County receives Defense Reinvestment and Infrastructure grants

Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that Clay County was awarded $88,000 through Florida’s Defense Infrastructure and Reinvestment Grant Programs. The funding will support the sustainability of Camp Blanding Joint Training Center and increase economic growth in the County.

Governor Scott said, “This $88,000 investment is critical to keeping the bases, military personnel and jobs in our communities. Camp Blanding and Clay County will benefit from this important funding, and the base and community will to continue to grow, and create more jobs for Florida families.”

For more than 15 years the defense grants have been successful tools in assisting local defense partners to support 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.

Clay 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 $48,000, awarded to the Clay County Economic Development Corporation, will help to protect Florida’s military installations, as well as promote economic diversification strategies in defense dependent communities.

The Clay County Development Authority was awarded $40,000 through the Defense Infrastructure Grant, which is awarded to local projects deemed to have a positive impact on the military value of the installation in addition to benefitting the community.

Senator Rob Bradley said, “I recognize the strategic importance of Camp Blanding Joint Training Center, home to the Florida National Guard to our community and the State of Florida. I appreciate Governor Scott for awarding Clay County with two grants to support our base, its missions, and its sizeable impact to our local economy.
Representative Charles Van Zant said, “Clay County is fortunate enough to receive two Florida Defense Grants that are designated to sustain Camp Blanding Joint Training Center and have a positive impact on our community. The combined $88,000 will serve to fund a surveillance system, increase awareness of the military industry, and create jobs.”

Representative Travis Cummings said, “The impact our military installations and personnel have on our state is huge. More than 750,000 military staff members live in Florida and more than $73 billion is poured into our economy thanks to the military. I applaud the Governor and Legislature for awarding a $40,000 Defense Infrastructure Grant to the Camp Blanding Joint Training Center and a $48,000 Defense Reinvestment Grant for other facilities in our region.”

“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.

“This Defense Reinvestment Grant (DRG) award will help promote job-creation in Clay County by funding a professionally prepared marketing campaign about Clay’s high-quality workforce, and excellent industrial real estate options. New and growing companies have many options where to locate, and this award will help Clay and other defense-dependent communities be as competitive as possible in attracting high-quality employers. We sincerely appreciate the support of Gov. Scott, Sect. Gray Swoope, and Enterprise Florida,” said Bill Garrison, Clay Economic Development Corporation.

“In accordance with our principal purpose of promoting sound economic development of Clay County, the Clay County Development Authority is pleased to receive this grant that will strengthen the strategic partnership with Camp Blanding Joint Training Center (CBJTC) by providing the enhanced measures required to sustain safe and secure operations, while increasing safety and security on and off of the installation, thus enabling CBJTC to better accommodate contingency, mobilization and future force requirements,” said Clay County Development Authority Chair Debbie Ricks.

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.



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