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Spotlight: U.S. Department of Commerce Invests to Help Establish Welding Technology Training Facility in Tallahassee, Florida Opportunity Zone

On July 19, Assistant Secretary John Fleming announced EDA’s $1.25 million grant to Tallahassee Community College of Tallahassee, Florida, to help establish the Welding Technologies Laboratory at the Kim B. Williams Advanced Manufacturing Training Center. The project, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $313,692 in local investment.

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Assistant Secretary John Fleming at Tallahassee Community College grant announcement

“The Trump Administration has made rebuilding America’s manufacturing industry a priority and is working hard to provide American workers with the skills they need to get good jobs, including through the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Tallahassee Community College’s new Welding Technologies Laboratory will help the region’s businesses compete by providing a state-of-the art facility that will help train students for in-demand jobs. Additionally, the project’s location in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone will help attract additional investment through special tax incentives.”

“As the economies of our state and country evolve, we want to ensure that we are giving students every opportunity to be successful,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “This new Welding Technologies Laboratory at Tallahassee Community College will expand career opportunities and provide students with a technical skill that will enable them to succeed in the high-demand jobs of the future. With the support of the U.S. Department of Commerce, we will continue towards our goal of making Florida the number one state for career and technical education.”

“I proudly supported Opportunity Zones in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and I welcome the Department of Commerce’s investment to help Tallahassee Community College establish the new Welding Technologies Laboratory,” said Senator Marco Rubio. “This investment will help train students with the skills they need to pursue dignified work and uplift the local community.”

“By investing in our state’s workforce, we’re giving even more students the opportunity to succeed and live their dreams,” said Senator Rick Scott. “The EDA investment to establish the Welding Technologies Laboratory at Tallahassee Community College is great news for our students and the local economy, and means more opportunities for Florida families.”

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Grant recipients receive a check for $1.25 million for workforce development

This investment will allow the college to continue its history of serving workers who want to learn new marketable technical skills that are in demand in the growing economy. Welders are consistently listed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) as an in-demand occupation. Welders are critical to the success of several industry sectors in Florida, including manufacturing, ship building, and commercial construction. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Emerald Coast Regional Council. EDA funds the Emerald Coast Regional Council to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

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