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DEO Requests Approval of $50 Million for Infrastructure and Education Projects

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (FNN) – The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity requested the approval of $50 million dollars from the job growth grant fund for projects to be started in 2021, during a hearing in the Infrastructure & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee of the Florida House of Representatives.

Adam Callaway, director of Strategic Business Development in the DEO, explained that the funds incuded $24 million withheld during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The job growth fund was created by Legislature in 2017 with the intention of developing and improving infrastructure and “creating a pipeline to talent through partnerships,” Callaway explained during his presentation.

The funds have been used in such projects as access roads to industrial parks and rural communities, and education programs such as computer coding and programming. They can be used to assist rural or underdeveloped areas and places impacted by natural or economic disaster, or address needs in areas with aging or failing infrastructure, or to assist communities in building the infrastructure and workforce necessary to attract business.

“Colleges and technical schools that have receive funding have reported 15,000 new enrollments” since 2017, Callaway added.

Since 2017 $1.88 billion in proposals have been received, $260 million appropriated, $235.6 million awarded, and $57.9 million expended.

Among the projects that have used these funds is the improved roadway access to cruise and cargo terminals in the Canaveral Port Authority, the new public water main to support industrial development in Titusville’s southern industrial district, and the building of the Southwest Florida Manufacturing Excellence Center for the Collier County School Board.

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Juan Carlo Rodriguez is a politics and entertainment reporter for Florida National News. | info@floridanationalnews.com

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