Thursday, January 6, 2011

Flashing red light means hot job news

Pierce Manufacturing in Bradenton
will create 150 jobs this year.
(File photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie)
 The red message light lit up on my phone shortly after 10 a.m. today as I finished an interview.

I dialed into my voicemail and there was a message from Eric Basinger. The executive director of the Manatee Economic Development Council wanted to give me a heads-up on a news release his staff was writing up.

He didn't give any further information, but I figured a big announcement about jobs was on its way.

Indeed there was. The Bradenton-based Pierce Manufacturing will be hiring an estimated 150 people this year as its operations will be expanded to build ambulances.

The local business currently builds fire trucks, and its parent company Oshkosh Corp. is moving Medtech Ambulances to Bradenton. It's also moving Oshkosh Specialty Vehicles to its Clearwater plant Frontline Communications, which makes mobile command vehicles. That move will create 50 jobs in Pinellas County.

While the150 jobs doesn't come close to the 18,267 people who are out of work in Manatee County, it's a substantial gain for the area.

Oshkosh, a Fortune 350 company, has manufacturing operations in 11 states and Australia, Belgium, Canada and France, and chose Bradenton among all those options to move the majority. And those 150 jobs coming to Bradenton will combine for an annual payroll of $5.8 million in the first year.

That's $5.8 million that can be injected back into the region's economy.

"Overall, it's a major statement on any community when a Fortune 500 or 350 company says we've got all these business units around the world and we're choosing to move it to your community," Basinger said.

-- Grace Gagliano

No comments:

Post a Comment