TAVARES — The Lake County Board of County Commissioners at its regularly scheduled meeting Aug. 17 approved a High Value Job Creation (HVJC) Program award for $12,000 and Business Assistance Program (BAP) award up to $25,000 to Beacon College of Leesburg.
“The economic impact of this and providing an educated workforce are certainly two important goals that we have,” said County Commissioner Linda Stewart.
Beacon College, an accredited, not-for-profit institution of higher education, is actively involved in a multi-phase project to increase enrollment from 135 students annually to about 250 over the next few years. To accomplish this, the College is finalizing plans to build a new administration and student assembly building and a new academic building and is pursuing land acquisition options near campus to increase student housing.
The increase in facilities and student enrollment will require an increase in hiring for the College. Using a ratio established in higher education planning of 12:1, if the College enrolls 120 new students, up to 10 new professors will be hired. Annual wages (salaries and benefits) would be 150 percent to 200 percent above the average annual wage for Lake County. In addition, up to 20 new educational specialists and administrators will be hired.
“The economic impact of these new 30 jobs would be $4.6 million annually and that doesn’t take in account the economic impact of the construction. In addition, it doesn’t take in account the additional students living in Lake County,” said Cary Pierce, Business Development Coordinator of the Lake County Economic Growth & Redevelopment Division.
Staff recommended the award the HVJC incentive for $12,000 and the BAP incentive for $25,000 to Beacon College to offset their development costs. This would help Beacon College with their expansion and for the creation of high-wage jobs in Lake County.
For more information about the Lake County Economic Growth & Redevelopment Division, call (352) 343-9866 or log on to egr.lakecountyfl.gov.