Destin – The Triumph Gulf Coast Board moved $50 million of grants forward on Thursday, bringing the total amount of grant awarded to over $300 million across the eight-county Triumph region. The four grants approved Thursday will result in over 500 new high wage jobs and at least 14,210 new Career and Technical Education (CTE) industry certifications. Focused on the IT and Cybersecurity sector, students and adults participating in these CTE programs will gain industry certifications for today and tomorrow’s high wage jobs.
The new Triumph approved workforce training projects break down traditional education silos integrating CTE directly into K-12 and College curriculums allowing students in Northwest Florida to earn degrees and industry required certifications simultaneously.
The Pensacola-Escambia Promotion and Development Commission (PEDC) was awarded a $2,500,000 Triumph grant to win the expansion of Pegasus Laboratories, a pharmaceutical drug research and development and manufacturing company. The grant will be used to assist the PEDC with the acquisition of an existing facility in the Ellyson Industrial Park that will be leased to the company.
Pegasus Labs has committed to create a 63 new scientific and life-sciences manufacturing jobs paying an average wage of at least 136% of Escambia County’s wage.
The Triumph Board moved forward with Pensacola State College’s (PSC) grant request for $11,998,919 to expand Cyber Security and IT Programs. This grant request is in response to identified workforce needs of employers from several occupations within the Information Technology and Cybersecurity industry sectors. The grant will support the construction of the Phase II of the Baars Building West Wing, a classroom/computer lab facility in addition to student tuition waivers.
The project’s funding partners include the State of Florida, Pensacola State College, Escambia County, Santa Rosa County and the City of Pensacola.
The Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners was awarded a $15,878,683 Triumph grant to acquire 192 acres of prime industrial zoned property and for site readiness infrastructure to create the new Milton Interchange Park. The project will create a minimum of 454 high wage jobs paying at least 115% of Santa Rosa’s average wage.
The new industrial park located at I-10 and Exit 31 supports the county’s growing logistics and distribution hub. At the time of the grant approval, Santa Rosa had received letters of intent for all 192 acres at the Milton Interchange Park.
The Triumph Board voted to move ahead with Wakulla County School Board’s request for a $20,011,606 grant for the construction and implementation of the War Eagle Career Academy to be located at Wakulla High School. The career academy will expand career and technical education (CTE) in Wakulla County in partnership with Lively Technical College and Franklin County School District to meet regional workforce needs.
The programs within the academy will prepare students for high-skill high-wage in demand jobs resulting in at least 7,450 industry certifications. The Academy’s classes will be open to students in grades K-12 during the school day, summer programs and adult students in the evening.
The grant will embed CTE in existing curricula, in standalone programs and stacked micro-credentials to build unique employees for employer needs. Examples of the new and expanded programs include artificial intelligence; AWS (Amazon Web Services); physical therapy/sports medicine; television production; Comp Tia +; Digital Media; Cloud Computing; banking, finance, and investments; and automotive technology.
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 David Bear, Allan Bense, Chair Don Gaetz, Reynolds Henderson, Ben Lee, Collier Merrill and Matt Terry. All meetings of the Board are public.