PANAMA CITY — The Bay County Commission recently approved a resolution of support for a project expected to bring 115 aviation-related jobs to the county.
The resolution of support for the as of yet unrevealed company includes 20% local matching funds for the project under Florida’s Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund (QTI). For a company to qualify for this state incentive, a local match of 20% of the total award must be approved via resolution by the local community.
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While the company’s identity is still being kept under wraps, officials revealed that it provides wiring and harnessing for the military.
“Their sole source is the Department of Defense and it’s going to be great paying jobs,” said Tommy Hamm, Bay County commissioner. “Over the five years, we’re looking at producing 115 jobs paying $46,500 a year.”
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The aviation industry is a growing job market with Boeing estimating 754,000 new aircraft technicians over the next 20 years. The new jobs will boost the median average in Bay County.
Still, for the company to get the QTI, it must meet certain requirements.
“If they don’t provide the jobs, do what they’re supposed to, they don’t get the incentives,” Hamm said. “The incentives come as a refund and it usually comes off the property taxes, so they’ll pay the taxes and if they do what they’re supposed to do, we’ll refund them the money.”
There are still a few kinks that need to be worked out for the project and once that is done, the company’s identity will be revealed. As of now, the company is looking for real estate to house its employees.
The Bay County Economic Development Alliance supports the project and its expansion plans in the aviation sector. There isn’t a definitive timetable as to when the company will be revealed, but Hamm said he thinks it’ll happen soon.