By Lydia Nusbaum
May 18, 2022 Updated 3:59 P.M. ET
CRESTVIEW (FLV) – Gov. Ron DeSantis awarded $3.2 million in grants for Okaloosa County to expand roads, rail lines, and utility infrastructure at the Shoal River Ranch.
Shoal River Ranch is an industrial mega site. The investment is expected to bring more than 11,000 jobs to the region. It will bring 4,000 new jobs in manufacturing which would more than double the current number of manufacturing jobs in that area.
“Today’s grant will lay the foundation for a dramatic expansion of manufacturing in Okaloosa County,” DeSantis said. “Florida is committed to expanding our industrial base and investments like this, as well as our strong support for skilled trades and workforce education, will help us achieve this goal.”
The money was provided through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund. The fund is an economic development program designed to promote public infrastructure and workforce training across the state. Proposals are reviewed by DEO and Enterprise Florida, Inc. and chosen by Governor DeSantis.
“DEO is proud to assist the Governor in his mission to stimulate job and business growth in Florida,” said Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Secretary Dane Eagle. “This funding will support economic development in Okaloosa County by creating available, ready-to-access sites for industrial development, which will have lasting impacts throughout the region.”
The Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Mel Ponder called the award a “difference maker” for the region.
“There is nothing else this size, with this much access to a major interstate, in the state of Florida. Future tenants will have access to people trained and led by our education system, our college system, and our transitioning military who are technically trained,” Ponder said.
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