CRESTVIEW — A current Bob Sikes Airport tenant next week is expected to announce a major expansion that would bring 300 jobs to the area.
“We have been working with the project for the last year and a half,” said Kay Rasmussen, the Okaloosa County Economic Development Council’s interim president, during Monday’s city council meeting. “We’re not released from the non-disclosure law. But there will be a public announcement next week. We have been working with the state of Florida on this.”
State confidentiality laws protect businesses’ identities during sensitive negotiations with municipalities. While Rasmussen couldn’t reveal the business’ name, the EDC’s efforts assured 80 existing jobs will be retained, and more will be added.
“Through this expansion, they are creating over 300 new jobs and they will hire over the next two years,” Rasmussen said, adding the average salary of the new positions is above average for the area. “As you can tell just by the job count alone, this is a high-wage company and a huge investment in the community.”
The official announcement will come from Gov. Rick Scott’s office, which has worked with the Okaloosa EDC on a package of incentives to retain the company and allow it to grow.
The unnamed tenant’s expansion follows a recent expansion announcement by another airport business. L3 Crestview Aerospace will begin construction of an administration building this month and will build an 80,000-square-foot hangar next year.
Rasmussen also distributed a list of 12 projects the EDC is working on in the Crestview area, including four within the city limits and most of the rest at the airport or its neighboring Industrial Air Park. Among them is a possible expansion of Qwest Air Parts, which would add approximately 100 jobs.
“There is a lot of activity taking place in Crestview and surrounding Crestview,” Rasmussen said.