Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis had Osceola County on his schedule Wednesday morning, and it was highly profitable for both the county and Valencia College as together they received $9.7 million dollars, intended to bolster the county’s growing semiconductor industry.
“Manufacturing is something that we need to do a better job of, and we worked really hard in Florida to have more opportunities with vocational education,” DeSantis said. “If you look at how the supply chain works, we are overly dependent on foreign nations, including Taiwan, which is a good ally of ours but which is one that is under really serious pressure from the Communist Party of China, and so we have an opportunity to do more here in the United States.”
$6 million of the $9.7 million that will come from the Governor’s Job Growth Fund will go to connecting the emerging NeoCity district via NeoVation Way to Neptune Road and Southern Osceola County.
“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. Because the infrastructure investments we made, and awards like today’s Job Growth Grant, uniquely position NeoCity to lead our nation’s semiconductor renaissance,” said Osceola County Manager Don Fisher. “As we have proven with the on-time and on-budget construction of NeoCity Way, we will not disappoint with NeoVation Way, which will pave the way for an untold number of innovative, high-paying jobs and educational opportunities in NeoCity.”
“This district is already home to 6 companies, including Skywater Technologies, a U.S. owned and operated semiconductor foundry. While this award will support over 5400 jobs, Osceola County Officials estimate that this could lead to tens of thousands of jobs once its fully developed and Osceola County continues to grow,” Governor DeSantis shared during the conference.
“To be competitive, it’s really infrastructure that makes the difference. Our economic development approach is not to pay companies to come, it’s to provide the infrastructure of which they can be successful, and to build off of that. That’s where we’re in alignment with the state and the Governor’s Job Growth Incentive,” Osceola County Don Fisher said after the news conference.
Governor DeSantis was joined by Dane Eagle, secretary of the Department of Economic Opportunity.
Valencia College was also awarded $3.7 million to create technical workforce training for their students who are looking to work in the computer chip and sensor industry.
State Representative from District 42 Fred Hawkins stood beside the governor during the news conference and said, “My appropriations bill was part of the $6 million for the road project to connect Neptune Road to NeoCity or the South Road Connector. Working County Manager Don Fisher and staff we put this in appropriations for last session. When it wasn’t funded we continued to push through the Governor’s programs to make what happened today a reality.”
Henry Mack, Chancellor at the State Department of Education also spoke at the news conference and said, “No longer is it something opposed to traditional academic or university life. That’s great for many, but CTE can be an equally awesome and viable economically prosperous pathway for so many and that is evidenced by the commitment of Valencia and our school districts such as Osceola to double down on Career and Technical Education in and around our state,”
NeoCity, which is located in Kissimmee off of US 192 and across from Osceola Heritage Park, is Osceola County’s technology development that is focused on creating higher-paying jobs in the mostly service industry county.
Osceola County recently signed a deal with Korean tech billionaire Young-hwa Song worth over $25 million for up to 25 acres in the County’s technology district with the intent to create a mixed-use city center.
Song is the founder and CEO of DS Semicon and holds patents for a host of technologies used exclusively by Samsung.