Governor DeSantis held a press conference on Wednesday, May 1, 2024 at the Hardee County Fair Grounds. The Governor awarded $6,000,000 to The Hardee County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) for a manufacturing facility. The Development Group applied for the grant through Florida’s Job Growth Grant fund. The Governor also signed SB 1084 to prohibit the sale of lab-grown meat in the state of Florida.

              During the grant award announcement, Governor DeSantis emphasized the importance of infrastructure and workforce development, the two components of the Jobs Growth Grant. The $6 Million will be managed by The Development Group and utilized to build a 40,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility in the Hardee County Business Park. The Hardee County Business Park is 264 acres and includes anchor tenants such as Florikan, Mach Connections, and Stream2Sea.

          The new construction will house SafeGage America Manufacturing, Inc., a medical glove manufacturing operation. SafeGage will bring $10-16 Million in private investments and create 184 new jobs in Hardee County.  

     Denise Grimsley, CEO of The Development Group commented on the grant award, “With this investment in Hardee County, our business park is poised to be the manufacturing hub for the region. The recruitment of SafeGage America Manufacturing, Inc. is a testament to Hardee County’s prime location and business-friendly climate.”

          Governor DeSantis commented that when selecting projects to receive the grant award, his office prioritizes a return on investment. The Development Group’s request is one that demonstrates a return on investment for Hardee County.

          Commissioner Wyatt, Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, spoke at the press conference and later stated, “The Development Group is utilizing strong partnerships to inspire economic growth. I am encouraged to see the organization obtaining grant funds, recruiting businesses, and creating jobs. President Hawkins of South Florida State College is already supporting the need for skilled workforce to support SafeGage and all employers in Hardee County. President Hawkins is bridging the gap between academia and local industries.”

          SafeGage CEO Jody Read looks forward to the business’s successes in Hardee County. “The future home of SafeGage is Hardee County because of the diligent efforts of The Development Group. We appreciate the Governor and the Department of Commerce for recognizing the value SafeGage will bring to the community and the impact 184 new jobs will make on the local economy.”  

The Future Home of SafeGage
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