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Source : Flgov.com
October 12, 2021
Author : Alex Bustillos
Gov. DeSantis announced the grant while in Winter Haven, adding that block grants and funding in Polk County have amounted to “almost $60 million in investment in 2021 alone.” New jobs supported by the new $9.4 million award will include “manufacturing, logistics, and technical services industries.”
He also mentioned HVAC, welding, aircraft maintenance, trucking and more.
"You name it, and there is big demand across all of these different industries,” DeSantis said. “And you’re able to make a good living. So we’re going to continue doing that. And some of the money from the Job Growth Grant Fund we’re actually going to be announcing later this week, will go specifically to some of those opportunities where you’re trying to create ability for people to get those real good vocationals…”
"We’ve added about a million private sector jobs since the peak of the job losses due to the reaction to the pandemic,” DeSantis added. “We are way ahead of the national average in tourism, hotel demand, travel spending and air travel capacity.”
“Our commitment is to do good policy and to continue to support communities like here in Winter Haven and Polk County that really do have a lot going on and will have a lot going on in the future,” the governor said.
Of the total, $6.4 million will come from the Job Growth Grant Fund and $3 million from the state’s Department of Transportation meant to pave the way for “road construction to improve access to over 1.200 acres of industrial land.”
“This project will support major freight and logistics operations to address current and future consumer needs from Jacksonville to Miami, and the Florida Department of Transportation is proud to contribute $3 million to help bring it to fruition,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, P.E.
It’s not difficult to see why DeSantis is prioritizing improving infrastructure in the industrial park. As he said, the state aims to “attract new businesses and generate new jobs to the community.” However, the industrial park was purchased by Tratt Properties LLC in the Spring, and Cocacola bought a 400,000-square-foot warehouse for $19.55 million a few months prior to that.
Moreover, the county’s population shot up more than 20 percent in the past 10 years, so infrastructure improvements are certainly needed to support such a boom.