As reported by WWSB ABC 7, the nation’s first marine industry university will likely call Manatee County home. Jim Simons, owner of the World Billfish Series, has heard the same complaints from various marine-industry professionals over his 20 year career… they were missing a foundation and an education in their field.

Simons, for the past two years, has been hard at work with a diverse board of directors, working to create the country’s first university geared specifically towards marine industry training.

Marine industries remain a big part of Southwest Florida’s economy.  The field includes a wide array of activities from yacht brokerage firms, to boat builders.  For the people of Manatee County, this means top-notch educators, jobs and boosted economy in the area.

What better place for this but our beautiful Gulf-coast area?  People are drawn here because they are passionate about the lifestyle that this location provides. Spending time off Florida’s waterways is a favorite past time of local residents who appreciate the convenient access to the Gulf of Mexico.  The residents of GlenLakes get to experience this lifestyle first hand with the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge adjoining the property.  Just moments from their backyard they can enjoy the biking trails that the refuge brings.  This is just one of the many activities that GlenLakes has to offer.

Inspired by the success of Embry-Riddle University, an aviation industry-focused university in Daytona Beach, this one-of-a-kind marine university is perfectly suited for the Nature Coast.  Colleges for the proposed school include business and policy, transportation, hospitality and tourism, media arts, design and construction, aquaculture and underwater operations and research. Its Board of Directors recently applied for a shot at a $365,000 grant to get the project underway, which will announce its winners mid-November.

With so much excitement coming to the area, the residents of GlenLakes enjoy the quintessential Florida lifestyle. Check out the available maintenance-free homes here and spend less time on your home upkeep and more time relaxing and enjoying all that the area outdoors have to offer.


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