Florida will dole out $35 million in awards as part of the state’s Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, Gov. Rick Scott’s office announced on Tuesday.
The Florida Job Growth Fund funds infrastructure and workforce grants in Florida and is a product of an agreement between Scott and lawmakers hashed out last year. The jobs fund began awarding contracts from its allotted $85 million budget last month.
Nine new projects will receive awards to “help enhance community infrastructure” or develop workforce training and are projected by Scott’s office to have “demonstrated a strong return on investment.”
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity officials said they chose the grants from 225 proposals requesting a total of $821 million in investments.
“Each selected proposal has a strong return on investment and a commitment to improve the regional economic climate by meeting specific workforce and infrastructure needs,” said Florida DEO executive director Cissy Proctor.
The Canaveral Port Authority will receive the largest grant -- nearly $8.3 million -- to make roadway access improvements for cruise and cargo terminals.
The City of Alachua will receive the second-highest grant of $6.75 million to build construction of San Felasco Parkway and nearby utilities.
Other grants are also being rewarded to the cities of Jacksonville, Port Saint Lucie and Pensacola State College for various construction projects and workforce programs.
“I am proud to announce $35 million in awards for nine Florida Job Growth Grant Fund projects,” said Scott in a statement. “We have worked to ensure that every awarded project will strengthen Florida’s business climate and bring the best return on investment for Florida taxpayers.”
The governor said the grants would help Florida compete globally.
“We must do everything we can to ensure our state remains the top destination for families and job creators to succeed,” Scott said.
Enterprise Florida CEO Pete Antonacci said the agency was “thrilled” to work with the department to make sure Florida families were getting the “best return on investment” from tax dollars.
“Funding these projects will continue to make Florida the best place to create jobs and raise a family,” Antonacci said.