TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the award of $4.2 million to Santa Rosa County through the Job Growth Grant Fund (JGGF) to support the aerospace and defense sectors by connecting Naval Air Station Whiting Field to Whiting Aviation Park. The JGGF award will help construct a helipad and an approximately 2,800 linear foot taxiway to connect the two areas and expand business opportunities. This project is expected to create more than 150 new high-wage jobs and will facilitate the growth of Florida’s aerospace, defense, and security sectors.


“Today’s award will connect the Santa Rosa community with high-wage job opportunities and further support the growth of the aerospace industry,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “As an important military community, Santa Rosa has access to a talented workforce, making it a great place for aerospace and defense companies to do business.”


Today’s award follows the groundbreaking of the Leonardo Helicopters Florida Support Center in Whiting Aviation Park, beginning the construction of a 113,000 sq/ft aviation maintenance facility. The facility will support Santa Rosa County’s growing aviation and aerospace industries and bring additional opportunity to the surrounding military community through high-skill, high-wage jobs.


“As Chair of Space Florida’s Board of Directors, I congratulate Leonardo Helicopters for their continued investments in Santa Rosa County that will inspire future business growth and workforce development,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “Today’s Job Growth Grant Fund award builds upon those investments and reaffirms Florida’s commitment to the future of Florida’s aerospace and defense industries.”


“Today’s award simultaneously grows available jobs, connects businesses to local developed talent, and provides Floridians with meaningful long-term careers in the booming aerospace industry,” said Secretary of Commerce J. Alex Kelly.” I applaud Leonardo Helicopters for their continued dedication to aerospace workforce development in Santa Rosa.”


The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund is an economic development program designed to promote public infrastructure and workforce training across the state. Proposals are reviewed by FloridaCommerce and are chosen by Governor DeSantis to meet the demands for workforce training or infrastructure needs in communities around the state.


FloridaCommerce is currently accepting proposals until all funding has been awarded. For more information, visit www.FloridaJobs.org/JobGrowth.




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