PENSACOLA, Fla.—Today, Governor Ron DeSantis awarded funds for workforce development and infrastructure improvements through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund (JGGF) and the Defense Infrastructure Grant (DIG). Awards were made to Pensacola State College, the city of DeFuniak Springs, Santa Rosa County, and Jackson County for projects that will support the aviation and aerospace industry, the military and defense industry, and increase access to workforce housing.

“Today’s awards will help bring high demand, high wage jobs and businesses to Northwest Florida,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “These strategic investments will benefit Escambia, Walton, Santa Rosa and Jackson counties and provide new opportunities for families from across the Panhandle.”

“Governor DeSantis’ focus on catalytic infrastructure and workforce investments, especially in sectors such as manufacturing, aerospace and aviation, and military and defense, will continue to bring job creators and job seekers to Northwest Florida,” said Secretary of Commerce J. Alex Kelly. “I’m especially grateful for the Governor’s support of the community-driven visions in each of these projects.”

The following entities will receive an award through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund:

  • Pensacola State College ($4,410,000) – to establish a new Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics program. This project will support the construction of a new hanger, training equipment, and operating costs for the education program which will be located at the Pensacola Airport.
  • DeFuniak Springs ($3,051,550) – to construct two 6,400-square-foot hangers, one 10,000-square-foot hanger, a taxiway, an access road, and associated utilities. This infrastructure will allow the airport to attract new innovative employers in aerospace and defense, including Advanced Air Mobility (AAM). The project will create 500 jobs and have a total estimated fiscal impact of more than $12.3 million.
  • Jackson County ($4,680,059) – to connect a workforce housing development with an industrial area with a new 1.3-mile, two-lane road. This project will create at least jobs 400 new jobs and has an estimated impact of $12.5 million. This award builds on more than $23 million in strategic investments in Jackson County, including more than $15 million through the Rural Infrastructure Fund, more than $7 million through the Broadband Opportunity Program, and $1.5 million through the Florida Small Cities Community Development Block Grant program to encourage job creation, capital investment, and economic development.

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.

For more information on the Job Growth Grant Fund, click here.

The following entity will receive an award through the Defense Infrastructure Grant:

  • Santa Rosa County Whiting Aviation Park – Security Fence Project ($500,000) – to create a secure, double-entry gate system connecting NAS Whiting Aviation Park. This will allow aircraft to move safely and efficiently between the base and maintenance area, which will enhance security and maintenance operations. A new electronic gate will also speed up emergency response and provide a secure route for personnel and equipment.

Defense Infrastructure Grants support transportation and access, housing, utilities, communications, and security needs for military communities across the state.

For more information on military community programs, click here.



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