Pensacola, FL – The Triumph Gulf Coast Board voted on Friday to fund projects in six counties totaling over $83M to create new high wage job opportunities and workforce training. To-date the Board has voted to proceed with 24 projects totaling over $217.6M.
The projects approved to move forward on Friday will create at least 1400 new high wage jobs bringing the total number of new jobs funded by Triumph to over 5,500. The new projects will result in at least 3,975 Career and Technical Education (CTE) industry certifications including Cybersecurity, Advanced Manufacturing, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and Supply Chain and Logistics bringing the total Triumph commitment for new industry certifications to over 11,250.
The Triumph Board approved a Term Sheet and voted to move to final agreement negotiations with Okaloosa County for $64.1 million to assist with a $200 million bypass linking Highway 85 to US Highway 10 southwest of Crestview. This project will result in at least 1300 new defense related jobs and provide long term relief for traffic congestion in the county.
The Triumph Board voted to begin term sheet negotiations with the University of West Florida (UWF) for $14,500,000 for cyber security, advanced manufacturing and supply chain logistics industry certifications. Through the Center for Cybersecurity, the Sea3D Additive Manufacturing Laboratory and the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering UWF proposes to produce a minimum of 3,220 industry certifications and provide career pathways to high paying jobs across the region.
A grant award agreement with Wakulla County School Board to start a UAS certification training program at Wakulla High School was approved by the Triumph Gulf Coast Board. Also, the $1,780,000 grant will provide additional CTE digital tools training for students in grades 3-5 in this state designated Rural Area of Opportunity (RAO).
The UAS CTE program will provide students with industry-recognized credentials in this new and growing industry. Florida is among the top ten states predicted to create jobs and revenue as production and use of drones continues to increase.
The Triumph Board approved a term-sheet and voted to negotiate a final grant award with Franklin County School Board (FCSB) for a $1,215,000 Triumph Gulf Coast grant for the second phase of their Environmental, Career and Technical Training plan. Phase II will create opportunities at the high school level for students to earn Healthcare, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Safety certifications and Visual Line of Site System Operator certifications. The grant also includes digital tool certifications for 4th and 5th grade students in this state designated RAO.
The Triumph Board approved a Term Sheet and moved to agreement negotiations for a joint project from the Walton Economic Development Alliance (Walton EDA), Walton County and the City of DeFuniak Springs for $1,742,407 to extend water and sewer service along the west side of US 331. The extension would run from 1-10 south for approximatly 4 miles to just north of Eglin Range Road. The proposed project is located in a state designated RAO.
The EDA, in conjunction with the County, is currently negotiating for parcels of land along the corridor that would be suitable for business, industrial, and commercial development and has committed to creation and maintenance of at least 100 new to Florida private sector jobs at the new development. The jobs will be Qualified Target Industry (QTI) tax refund eligible, paying an average wage of at least 115% of the county wage. The EDA has a commitment from a defense contractor for the creation of at least 35 new jobs at the new site.
In response to increased construction costs following Hurricane Michael, the Triumph Board agreed to increase the grant award to Bay County School Board to expand the HVAC certification program at Haney Technical Center.
The Triumph Gulf Coast Board of Directors is appointed by the Governor, Chief Financial Officer, Attorney General and presiding officers of the Legislature. The appointees to the Triumph Board are Lewis Bear, Jr., Allan Bense, Dr. Pam Dana, Chair Don Gaetz, Ben Lee, and Stephen Riggs, IV and Matt Terry. All meetings of the Board are public.