Gov. Ron DeSantis officially awarded Hernando County $6.1 million to assist in establishing a workforce development center here. The award was made during a press conference in Brooksville on Oct. 18.
The workforce development center, recently coined the Dr. Dennis Wilfong Technology and Government Center will be constructed on an 18-acre site adjacent to the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport. The project is a collaboration among Pasco Hernando State College (PHSC), Hernando County, and the Hernando County School District. The center will offer training programs through PHSC and Suncoast Technical Education Center aimed at preparing students for jobs in manufacturing, aviation, education, and health care.
“These are really high demand skills and if we can provide tools for folks to develop those (skills) we’re going to have an awful lot of opportunities for an awful lot of students,” DeSantis said.
The funding comes from the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, with DeSantis announcing nearly $15 million in awards for workforce development through this grant fund over the past week.
The $6.1 million in grant funding will be used to prepare the property with the necessary infrastructure prior to construction according to the school district.
Developing the Center has economic development benefits as well.
“In reality, it really helps the state because the more people see we’re committed to (workforce development) the more and more likely this is going to be a place where they want to (locate) because they know they have the workforce to support it,” he said.
Sen. Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby), Rep. Blaise Ingoglia (R-Spring Hill), and Hernando County School District Superintendent John Stratton joined DeSantis at the presentation.
The state legislature previously awarded this project $9.35 million to develop and operate the new career and technical college under the fiscal year 2021-2022 budget, signed June 2 by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“We’re really bullish on this part of the state,” DeSantis remarked.