The City of Pensacola is one of 11 Florida cities, counties and colleges awarded nearly $22 million in grant funding by Governor Rick Scott on Tuesday.
Pensacola will receive $4 million to develop additional taxiways, ramp construction, and expansion for future development at the Pensacola International Airport, including improvements to facilities for education and training for aviation workforce.
The award comes from the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, established by Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature last year to improve public infrastructure and enhance workforce training in Florida.
“I’m proud to announce the nearly $22 million in awards for 11 Florida Job Growth Grant Fund projects across the state,” Gov. Scott said in a statement. “The $85 million Florida Job Growth Grand Fund was established last year with the help of the Florida Legislature to help Florida aggressively fight to be the best destination for businesses to succeed. These projects will help meet infrastructure and workforce training needs across the state in order to promote economic development. These projects are also slated to add more than 18,600 jobs for Florida families. I look forward to the completion of these projects.”
Proposals were reviewed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and Enterprise Florida and were chosen by Governor Scott based on their strong return on investment to the state and to meet the demand for a robust workforce or infrastructure needs, officials said. Return on investment was calculated to determine the best projects for the state and economic development in its regions.
“Governor Scott’s announcement of an award of $4 million from the Governor’s Job Growth Fund to the City of Pensacola is a critical first step towards expanding the aerospace industry sector at Pensacola International Airport,” said Mayor Ashton Hayward. “By committing this money, the Governor and the Department of Economic Opportunity have sent a strong signal that our efforts to diversify the economy and expand employment opportunities are good investments. From day one, my administration has been laser-focused on creating jobs. We are seeing the benefits of that approach. This new funding will allow the airport to construct city-owned infrastructure, including additional taxiways, aprons, roads and support facilities for aviation workforce development, for multiple users. Together with next month’s opening of a new maintenance, repair and overhaul hangar at the airport that will bring 400 jobs to our community, the Governor’s investment in Pensacola provides a means for the airport to multiply its economic impact by developing a new, sustainable aerospace industry sector.”