On a day when most of the attention of Florida political watchers is on the debate in the Florida House on school safety measures, Gov. Rick Scott rolled out $22 million from the Job Growth Grant Fund.
The $85 million fund has now dispersed $57 million.
“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,” Scott asserted.
The biggest spend: $5.8 million to build the “NEO City Gateway Road” in Osceola County, connecting U.S. 192 to two roads into a 500 acre master planned technology district.
“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,” remarked Fred Hawkins Jr., Chairman of the Osceola Board of County Commissioners.
Pensacola also scored, via $4 million for airport infrastructure improvements. Mayor Ashton Hayward touted the money as “another win enhancing our global presence along the I-10 Aerospace Corridor.”
Additional spending to local and regional governments included $1.987 million to Marianna to extend the runway at Marianna Airport Commerce Park to 6,000 feet. Titusville got $1.06 million for a new water main in the southern industrial district. Volusia got $1,961 million to extend County Road 4009. And Sumter County got $838,000 for water infrastructure upgrades along County Road 470.
Broward College got $3.187 million for a workforce training program, which College President J. David Armstrong says “will be used to train workers and grow jobs in the skilled workforce areas of aviation, advanced manufacturing, and information technology.”
Other colleges came out ahead as well. St. Petersburg College got $1,596,858 to create the Mechatronics and Electromechanical Technician training program, billed as “an accelerated, innovative, responsive and competency-based technical workforce program that meets the advanced manufacturing industry’s skill requirements.”
Big Bend Technical College got $100,000 to open a Diesel Maintenance Technician Program and a Diesel System Technical 1 Program. Valencia College received $1,320,000 to start the Advanced Manufacturing and Distribution Logistics project. And Chipola College got $76,240 for new welding equipment.