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Gov. DeSantis Awards More Than $28M to Expand Chip Manufacturing

The money allocated from the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund will support five workforce development projects across the state.

Last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis awarded more than $28 million through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to expand the state’s semiconductor and chip manufacturing industries.

According to the state’s Department of Commerce website, the fund “is an economic development program designed to promote public infrastructure and workforce training across the state.”

Proposals are reviewed by the department and then chosen by the governor to meet the demand for workforce or infrastructure needs in the community to which they are awarded.

One county and four local colleges were recently awarded grant funding, including NeoCity, a “smart” community in Osceola County, which will receive $17.5 million to construct a multi-use semiconductor lab facility. According to a press release from the governor’s office, “completing this project will stimulate high-tech business startups and the manufacturing of semiconductors by providing companies with affordable lab space.”

Next on the list is Valencia College, which will receive $4.2 million to expand its robotics and semiconductor technician program, followed by Santa Fe College, which will receive $3 million to design and develop a new associate degree in engineering technology specializing in advanced manufacturing.

Following that is Lake Technical College, which will receive $1.9 million to expand its semiconductor program and create a new advanced manufacturing program.

Lastly, Eastern Florida State College will receive $1.6 million to establish a center for innovative technology education to train students in robotics and simulation technician skills to design, operate, test and repair robotics systems.

“Less than two months ago, Gov. DeSantis called for Job Growth Grant Fund applications to strengthen Florida’s semiconductor manufacturing industry and to enhance its workforce — our partners in economic development and workforce education around the state responded overwhelmingly,” said Secretary of Commerce J. Alex Kelly in a statement. “[These] awards provide more education options for the learner’s benefit and ensure that crucial industries have qualified and eager candidates interested in working in their field.”

More information about each entity and their work can be found online.