Darren Soto, Osceola officials hail Build Back Better Act grant for NeoCity
The BRIDG high-tech center under development in Osceola County.

The development is the only Florida project to get federal challenge money.

Osceola County has been awarded $500,000 through the federal Build Back Better Act for its NeoCity high-tech park, and it may be in line for much more, Rep. Darren Soto announced Wednesday.

The federal grant allows Osceola and its partners — the Orlando Economic Partnership, the University of Central Florida and the high-tech manufacturing center BRIDG — to develop a proposal to expand semiconductor research, development, and manufacturing capabilities at NeoCity, the high-tech industrial and research park the county is developing east of Kissimmee.

“Thrilled to work with @OsceolaCountyFl to land $500K #BuildBackBetter grant to expand @NEOcityFL’s microchip manufacturing,” Soto tweeted Wednesday. “It was the ONLY Florida grant awarded.”

“NeoCity is a great jewel for Osceola County that not many folks know about, so I’m really happy to get them some attention and some of these dollars for Osceola,” said Rep. Kristen Arrington, a Kissimmee Democrat.

The proposal will allow NeoCity, Osceola County, and the other partners to compete for a much larger federal development grant for $25 million to $100 million in Phase 2 of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s “Build Back Better Regional Challenge,” Soto said Wednesday.

“From day one, I have been committed to attracting high-tech, high-wage jobs to the district, and this funding is critical to expand the infrastructure in NeoCity and attract those jobs,” Soto said in a news release issued by the county.

BRIDG, a high-tech sensor manufacturing plant, is one of the NeoCity anchors. It has received millions of dollars in state and county aid.

“The investment by the federal government exemplifies the importance of the efforts that continue at NeoCity. Our selection puts us in very rare company and is proof of the significance of our long-range vision,” Osceola Commission Vice Chair Viviana Janer said. “The research and manufacturing capabilities that have been developed at NeoCity are critically needed to strengthen our supply chain and national security efforts. I have faith that our strategic planning will result in a wealth of new opportunities for our community as we move forward.”

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


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