Commerce secretary announces grant for training center during visit to IRSC

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announces a $2 million EDA grant for Indian River State College at a recent press conference on the college’s main campus. The secretary, left, was joined at the conference by college president Dr. Ed Massey and Florida Sen. Gayle Harrell of Martin County. IRSC PHOTO


Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced a $2 million Economic Development Administration grant for the construction of the Treasure Coast Advanced Manufacturing Center during a May 29 visit to Indian River State College.

The funds are part of a $10 million EDA grant for the state that also includes $8 million for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to support a revolving loan fund that will provide businesses with gap financing needed to recover and rebuild after Hurricane Michael.

“Today’s grants help ensure that the rebound in Florida is quick and that it encompasses the important industry of advanced manufacturing,” Ross said. “IRSC’s planned worker training facility will attract high-quality manufacturing jobs to the Treasure Coast for years to come.”

The 18,000 square-foot center, a state-of-the-art worker training facility for advanced manufacturing, welding and heating ventilation and air conditioning systems, will be built on IRSC’s main campus in Fort Pierce and will provide hands-on learning to fill the immediate skills needs of local manufacturing companies.

“The project will increase enrollment in high-skill programs such as HVAC and welding, allowing us to train an additional 500 workers annually,” college president Edwin Massey said.

“Maintaining partnerships with local industries and businesses is critical for the success of these programs. IRSC will work closely with community employers to balance supply and demand of these highly skilled workers.”

The presentation was held in the Brown Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a project that was a previous recipient of an EDA grant. Following the presentation, Ross joined Massey for a tour of the National Science Foundation labs housed in the Brown Center.

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