Nearly $10M in grants were awarded to Osceola County and Valencia College to support workforce and infrastructure development for the Orlando region’s semiconductor industry.
Osceola County received $6 million from Governor Ron DeSantis through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s 2022 Florida Job Growth Grant Fund. The funds will be matched by Osceola County to build The Southern Gateway to Osceola County, dubbed NeoVation Way, a key piece of transportation infrastructure that will elevate its NeoCity technology district.
The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund was created to promote economic opportunity by improving public infrastructure and enhancing workforce training.
“Expanding domestic manufacturing capability is important for Florida and our nation,” said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at a press conference announcing the awards.
“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.”Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
Upon completion, NeoVation Way will connect approximately 80 percent of Osceola County’s population to thousands of innovative, high-paying jobs and educational opportunities in NeoCity, Osceola County’s emerging technology district.
“We are grateful to Governor Ron DeSantis and the Department of Economic Opportunity for believing in and actively supporting Osceola County’s vision for the future,” said Osceola County Manager Don Fisher.
“The infrastructure investments we made, and awards like today’s Job Growth Grant, uniquely position NeoCity to lead our nation’s semiconductor renaissance.”Osceola County Manager Don Fisher
Additionally, Valencia College received a $3.7M grant to launch a 20-week program to train residents in Osceola County for high-paying jobs as robotics technicians. The funds are estimated to support the education of 120 graduates who will be able to immediately find work at NecoCity with no debt.
“The award of these grants is the direct result of our collaboration with regional partners to make this a state priority and highlight the building momentum of continued regional growth.”Partnership President and CEO Tim Giuliani
Beyond creating significant opportunity for Osceola County, NeoCity and the entire Orlando region, the grant and its accompanying local match improve the competitiveness of the Central Florida Semiconductor Coalition’s application to Phase 2 of the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge, which would fund the expansion of advanced semiconductor manufacturing in the region.
As the No. 10 fastest-growing county in the U.S. and No. 2 in FL, Osceola County has made investments over the past several years in high-tech innovation, high-skilled job growth and sustainable economic development strategies that have positioned the region to be the world epicenter for smart technology products and services.
This vision, along with the support of the Orlando region’s education institutions and business friendly climate, is what attracted SkyWater Technology to choose NeoCity for its first site expansion.
“SkyWater chose Florida as the state to make our very first expansion outside of our headquarters in Minnesota for many good reasons,” said SkyWater Chief Government Affairs Officer Brad Ferguson.
“The creation of NeoCity provided an opportunity that fit SkyWater’s model of innovation, while also providing partners for workforce development.”SkyWater Chief Government Affairs Officer Brad Ferguson
The construction of the Southern Gateway Project, combined with Valencia’s targeted vocational training programs, will enhance the Orlando region’s talent pipeline as well as its ability to attract additional cutting-edge businesses like SkyWater to focus on the region as a destination for growth.