gateway design feature, on-street parking, a multi-use path, sidewalks, landscaping, and lighting.

“Valencia College will use $3.7 million in funding to address the workforce development needs related to incorporating robotics technology into the manufacturing and distribution industry sectors through the Accelerated Skills Training Program in Robotics Technology. This workforce program also includes a specialized semiconductor track designed to prepare future robotics technicians for the semiconductor industry and an Advanced Robotics Learning Factory. This program was developed as a direct result of partnerships between Central Florida businesses and Valencia College,” the governor’s office continued.

“Expanding domestic manufacturing capability is important for Florida and our nation,” said DeSantis. “The strategic investments we are making today will help bring microchip and semiconductor manufacturing back to our state at a time when the supply chains are more fragile than ever. Certainly, we cannot allow this important industry to become captive by the Chinese Communist Party.”

“Strategic investments in emerging industry sectors, like what is happening at NeoCity, and critical industries, such as chip and semiconductor manufacturing, will continue to elevate Florida’s future economic growth,” said Sec. Dane Eagle of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). “With Governor DeSantis’ support, these projects will continue to provide more Floridians with access to dynamic resources while increasing the current progress of growth for Florida’s industries.”

Dr. Howard Liebman, the superintendent of schools of Smart Horizons Career Online Education, applauded the funds, saying they will help create jobs and a talent pipeline in Central Florida. His school just added Introduction to Manufacturing as a career field.

“We’ve all seen massive disruptions to the supply chain over the past few years. Investing in the manufacturing industry not only bolsters our supply chain, but also it creates jobs,” said Liebman.

Kevin Derby
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