County receives Defense Reinvestment Grant

Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that Pinellas County was awarded $50,000 through Florida’s Defense Reinvestment Grant Program. The funding will support the activities of the Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater and the Florida National Guard.

Governor Scott said, “These investments are critical to the continued growth and protection of Florida’s military sector, and this $50,000 investment will allow Pinellas County to support the activities of the Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater and the Florida National Guard. We can never thank our service men and women enough for their continued support and protection of Florida families.”

For more than 15 years the defense grants have been successful tools in assisting local defense partners in supporting the State’s military installations. Florida’s military and defense sector is responsible for 9.4 percent – or $73.4 billion – of the Sunshine State’s economy. This translates to 758,112 statewide direct and indirect jobs.

Senator Jack Latvala said, “Florida’s military sector continues to be among the strongest in the nation thanks to critical funding from these two programs. Governor Scott continues to support these programs and, in turn, allow us to keep more than $3.6 billion in economic impact here in Pinellas County. These grants go a long way to help preserve this economic asset.”

Senator Jeff Brandes said, “The impact of Florida’s military bases is often overlooked as an economic driver for the state. More than $73 billion is inserted annually into our economy by the more than 750,000 direct and indirect positions created by the military sector in our state. This $50,000 Defense Reinvestment Grant will go a long way in supporting assets at the Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater and the Florida National Guard.”

Representative Ed Hooper said, “Local military programs are an important part of our lives in Pinellas County. This year the $50,000 grant will be put to good use in helping the Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater and the Florida National Guard with their Defense Industry Economic Diversification and Expansion Program. I am grateful to Governor Scott for awarding these grants here in our county.”

Representative Larry Ahern said, “It’s important that we highlight our military communities as they have a major impact on the economy, such as the Coast Guard Air Station in Clearwater. The Defense Reinvestment Grant’s positive impact helps the economy and our men and women in uniform. I appreciate the work the state has done to get Pinellas County the funding to enhance the community’s assets.”

Representative Kathleen Peters said, “By funding The Defense Reinvestment Grants Program, Florida is giving back to the men and women in this community who so faithfully serve our state and our nation. Thanks to my colleagues in the legislature and Governor Scott, our military communities can be recognized for the great work they do and they can have the appropriate funding needed for growth.”

Representative Jamie Grant said, “The impact our military installations and personnel have on our state is tremendous. I am proud to stand with Governor Scott in recognizing the value the military has in Pinellas County and across the state.”

“The Florida Defense Grants Programs are vital for our military and defense industry, and strengthen Florida’s workforce through the highly skilled former military personnel who enter the employment market each year. I am proud to play a part in supporting our military installations and communities, and appreciate what our service men and women do to protect our state,” said Gray Swoope, Florida Secretary of Commerce and President & CEO of Enterprise Florida.

A combined $2,450,000 was awarded to 14 communities in the state, helping to protect and improve 19 installations, and furthering Florida’s reputation as the most military friendly state in the nation.

Pinellas County was one of twelve counties to receive a Defense Reinvestment Grant, which is designed to support relationships between military installations and their community. The award to the Pinellas County Economic Development will help to protect Florida’s military installations, as well as promote economic diversification strategies in defense dependent communities.

“In the Tampa Bay region, our defense contractors are a large and essential component of our economy,” said Mike Meidel, Director, Pinellas County Economic Development. “To more effectively utilize the talent and capabilities of this industry, we propose using a portion of this funding to create a roadmap for diversification and sustainability to allow a sector that is traditionally reliant on federal defense funding to explore complementary industries.”

The 2014-15 Defense Grants were awarded to defense partners in the following counties: Polk, Brevard (2), Duval (2), Santa Rosa (2), Okaloosa (2), Clay (2), Pinellas, Escambia (2), Orange (2), Bay (2), Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, Walton and Highlands.


The Florida Defense Grants Programs are administered by Enterprise Florida, Inc. The grants are awarded annually through a competitive process to communities hosting military installations.


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