Business Report Card
Each fall the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance announces its achievements in economic development at an annual mega meeting. This year’s presentation at the Signature Grand in Davie marked the Alliance’s 50th birthday—it was first founded as the Broward Industrial Board in 1963—and drew a record audience of 650.
One big focus was on new transportation initiatives underway or planned for Broward County, one reason why Dave Barger, president and CEO of JetBlue Airways, was the keynote speaker. He used the occasion to reveal expansion plans for the airline at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Barger’s report was just one of a bevy of announcements about new companies, new jobs and, equally important, retained jobs—those that might have gone elsewhere without incentives to stay. Altogether the alliance, Broward County’s official public/private partnership for economic development, reported that it helped attract 22 new company relocations and expansions during its 2012-13 fiscal year ending Sept. The result: more than 1,700 new value-added jobs, nearly 1,500 retained jobs and more than $180 million in new capital investment.
Some of the companies that relocated or expanded in Broward County were:
• Actavis, a generic pharmaceutical manufacturer in Davie, is adding 220 new jobs and retaining 509 jobs, and will make a $40.5 million capital investment.
• Anthem Education, a Fort Lauderdale headquarterd company for post-secondary educational institutions, is adding 70 new jobs and retaining 85.
• Citrix, the leading software developer with headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, is adding 200 new jobs and making a $7.5 million capital investment.
• Great Healthworks, a Hollywood company that develops and manufactures nutraceuticals, will add 401 jobs and retain 320.
• Parallon, a healthcare company/workforce solutions company headquartered in Sunrise, will add 125 new jobs and retain 164, and plans to invest $3.9 million.
The alliance also announced two new company expansions, starting with People’s Trust Insurance Co., a Florida-based company that provides affordable homeowner’s insurance. New to Broward, it will provide 500 jobs—300 immediately and 200 more in the next 24 months—as it moves into the Research Park at Florida Atlantic University’s Deerfield Beach campus.
The second was Nyrstar, a global mining and metals business, which will establish its new corporate headquarters for the Americas in downtown Fort Lauderdale, adding 25 new jobs at an average salary of $143,000.
“This past year was a banner year for the alliance,” said Bob Swindell, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance. “Our work to diversify Broward’s economy, with our partners, is paying off in many ways—including the fact that Broward County had the lowest unemployment rate of any urban area in Florida for all of 2013.”
At its annual fete, the alliance also installed FP&L executive Ben Wesley as the new chairman of the board, and awarded Mike Jackson, Chairman and CEO of AutoNation, with its 2013 Ray Ferrero Jr. Economic Development Leadership Award.