County receives Defense Reinvestment Grant

Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that the Walton Area Chamber was awarded $52,800 through Florida’s Defense Reinvestment Grant Program. The funding will support economic development initiatives and relationships with Eglin Air Force Base and Tyndall Air Force Base.

Governor Scott said, “This $52,800 grant will provide the Walton Area Chamber with the resources necessary to keep military families secure. We thank the Florida service men and women who work every day to keep Florida families safe.”

For more than 15 years the defense grants have been successful tools in assisting local defense partners in supporting the State’s military installations. Florida’s military and defense sector is responsible for 9.4 percent – or $73.4 billion – of the Sunshine State’s economy. This translates to 758,112 statewide direct and indirect jobs.

Senate President Don Gaetz said, “Our task is to ensure Northwest Florida’s bases and missions are protected and expanded. By these grants, we are making our community more military-friendly and helping our military installations to be even better neighbors.”

Representative Marti Coley said, “The Legislature continually strives to make Florida the most military friendly state in the nation. By funding The Defense Grants Program, Florida is giving back to the men and women who so faithfully serve our state and our nation. I am proud that once again we were able to fund the Defense Grants Program during the 2014 Legislative session. The $52,000 Defense Grant received by the Walton Area Chamber will aid them in continuing to build a partnership between the military and our communities.”

“The Florida Defense Grants Programs are vital for our military and defense industry, and strengthen Florida’s workforce through the highly skilled former military personnel who enter the employment market each year. I am proud to play a part in supporting our military installations and communities, and appreciate what our service men and women do to protect our state,” said Gray Swoope, Florida Secretary of Commerce and President & CEO of Enterprise Florida.

A combined $2,450,000 was awarded to 14 communities in the state, helping to protect and improve 19 installations, and furthering Florida’s reputation as the most military friendly state in the nation.

Walton County was one of twelve counties to receive a Defense Reinvestment Grant, which is designed to support relationships between military installations and their community. The award to the Walton Area Chamber will help to protect Florida’s military installations, as well as promote economic diversification strategies in defense dependent communities.

“The Walton Area Chamber is pleased to be awarded a Florida Defense Reinvestment Grant for 2015. The funds enable us to work in the expansion and retention of the local defense missions as well as gives us the opportunity to work to diversify our economic base with innovative and knowledge-based businesses,” said Kellie Jo Kilberg, President & CEO of the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce.

The 2014-15 Defense Grants were awarded to defense partners in the following counties: Polk, Brevard (2), Duval (2), Santa Rosa (2), Okaloosa (2), Clay (2), Pinellas, Escambia (2), Orange (2), Bay (2), Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, Walton and Highlands.

The Florida Defense Grants Programs are administered by Enterprise Florida, Inc. The grants are awarded annually through a competitive process to communities hosting military installations.


Comments are closed.