Florida’s Space Coast Named to 2022 Class of Great American Defense Communities
By Space Coast Daily // April 18, 2022
LINDA WEATHERMAN: Florida’s Space Coast’s military is an essential part of the community’s character and our rich history.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Florida’s Space Coast, home to Patrick Space Force Base and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, is one of five communities across the country named to the 2022 Class of Great American Defense Communities.
The Association of Defense Communities announced the five selected communities in conjunction with USAA, the program’s official sponsor at the Defense Communities National Summit earlier this month. The 2022 class also includes West Valley Partners, Ariz., Tullahoma, Tenn., Antelope Valley, Calif., and Northern Virginia.
“Florida’s Space Coast’s military are an essential part of the community’s character and our rich history,” said Lynda L. Weatherman, President and CEO of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast.
“We are simply not the Space Coast without these men and women, their families and the 68,000 veterans who choose to live here, which is why improving their quality of life is among our core values and something we prioritize. We are honored to accept recognition as a 2022 Great American Defense Community and we will continue to work hard to live up to this high standard.”
ADC President Bob Ross said our military needs America’s defense communities to support them.
“We selected Florida’s Space Coast because they are a region that consistently goes above and beyond to support service members, veterans, and military families living in their community,” said Ross.
The Great American Defense Communities program was launched by ADC in 2016 to recognize and celebrate the communities and regions that support military installations for their exceptional commitment to improving the lives of service members, veterans and their families.
“Congratulations to the EDC for earning this designation for the Space Coast. It’s wonderful to see the EDC strategic vision created and executed, firsthand,” said Daniel Ciuro, Chair of the EDC Space Coast Defense Alliance.
“Their work in support of the Space Coast is one that lifts all stakeholders, making our region one of the most promising locations for growing commercial, defense, and veteran-owned businesses alike. I’m proud to support the dynamic team and their ongoing efforts to grow Brevard County in a thoughtful and collaborative way.”
The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast is dedicated to attracting new business and investment and expanding existing industry throughout the Space Coast, influencing change on government laws and regulations affecting economic development, promoting the Space Coast to encourage new investment, supporting efforts of Space Coast military installations, and relaying new programs and procedures to assist manufacturing and high-tech companies.
“The entire Space Coast community is thrilled to receive this recognition,” said Chief Master Sgt (Ret.) Alec Hall, Chairman of the Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Council and President of Alliance Cyber.
“We’re proud to support all six branches of service here in Brevard County and we strive to enhance the quality of life for the military men and women stationed here, especially for the enlisted members and their families. Veterans comprise 11% of the Space Coast population, and it’s our honor to continue the tradition of serving those that serve.”
The EDC is a private, not-for-profit coalition whose stakeholders are business leaders committed to the economic growth and stability of Florida’s Space Coast.
“It is an honor seeing the Space Coast represented as one of the 2022 Great American Defense Communities,” said Angela Neal, Senior Manager Military Spouse Program with Hiring Our Heroes.
“As a military family we’ve moved around the globe and seen many communities, but none have felt quite like home in the way the Space Coast does. It boils down to the caliber of people, schools, and opportunities for growth for our family. I’m proud to see the Space Coast recognized for their dedication to the military community.”
Communities are chosen through a competitive nomination process based on integration, support and collaboration with installations and community building efforts, such as educational and employment opportunities.
This year, the Great American Defense Communities Program has a special focus on how communities are innovating and pioneering new ways to serve service members and their families.
For more information, visit SpaceCoastEDC.org.