Florida’s Job Growth Grant Fund is Open for Business, who is Asking for Money and for What?

by | Aug 1, 2017

Nearly three weeks after the state started accepting applications for its new $85 million Job Growth Grant Fund, Florida has received 19 applications requesting more than $40 million from the grant program.

Eight of the applications, nearly half of them, were submitted by just two local governments seeking financial help with infrastructure improvements. Combined, those eight applications represent more than half of the grant money requested so far.

Suwannee County, a rural community in north Florida, is asking for $14.8 million dollars to help pay for four projects, which include water and sewer line improvements in areas that the county is promoting for economic growth. It’s also asking for financial assistance to help relocate a railroad crossing at the county’s industrial park so that it can accommodate more businesses.

West Park, a town of about 14,000 residents in Broward County, applied for four grants seeking $10 million. Most of those projects involve road improvements that the city says will promote economic development, including $2 million for traffic calming projects in residential neighborhoods.

The Canaveral Port Authority is requesting $8.2 million to help cover the cost of a new access road to the cruise and cargo terminals at Port Canaveral. In its grant application, the authority says the road access project is “estimated to have a total overall economic impact of $101 million and will create 1,146 jobs.”

Jacksonville is seeking help in expanding its the Imeson Industrial Park. The city is asking for $6 million to build more roads to improve accessibility to areas of the park that currently are not considered feasible for development.

“The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund is vital to growing Florida’s economy and strengthening our talented workforce. The flexibility of the fund makes it an important tool for the state,” said Cissy Proctor, the executive director of the Department of Economic Opportunity. “It allows DEO to invest in quality infrastructure and workforce training to help local communities create jobs and thrive.

The Job Growth Grant Fund was part of a budget compromise reached between Gov. Rick Scott and legislative leaders following this year’s regular session.

The Legislature had dramatically cut funding for Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida. Adequate funding for both agencies was a priority for the governor who argued the cuts would hurt the state’s economic growth.

In the case of Enterprise Florida, lawmakers wanted to avoid the perception that the state was providing “corporate welfare” to private businesses in order to bring new jobs to the state. But they still wanted to promote economic growth while improving flexibility and transparency in the process.

After legislative leaders reached a compromise with Scott, lawmakers returned to Tallahassee for a special session last month to restore funding for Visit Florida and to create the $85 Florida Job Growth Grant Fund.

The fund is designed to help economic development projects while improving flexibility and transparency in the process. It’s purpose is to provide assistance to projects that promote infrastructure improvement or job training to encourage more businesses to come to Florida.  

“With this legislation, we can promote public infrastructure projects and job training projects to continue to grow jobs for families in every community of our state,” the governor said in June after lawmakers approved the job grant program. “We know that for Florida to be competitive in domestic and international markets, we need as many tools as possible to attract growing businesses to our state. The $85 million Florida Job Growth Grant Fund is what Florida needs to bring major jobs wins home.”

In addition to the requests for grant money to help local governing boards improve infrastructure to promote economic growth, the state has also received about a half dozen requests from technical schools and educational programs seeking financial assistance to improve job training programs.

Indian River State College is asking for $1.97 million to expand and improve its aviation and marine training programs. Sheridan Technical College and High School in Hollywood is seeking help with its $978,000 with the development of a new automotive maintenance and light repair technician program.

“With this legislation, we can promote public infrastructure projects and job training projects to continue to grow jobs for families in every community of our state,” the governor said in June after lawmakers approved the job grant program. “We know that for Florida to be competitive in domestic and international markets, we need as many tools as possible to attract growing businesses to our state. The $85 million Florida Job Growth Grant Fund is what Florida needs to bring major jobs wins home.”

The Department of Economic Opportunity will evaluate the applications and determine which projects best meet the criteria spelled out in the law in order to qualify for grant money.

The state is continuing to take applications. Click here to go to the Job Growth Grant Fund website to apply.

 

3 Comments

  1. szkolenia rehabilitacja

    What’s up Dear, are you genuinely visiting this web site
    daily, if so after that you will absolutely take good know-how.

    Reply
  2. ecoursethailand.com

    Great post! We are linking to this particularly
    great content on our website. Keep up the good writing.

    Reply
  3. website

    This post presents clear idea for the new viewers
    of blogging, that in fact how to do blogging.

    Reply

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: