Commerce Department Invests $10 Million in Florida to Support Business Recovery Efforts and Advanced Manufacturing
ASowah@doc.gov
Fri, 05/29/2020 – 13:38

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FORT PIERCE, FL – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced $10 million in Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants to the state of Florida during a visit to Indian River State College (IRSC) in Ft. Pierce. The two EDA grants will help recovering businesses gain access to capital and will fund the construction of a new IRSC worker training facility to bolster the region’s advanced manufacturing sector. These EDA funds will be matched by more than $13 million in state and local investment and will directly create over 100 jobs.

“The Trump Administration is committed to helping businesses and workers get the resources they need to rebound from disasters,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Today’s grants help ensure that the rebound in Florida is quick and that it encompasses the important industry of advanced manufacturing. IRSC’s planned worker training facility will attract high-quality manufacturing jobs to the Treasure Coast for years to come.”

“This funding will better prepare Florida’s economy to be more resilient in the face of future natural disasters,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “Both the Revolving Loan Fund and the new training facility will encourage economic diversity in the state of Florida.”

“Hurricane Michael decimated Northwest Florida, and this $8 million for the Revolving Loan Fund will help businesses get back on their feet and rebuild stronger than before,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Separately, the $2 million for a new training facility at Indian River State College will greatly strengthen the area’s long-term manufacturing capabilities and local economy. I thank Secretary Ross and the Trump Administration for their continued support of Florida.”  

“The strength of Florida’s manufacturing sector is vital to our state’s ability to rebuild after natural disasters,” said Senator Marco Rubio. “This federal investment will create jobs and help to ensure that Florida’s economy is prepared for disaster response. I remain committed to working with the Administration to support recovery efforts so that Florida communities are able to recover from the devastating effects of hurricanes and other natural disasters.”

“This EDA investment is great news for the future of Florida’s workforce and economic recovery,” said Senator Rick Scott. “I’m glad the Trump Administration is committed to supporting our businesses still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Michael, and I will keep working to ensure our economic stability for Florida families.”

“Investing in manufacturing on the Treasure Coast is a decision that will increase innovation, create jobs, and strengthen our economy,” said Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18). “Indian River State College is a great place to build this new HVAC training facility. I could not be more excited to see what the future holds for this facility and the impact it will have on our manufacturing community.” The EDA investments announced today are:

  • $8 million to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (FDEO) in Tallahassee to support a Revolving Loan Fund that will provide businesses with gap financing needed to recover and rebuild after Hurricane Michael.
  • $2 million to Indian River State College in Fort Pierce to construct a new worker training facility for advanced manufacturing, welding and Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. The 18,000 square-foot project will allow hands-on learning to fill the immediate skills needs of local manufacturing companies. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC).

The FDEO project is funded by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (Pub. L. 116-20), which provided EDA with $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas affected by hurricanes, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and other major natural disasters occurring in calendar year 2018, and tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, under the Robert T. Stafford Act. Please visit EDA’s Disaster Supplemental webpage for more information.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov) The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.