UWF Gets $14.5 Million Grant from Triumph Gulf Coast for Manufacturing, Cybersecurity Training

Last week, the University of West Florida (UWF) reeled in a $14.5 million grant to help expand training for manufacturing and cybersecurity in the Panhandle.

On Friday, Triumph Gulf Coast, the organization overseeing funds to help Florida recover from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, announced its board of directors approved the grant for UWF’s Project 10[X]. UWF is providing almost $23 million for the project which is estimated to total $37.45 million.

“This project is a result of a majestic effort on behalf of the UWF team and the Triumph staff,” said UWF President Martha Saunders. “The vision for the future is to be the leading destination for education, research, workforce development and training. This is great news and we look forward to moving this project forward on behalf of Triumph Gulf Coast and the Northwest Florida region.”

“Through the UWF Center for Cybersecurity, the Sea3D Additive Manufacturing Laboratory and the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering, UWF will offer industry certifications that align with the Florida Career and Professional Education Act. UWF plans to produce more than 3,000 certifications in these areas over the five-year project timeframe,” UWF noted.

“Industry certifications are recognizable, transferable skills that will continue benefiting the prosperity pipeline for many years to come,” Saunders said. “This project will produce some of the nation’s most talented and elite professionals who are highly skilled, credentialed and ready to work.”

Home of the Center for Cybersecurity, UWF is currently the Centers of Academic Excellence Regional Resource Center for the Southeast and is designated as such by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“The world of cybersecurity is exploding all around us in the national sphere as well as in the private economy,” said former state Senate President Don Gaetz, the chairman of the Triumph Gulf Coast’s board of directors. “Unlike many economic projects, UWF’s proposal is clear, present and urgent as opposed to a need that has to be reduced.”

“UWF’s strong relationship across Northwest Florida through the Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council and FloridaMakes places the institution one-on-one with employers and improving competitiveness and productivity of Florida’s Manufacturers. The existing relationship empowers UWF to accelerate opportunities for training and education while providing exceptional value through collaborative industry work through the Sea3D Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory,” UWF noted.

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com

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