UWF Office of Economic Development and Engagement partners with state, community and Navy Federal Credit Union to bring jobs to the region

University of West Florida | news@uwf.edu

The Office of Economic Development and Engagement at the University of West Florida announces the funding of $680,000 for the addition of 700 jobs at Navy Federal Credit Union. This is the first economic development announcement that includes funding from the Industry Recruitment, Retention & Expansion Fund Grant Program (IRREF). This program is available to the eight coastal counties of Northwest Florida that were most affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

“This project exactly fits the purpose of the Oil Spill Recovery Act passed by the Florida Legislature,” said Senator Don Gaetz. “Navy Federal brings new, good, high paying jobs that diversify our economy. And there are protections built in to ensure performance and a solid return on investment.”

Senator Don Gaetz authored S.B. 2156, of which the Oil Spill Recovery Act was an important component. The Oil Spill Recovery Act allots $10 million per year for each of three years to these eight Northwest Florida counties for the purposes of research and development, commercialization of research, economic diversification and job creation.

“Job creation is extremely important to Northwest Florida, and especially to our students,” said UWF President Dr. Judy Bense. “We are proud to be a resource for recipients of the IRREF Grant Program and we will continue to support the eight Northwest Florida counties with economic development efforts through this grant project.”

Navy Federal will add 700 jobs with an annual wage rate of more than $40,000 and invest $6.5 million into the area as part of a campus growth strategy that will set the stage for annual growth for the next decade. The company, which in 2012 Fortune magazine named one of the country’s 100 best employers, recently closed on 240-acre 4H property, located adjacent to the existing campus on Nine Mile Road in Beulah. This additional property will allow the opportunity to make room for the larger campus.

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