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New manufacturing and testing facility a Port of Pensacola

ESCAMBIA COUNTY - Offshore Inland and DeepFlex companies announced a plan to build a new manufacturing and testing facility at the Port of Pensacola.
This means hundreds of new jobs.

The prospect of creating up to 200 highly skilled and high paying jobs quickly gets the attention of both job seekers and colleges.
Offshore Inland and DeepFlex will produce a flexible pipe used in deep sea projects at the new manufacturing facility.
Felipe Lamego, CEO of DeepFlex says there will be a variety of jobs available, but many of them will require engineering and other advanced skills.

"Anywhere from technicians, shopfloor operations, all the way to Ph.D for reseach and development." Said Felipe Lamego, DeepFlex CEO.

Pensacola State College sees this as an opportunity to create a home-grown workforce.

"As they finalize their facility, as they start putting the positions in place, they will work very closely with the college to address the specific needs they have" said Dan Busse, Dean of Workforce Education, Pensacola State College.

The Census Bureau reports just 1 in 5 Florida workers are employed in science and engineering related fields... placing Florida near the bottom of the list of states whose workforce is made up of STEM jobs.
(Science, Technology, Engineering, Math -- S.T.E.M)
Most of the expected port jobs fall under the STEM category.
The University of West Florida is also eager to help create a workforce skilled in STEM career fields.

"We talked about the kind of programs we can put in place, to really meet student demand and community needs" said Dr. Martha Saunder, UWF Provost.

Dwayne Lewis is a student at UWF.
He retired from the Navy as an engineer, and sees possible jobs at the port as a huge opportunity.

"I'll look into it, maybe a career change, you never know, 60,000 dollars a year, it sounds worth looking into, it's an investment" said Dwayne Lewis, UWF Student.

People seeking the port jobs have about a year to get ready.  The manufacturing facility is expected to open the second half of 2015.