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Program # of Grants EDA Funds
Disaster Relief 2 $9,500,000
Public Works 1 $895,000
Regional Innovation Strategies 4 $1,540,533
Planning 3 $567,000
1 $128,592
Total 11 $12,631,125

East Central Florida has endured numerous economic challenges over the years, including the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle program, several natural disasters, and the housing crisis. While the region’s economic recovery efforts are gaining momentum, many of the new jobs created in this region are lower skill and lower wage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Florida suffers from one of the highest underemployment rates in the country.

To combat this trend and help their economy become more resilient to change and natural disasters, the Florida Institute of Technology developed the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovative Design (CAMID) in Palm Bay. In September 2015, EDA provided $1.4 million in disaster relief funds to help with the renovation of an existing 100,000 square-foot, two-story building to house CAMID. Just minutes from the university’s Melbourne campus, CAMID is designed to grow manufacturing jobs in East Central Florida while increasing global competitiveness.

CAMID will serve corporate partners of all sizes seeking the most cost effective solutions to their manufacturing and engineering design challenges. Firms that utilize space at CAMID will have access to workforce training, advanced software and manufacturing equipment. Firms will also have the opportunity to have files and other information saved in a Cloud network, so that, in the event of a natural disaster, tenant businesses will not lose critical information. This will facilitate operational continuation despite damage to facilities or other disaster related disruption. According to commitments received from fourteen different companies, CAMID will create nearly 600 new high-tech jobs in the first few years of operation.

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