Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Nearly $10 Million to Support Chip and Semiconductor Manufacturing
KISSIMMEE, FL (STL.News) Governor Ron DeSantis announced nearly $10 million has been awarded through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to Osceola County and Valencia College to support semiconductor and other advanced technology manufacturing in Osceola County. Included in this award is $6 million to assist with developing infrastructure connecting the county’s emerging Neo City technology district with the county’s workforce, and $3.7 million to Valencia College to develop a new program that will train students in utilizing robotics technology for semiconductor manufacturing. These two awards will combine to create manufacturing jobs while developing a talent pipeline that supports industry growth.
“Expanding domestic manufacturing capability is important for Florida and our nation,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “The strategic investments we are making today will help bring microchip and semiconductor manufacturing back to our state at a time when the supply chains are more fragile than ever. Certainly, we cannot allow this important industry to become captive by the Chinese Communist Party.”
Osceola County was previously awarded $5.8 million through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund for the construction of primary northern gateways and a main thoroughfare for Neo City. Neo City is an effort in Osceola County to develop a location for semiconductor research, development, and manufacturing through partnerships within the emerging high-tech industry. This award of $6 million will add to the initial investment with planned improvements for the southern gateway, called Neo Vation Way. The expansion will include the construction of an approximately 3,160 linear-foot, two-lane roadway with a gateway design feature, on-street parking, a multi-use path, sidewalks, landscaping, and lighting.
Valencia College will use $3.7 million in funding to address the workforce development needs related to incorporating robotics technology into the manufacturing and distribution industry sectors through the Accelerated Skills Training Program in Robotics Technology. This workforce program also includes a specialized semiconductor track designed to prepare future robotics technicians for the semiconductor industry and an Advanced Robotics Learning Factory. This program was developed as a direct result of partnerships between Central Florida businesses and Valencia College.
“Strategic investments in emerging industry sectors, like what is happening at Neo City, and critical industries, such as chip and semiconductor manufacturing, will continue to elevate Florida’s future economic growth,” said Secretary Dane Eagle of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). “With Governor DeSantis’ support, these projects will continue to provide more Floridians with access to dynamic resources while increasing the current progress of growth for Florida’s industries.”
The Florida Job Growth Grant 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., (EFI) and are chosen by the Governor to meet the demands for workforce training or infrastructure needs in communities around the state.
Already in 2021-2022, approximately $62 million of $74 million appropriated funds have been allocated for projects that focus on rapidly developing a highly skilled workforce and on infrastructure initiatives that attract businesses, create jobs, and promote economic growth. DEO and EFI are accepting proposals until all funding has been awarded.