Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made two stops in rural north Florida counties Thursday to announce millions of dollars being granted to the respective communities.

DeSantis’ first stop was in Nassau County, north of Jacksonville where he emphasized the money being granted out of the Job Growth Grant Fund will go to workforce development.

“I am proud to make these awards to Florida State College at Jacksonville and to the Big Bend Technical College,” said DeSantis in an official statement. “These awards will advance Florida’s skilled workforce by providing Floridians with state-of-the-art learning opportunities that will prepare and equip future workers while supporting continued growth in their communities.”

As a result of the $3.1 million in funding, Nassau County will be able to establish the Nassau County Transportation Education Institute, which is a commercial driving institute. DeSantis also noted $2 million going to the Big Bend Technical College in Perry, Fla., southeast of Tallahassee.

The program at the transportation institute in Nassau County will provide classes for over 1,200 Floridians. Similarly, the money at the technical college in Perry will assist in the expansion of health science programs and purchase needed equipment.

DeSantis also traveled to the Florida Panhandle where he announced $12 million would be allocated to counties impacted by Hurricane Michael in 2018.

“Today, I was grateful for the opportunity to award $12 million across the Panhandle to continue supporting the continuing recovery and community resiliency efforts,” said DeSantis in a press release. “We will continue to look for ways to assist our rural communities rebuild stronger than before and we recognize that a storm of the magnitude of Hurricane Michael requires a long-term commitment.”

Nearly $9 million of the $12 million was awarded to 32 different projects in 7 counties as part of the Rebuild Florida Hazard Mitigation Grant Match Program through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

On Twitter, Panama City native and Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said he was proud to stand with DeSantis and said that he has not forgotten the people of the Panhandle who are still struggling over three years since Michael.

“Proud to stand with @GovRonDeSantis in Washington County today to provide additional resources for Hurricane Michael recovery & disaster mitigation,” Patronis said. “The Gov has never forgotten about the families & businesses impacted by this storm and the recovery of these communities.”

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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and the Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.
Photo “Gov. Ron DeSantis” by Ron DeSantis.