Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.

Columbia County News

Florida Crown Soars
$402,000 Wings Grant Awarded

Florida Crown Workforce Board (FCWB), one of the top performing workforce boards in Florida, has been awarded a $402,000 Wings Grant. This grant, funded through ARRA will help move the rural North Florida counties of region seven into the 21st century.

“WINGS – Workforce Innovative New Generation Solutions”

The grant application (pg. 18 has specific details) was shepherded  through the grant process under the able leadership of FCWB executive director, retired Air Force Colonel, “JC” John Chastain, region seven Consortium Chairwoman, Gilcrest County Commissioner, Sharon Langford, FCWB  Chairman, Larry Thompson and the dedicated staff of the FCWB region seven.

Executive Director Chastain told the Observer, “This is a very important grant for the entire region. Working together with our partners at LCCC, Banner, the University of North Florida and New Horizons is a prime reason we were awarded this grant.”

Com Langford, speaking for the Consortium said, “We are pleased to support the WINGS initiative which addresses Green Jobs, Rural Needs (Broadband) and Business Incubation/Entrepreneurship. We are excited to participate in this innovative program. Transforming Florida into a green economy, the use of broadband to aid the rural communities that have traditionally been disadvantaged and underserved, as well as strengthening business entrepreneurial services are important steps for strengthening the workforce of our rural region.

Dr. Chuck Hall, President of Lake City Community College said in his letter of support for the grant, “Florida Crown has a proven track record of administering grants which have enhanced the education, training and quality of life for the businesses and residents of this region. We strongly recommend funding of the Florida Crown Workforce Board WINGS grant proposal.

FCWB region seven represents the following north Florida counties: Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, and Union.

The Consortium members represent their respective counties in the region.

• While Columbia County, under the leadership of Commissioners DuPree and Bailey, voluntarily withdrew from the Consortium, this did not leave the residents and business of Columbia County without representation, as the interests of Columbia County, its residents and its businesses are being addressed by the members of the rest of the region. Additionally, representatives of Columbia County business continue to be appointed and sit on the FCWB. -- ed •

Florida Crown Affair:

  County gives up battle to destroy Fl Crown - Good old boys play possum to the end (posted October 11, 2010 05:00 am)
 • Florida Crown remains in the lurch
(posted April 21, 2010)
 • Florida Crown on top again (posted April 14, 2010) 
Florida Crown - Columbia County -Time for a little mercy (posted March 19, 2010)
 Florida Crown Invitation Com Langford steps up – it takes a woman (posted March 15, 2010)
Florida Crown Soars $402,000 Wings Grant Awarded (posted Oct 28, 2009)
 Difficult economic times - Florida Crown stretched thin and working overtime (posted Nov 26, 2009)
  Florida Crown Affair • Search Continues For Columbia County Issues (Part II) (posted June 18, 2009)
  Florida Crown Affair • Search Continues For Columbia County Issues (Part I) (posted June 17, 2009)
Florida Crown Affair moves to Gilchrist County (posted June 2, 2009)
  County Commission ignores rule of law
(posted May 26, 2009)
 • The Observer responds to County Manager Dale Williams (May 21, 2009)
 Florida Crown Receives Florida Literacy Award (posted May 20, 2009)
 Florida Crown's harassment continues
(Part II)
(posted April 16, 2009)
 Columbia County Commission leaves Florida Crown in the lurch – again
(Part 1)
(posted April 15, 2009)
  Florida Crown Gets Clean Bill of Health (posted March 23, 2009)
  George Skinner, former Columbia County Commissioner, weighs in on the Florida Crown controversy. (posted March 16, 2009)
  Florida Crown Workforce Board -- To good to leave (Posted March 12, 2009)