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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.6 Million to Establish Truck Driving Workforce Training Facility in Pensacola, Florida

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.6 million grant to the District Board of Trustees of Pensacola State College, Pensacola, Florida, to help construct a truck driving training facility that will provide up-to-date instruction, simulation, and on-the-road training for students. The EDA grant, to be matched with $2.9 million in local funds, is expected to create 237 jobs and retain more than 900 jobs.

“President Trump is working diligently to boost locally-driven workforce training initiatives designed to support businesses, facilitate job creation, and strengthen our economy,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The Pensacola State College truck driving training facility will provide the specialized workforce training needed to support the region’s growing manufacturing and distribution industries.”

“EDA is committed to ensuring that businesses have access to the skilled workforce they need to succeed,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “The expanded truck driving school at Pensacola State College will increase the supply of skilled workers available to meet regional industry needs.”

“This $1.6 million EDA grant matched with local funding is great news for Pensacola State College and Florida’s economy,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “We’ve worked hard to expand career opportunities for students and this truck driving training facility will complement our efforts and created hundreds of jobs for the region. We thank Secretary Ross and the Trump Administration for their continued support of our state.”

“These funds from the Department of Commerce will greatly benefit Florida businesses and are expected to create hundreds of jobs,” said Senator Marco Rubio. “I am grateful that the Administration is committed to supporting Florida’s skilled workforce, especially as our state’s manufacturing and distribution industries continue to grow.”

“I applaud the announcement of a $1.6 million grant to Pensacola State College to support their new truck driving program and training facility,” said Senator Rick Scott. “This program is critical to help address our truck driving shortage and provide students with successful careers. I’d also like to thank the United States Department of Commerce and the Administration for their continued support for the trucking industry, which is vital to our economy.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Emerald Coast Regional Council, which EDA funds 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.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
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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