Santa Rosa County’s Northwest Florida Industrial Park @ I-10 may soon be home to a Pensacola State College (PSC) satellite campus.
Currently, the plan consists of creation of a 5 acre truck driver training facility for PSC students to gain vocational credits. The campus could later be expanded to include lineman vocational training as well said County Commission Chairman Bob Cole.
Santa Rosa County Economic Development Office (EDO) Director Shannon Ogletree confirmed the planned campus to Navarre Press this week. He said there is a market need for trained transport professionals.
“Workforce is a driving factor for any county these days, and the demand for truck drivers is rising,” Ogletree said. “There is a strong demand for training these drivers, and we have a spot for them.”
Cole worked closely with Pensacola State College and the EDO to make the project a reality. Cole said the plan would be a benefit both to the county government and the economy of East Milton.
“I think once we get an anchor in the industrial park and with the infrastructure improvements that we recently put in, others will come,” he said. “To me it would be unique to have a PSC campus in East Milton and start stimulating growth in East Milton. It would also start stimulating growth of the industrial park.”
Under the plan, the county would rent the industrial park space to PSC at a drastically reduced rate, such as $1 annually Cole said. In exchange, PSC brings their training program and potential resources to the industrial park and may be willing to offer slots in the course to county employees free of charge he said.
“I don’t think it is too much to ask,” Cole said.
County Commissioners will consider the proposal during their regularly scheduled meeting Monday.
“In my mind, this is to me what I am supposed to be doing as a county commissioner. You do your daily what is required to operate the county, but in addition to that you grow your county,” Cole said. “To me that is part of it. Those relationships and bringing people together is part of the job.”
Ogletree said the campus would be another asset growing the supply of skilled employees currently in high demand.
Monday’s meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. at the Santa Rosa County Administrative Center Board Room, 6495 Caroline Street in Milton.
For the full story pick up the July 12 edition of the Navarre Press or subscribe.