Port receives master plan update grant

Published: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 12:21 PM.

“The big issue for (Eastern) is getting the labor,” Raffield said. “There is a huge demand for fabricated vessels on the world market. This thing could grow by 40 percent in 12 months.”

Raffield said there was particular need for welders and said it was important of teamwork among St. Joe, ESG and the Port Authority regarding issues pertaining to the workforce and any incentives to expanding into Gulf County.

“We must all talk on the same page,” Raffield said, “that we are all coming together for the sake of the community.”

In several fronts, there is progress.

Loretta Costin with the Gulf/Franklin Center said that the Gulf Coast Workforce Board and Gulf County Schools were teaming to soon offer an evening welding class for those interested, regardless of age. Costin said the college was examining similar programs.

In addition, Pitts reported that activity at the Chamber of Commerce, where ESG representatives take applications twice a week, had picked up.

As of last week, 100 people had been hired through the Chamber, though the exact number from Gulf County was unknown.

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