Business Florida 2013 - The Regions
Bradenton, Clearwater, Lakeland, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Tampa
• Approximately 11% of Tampa Bay’s workforce is employed in the medical technologies and services industry. Top-rated healthcare facilities include nationally recognized Tampa General Hospital ranked among the top 50 by U.S.News & World Report in nine specialties, and H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, ranked No. 22 nationwide for cancer care.
• University of South Florida’s Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation in downtown Tampa is expected to draw thousands of medical personnel annually for hands-on training using high-tech simulators. The 90,000 square feet of classrooms, laboratories, exam rooms and fully equipped operating suites allows undergraduates as well as seasoned professionals to practice the newest surgical techniques without actually touching a patient.
Nearly one in four of Florida’s business and information services firms has a home in Tampa Bay. The region is especially strong in call centers, and many are expanding:
• Protocol Global Solutions plans to roughly double its 400-person operation in Sarasota to serve new clients.
• OneTouch Direct says it will keep its corporate headquarters in Tampa and add 700 jobs over the next two years.
• Auto insurance giant Progressive Insurance will hire another 130 workers at its Riverview site, bringing the firm’s Tampa Bay workforce to 2,500.
• Maryland-based Inovalon Inc., which primarily serves health insurers and their subscribers, will open a multilingual call center in Tampa and hire 50 to staff it.
• Tampa-based Sykes Enterprises plans to open a new customer service call center in Lakeland and generate 600 new jobs.
Medical Device Manufacturing
Tampa Bay is among the top 20 markets nationwide for medical device manufacturing. Recent activity includes:
• Rapid Pathogen Screening, a Lakewood Ranch-based manufacturer of diagnostic test kits for viral conjunctivitis and other illnesses, plans to add 164 employees as products currently under development receive FDA approval.
• Sarasota-based Octex, providing plastic injection molding services for medical manufacturing, will add 80 jobs over the next five years.
Manufacturers in other industry sectors are also finding room to grow in Tampa Bay:
• Bradenton is welcoming two relocations: Ammunitions maker C Products Defense Inc. from Connecticut with plans to add 100 employees and IPE CLIP Fastener Company from South Carolina, creating 80 new jobs.
• In Palmetto, UK-based plastic component manufacturer Global Components Inc. plans to open a manufacturing hub and create 50 new jobs.
• At Lakewood Ranch, international firm IRISS, which makes infrared windows for inspecting electrical equipment, is building a 33,000-sq.-ft. global headquarters.
• In Sarasota, Sun Hydraulics, designer/manufacturer of high-performance hydraulic cartridge valves and manifolds, plans a $16-million expansion of its manufacturing and office space.
• Three ports serve the region — Tampa, St. Petersburg and Manatee — and the newly formed Citrus County Port Authority is exploring the possibility of creating Florida’s 15th deepwater port along a stretch of the old Cross Florida Barge Canal.
• Exceptional rail and highway connections are making land-locked Polk County a hub for distribution activity. Polk-based Publix Super Markets is nearly doubling the size of its 590,000-sq.-ft. distribution center, and Texas-based Mission Foods is expected to spend $23 million to open a 168,000-sq.-ft. warehouse in Lakeland.