TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke at Pig Bar-B-Q in Callahan, Fla. He was joined by Dane Eagle, Secretary of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Signage at the event read “Infrastructure Improvements for Nassau County.” The state awarded $4 million to Callahan for construction of a clean water supply plant at Crawford Industrial.
Before addressing the announcements he would be making for Nassau County, DeSantis addressed election results in the country of Columbia, saying the state would “stand with” the people in the state with ties to the country.
“We’ve got a problem in the Western Hemisphere with Marxism and totalitarianism really spreading,” DeSantis said. “We thought, 25 years ago, the Cold War and all of this stuff, and it just keeps rearing its head. We’ll continue to stand with the people of Florida here, who are really passionate about freedom in the Western Hemisphere, particularly in Columbia. But, very disappointing and troubling result.”
Then, the governor said the state was very focused on improving Florida’s industrial base and adding opportunities for jobs and business, as well as economic development more generally. Discussing efforts by Florida’s government to meet the goals of improving those factors, DeSantis highlighted moves to train more workers to perform manufacturing and transportation jobs, as well as bonuses for those who enter those industries.
“We want to make more stuff in the United States, we want to make more stuff in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said. “That’s been something we’ve been committed to since the time I’ve been governor. Our goal was to be number one in workforce by 2030, we’d been in the bottom half of states since I’ve been governor.”
DeSantis said the improvements, with Florida “shooting up” in rankings, were due to the policies and investment the state had made while he was in office.
Mentioning the Governor’s Job Growth Grant Fund, a source of money used to improve infrastructure across the state and create programs for job training and hiring, DeSantis said the fund had made a huge impact, and they’d be awarding more from the fund in Nassau County.
“If you look here, there’s people who apply for this stuff we’ve got a lot of great opportunities, we’ve gotta pick what’s going to give the state of Florida the biggest value,” DeSantis said. “The town of Callahan and the Crawford Diamond Industrial Park are primed to bring more jobs to the area and the people of Nassau County.”
DeSantis said the area was growing and people wanted to move there, due to port and ground transport access, making it a good area for manufacturing. The grant to be awarded would be aimed at expanding an expansion of those industrial efforts. To that end, the state awarded $4 million to Callahan for construction of a clean water supply plant at Crawford Industrial.
The governor said the state of Florida was committed to growing the workforce and providing opportunities. The expansion is expected to provide for more than 2,000 manufacturing jobs to come to Nassau, and an expected economic impact of $25 million, according to DeSantis.
After presenting the funding check to officials, DeSantis received a challenge coin from the town, then introduced speakers to discuss the impact of the funding. After Sec. Eagle and local officials spoke, DeSantis came back to the podium.
DeSantis said the Republican Party for Florida would be sending invitations out for the Sunshine State Summit, to discuss the competitive districts across the state born from the recently redrawn congressional map. Qualifiers for the state’s primary elections ended on Friday.
DeSantis said “we want to make sure” to have informative debates for candidates in the 2022 midterm races. Then he took questions from the crowd.
Addressing a question about the COVID-19 vaccination debate from Friday, DeSantis said the White House had lied about a change in policy, saying the policies the state was maintaining for vaccination was a continuation of health directives made in the spring.