An Economic Impact Worth Saluting
How Our EDC Supports Local Military Installations
For decades, an imperative component to the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast (EDC) strategy has been supporting the strong military presence in Brevard County. This is not just for the economic impact it brings to our region — a whopping $1.29 billion and over 16,000 personnel — but because of the countless sacrifices the men and women of our armed forces make every day.
And how have these efforts over the decades resulted in more support for our armed forces AND an increased economic impact? Here are a few examples:
Naval Ordnance Test Unit (NOTU) stays in Brevard County: Over 15 years ago, the EDC played a pivotal role in reversing a BRAC decision which would have moved this integral unit from Cape Canaveral to Georgia. This feat is almost unheard of and saved 1,000 local military and civilian jobs. In 2017, it led to Lockheed Martin Fleet Ballistic Missile Headquarters relocating from Silicon Valley to Titusville, adding another 350 jobs to the local economy.
Every year, the EDC orchestrates an important trip to Washington D.C. and the Pentagon. One of the key takeaways from this annual voyage is the emphasis the Department of Defense (DoD) puts on communities taking steps to be more military-friendly.
The EDC’s Space Coast Salutes initiative was born from these meetings. Space Coast Salutes showcases Brevard County as a place where military and their families are welcome, and where they know they are a vital part of our community.
In support of local military installations and service members, the EDC has been successful in bringing Florida Defense Infrastructure Grants and Reinvestment Grants, funding numerous initiatives to strengthen the connection between our community and the military. A grant from the EDC supported transportation for fifth graders from Brevard Public Schools to an on-base facility at Patrick Space Force Base for Florida’s second STARBASE, a STEM Enrichment Academy, founded by the DoD.
The EDC will also utilize such grants to work with two important programs: DoD SkillBridge and Hiring Our Heroes. Each year about 200,000 members of the Armed Forces, stationed in over 140 military installations in the U.S. and overseas, will separate from active duty and re-enter the civilian workforce. SkillBridge enables service members to gain valuable on-the-job experience through apprenticeships, training opportunities and internships leading to new careers. The EDC is in the process of making its Certified Production Technician program a SkillBridge program, to transition more service members into civilian manufacturing jobs here on the Space Coast.
Show your support for local military at SpaceCoastSalutes.com