Gov. Scott: $225,000 Grant Given to Tampa Bay Defense Alliance

Governor Rick Scott today announced the Tampa Bay Defense Alliance has been awarded a $225,000 grant from the Florida Defense Support Task Force. The funding will allow for the development of a strategic marketing campaign for MacDill Air Force Base. Additionally, the funding will develop and strengthen relationships between MacDill Air Force Base and the local community.

Governor Scott said, “This $225,000 grant will benefit the women and men who serve the military in the Tampa community, and I’m proud that our state recognizes the value of our military facilities by supporting them with these grants.”

House Speaker Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel) said, “Tampa plays a critical role in our nation’s defense industry and this grant helps to ensure the men and women working for our military have the support they need to continue keeping us safe. Support for the Tampa Bay Defense Alliance ensures provides stability for this significant sector of the Tampa Bay economy.”

Senator Tom Lee said, “Florida’s military installations are vital to Florida in so many ways, from defending our citizens to billions in economic impact. These funds are critical to keeping the bases and military personnel in our communities.”

Senator John Legg said, “The impact our military installations and personnel have in the Tampa region cannot be overstated, yet we need to continue working to share that message. This grant from the Florida Defense Support Task Force is critical to helping MacDill Air Force Base strategically market their operations, and develop and strengthen relationships between MacDill and the local community. I thank the Task Force members for this grant and their continued efforts to promote the good work being done by our military communities.”

Representative Dana Young said, “MacDill Air Force Base boasts unique attributes that we believe can tell a powerful story through any BRAC process. This grant will support the Tampa Bay Defense Alliance’s efforts to deliver that message, helping to protect the base and ensure it remains a vital part of our community”

Rich McClain, Executive Director, Tampa Bay Defense Alliance said, “The Tampa Bay Defense Alliance (TBDA) is extremely thankful to the Florida Defense Support Task Force and Enterprise Florida, Inc. for their unwavering support as the TBDA joins forces with our community partners to champion our historic legacy and current readiness of MacDill AFB, in tandem with the Tampa Bay Defense Industry, to affirm the capability and capacity of our military and defense community in support of Air Mobility Command (AMC), the Air Force and DOD.”

Statewide, the Task Force awarded more than $2 million in grant initiatives to local community organizations supporting Florida military installations. These grants will be utilized to protect, preserve and enhance Florida’s military missions and installations while maintaining Florida’s reputation as the most military friendly state in the nation.

Additionally, the grants will strengthen Florida’s military bases ahead of any potential U.S. Department of Defense realignment or closure actions. This will protect the more than $73 billion in economic impact and the nearly 760,000 jobs the defense industry infuses into Florida.

Secretary of Commerce and president & CEO of Enterprise Florida, Gray Swoope said, “These grants are vital to our military and defense programs, and the local economies that rely on the operation of those facilities. By providing the necessary funding for the sector’s development, jobs are created and Florida’s workforce is strengthened by the skilled former military personnel who enter the employment market. Enterprise Florida, through its work with the Florida Defense Task Force, is committed to supporting our military and defense sector.”

 

Background on Florida Defense Support Task Force Grants
The Florida Defense Support Task Force was created in 2011 with the mission to make recommendations to preserve and protect military installations, support the state’s position in research and development related to military missions and contracting, and improve the state’s military-friendly environment for service members, military families, military retirees and businesses that bring military and base-related jobs to the state.

The 2013-14 Florida Defense Support Task Force Grants have been awarded to seven worthy projects that serve to protect our military installations across the state. This year, awards were given to the National Simulation Center in Orlando, Clay County Development Authority (2 projects), City of Niceville, Greater Pensacola Chamber, Tampa Bay Defense Alliance, and the Economic Development Alliance of Bay County.

This program is administered by Enterprise Florida, Inc. on behalf of the Florida Defense Support Task Force. The grants are awarded annually, on a project priority basis, to organizations and communities working to protect, preserve and enhance Florida’s military installations and missions as well as improve the state’s military-friendly environment for service members, families and veterans. For more information on the Florida Defense Support Task Force, visit www.eflorida.com/floridadefense.

 

 

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