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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $16 Million to Boost Workforce Training Efforts in Key West, Florida

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $16 million grant to Florida Keys Community College of Key West, Florida, to build a new training facility that will offer workforce training and apprenticeship programs and also provide the College with an alternate headquarters location should another major storm strike the region. This EDA grant will be matched with $4 million in local funds and is expected to help create or retain more than 150 jobs.

“Ensuring that businesses have the trained workforce they need to grow and thrive is a major focus of the Trump administration as evidenced by the creation of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The new Florida Keys Community College workforce training facility will offer critical new workforce training and apprenticeship programs to bolster the region’s workforce and the new facility will help keep the College operational in the event of future storms.”

“When I took office, I pledged Florida would become the number one state for workforce education in the country by 2030,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “The $16 million grant to the Florida Keys Community College to build a new facility that offers workforce training and apprenticeship programs will help fuel that goal. I thank U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and the Trump Administration for recognizing the importance of workforce training and the positive impact it has on our local economy.”

“Workforce training and apprenticeship programs play a crucial role in preparing American workers for 21st century careers,” said Senator Marco Rubio. “I am proud to have advocated for these funds and I thank the Department of Commerce for investing in our South Florida community by approving resources for the Florida Keys Community College.”

“Whether our students choose to pursue higher education, career or technical training or a professional apprenticeship, they deserve every opportunity to succeed and live their American dream in our state,” said Senator Rick Scott. “The $16 million EDA investment in the new Florida Keys Community College workforce means more opportunities for Florida families, which is great news for the economy in the Keys and across the state of Florida.”

The project will consist of the demolition of an existing building, site cleanup, and construction of a new two-story 38,000 square foot building that will accommodate community education, and workforce and apprenticeship training programs. The project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the South Florida Regional Planning Council. EDA funds the South Florida Regional Planning Council to bring together the public and private sectors to help create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123) (PDF), in which Congress appropriated to EDA $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, wildfires and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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