PORT ST. JOE, Fla. (WMBB) — The U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration awarded a $615,000 grant to Gulf County Tuesday.
This money will help stimulate economic growth and job creation in the county.
Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce Dana Gartzke said before Gulf County can really thrive with business opportunities, there are some critical hurricane repairs that must be done.
“Expansion and economic diversity is very important but you have to have just basic infrastructure capabilities if that is missing, businesses will look elsewhere,” Gartske said.
Gartzke said this grant will be used to improve infrastructure like roadways and sewage systems.
One of the main focuses is to support manufacturing growth at the Costin Airport site which Skyborne Tech is now using to develop new drone technology.
The goal of this partnership is to bring new jobs to the area. This project alone is expected to bring about 71 new jobs.
“It allows them to make those infrastructure improvements and it allows Skyborne Tech to develop their new hanger for the manned and unmanned air shifts that are here locally,” Gartzke said.
The new hanger will be located on the far side of the runway. Congressman Dr. Neal Dunn said Port St. Joe is a perfect place for a drone program due to all the open spaces and water.
“Other companies like Skyborne will come here and they are going to be serving as vendors for Tyndall and for the navy base just over in Panama City,” Dunn said. “And they are going to see the possibilities and the promise in a town like this.”
The hanger technology will serve needs nationally and will begin right here in Port St. Joe. Congressman Dunn said this is evidence of the county’s resilience.