Competitive Cost Advantages for Orlando and Tampa
Tampa and Orlando aren't the most cost-competitive locations nationwide, but they're close.
Cincinnati’s low costs for facility leasing, transportation and property taxes contributed significantly to its ranking as the least-costly location to do business in the United States among the 27 largest metro areas (all with populations exceeding 2 million), according to a study by KPMG LLP. Atlanta was the second most cost-competitive location in the large-cities category— followed by Orlando and Tampa, which ranked third and fourth, respectively. Other locations that performed well were Dallas/Ft. Worth, Baltimore, St. Louis and Cleveland. The most expensive places to do business in the large-cities category were San Francisco and New York, the study reveals.
KPMG’s 2012 Competitive Alternatives study measured 26 significant cost components in each market, including labor, taxes, real estate and utilities, as they apply to 19 industries over a 10-year analysis horizon. Information is also provided on a variety of non-cost components. The study enables companies to perform a “quick scan” of locations to determine which markets can offer an advantageous business environment. Among the regional highlights: Orlando benefited from very competitive costs for salaries and wages, and employee benefit plans; Tampa had the lowest labor costs of all the large U.S. cities, along with low downtown office leasing costs.
It's official. Florida Hospital and USF Health are now an item.
They have formed a strategic alliance—combining Adventist Health System’s innovative approach to patient-centered care with the University of South Florida’s leading research—to deliver medical therapies in hospital and outpatient settings. Through this public/private partnership, Florida Hospital is investing approximately $14 million in four key specialty areas to bring enhanced patient care, state-of-the-art technology and expanded services to Tampa Bay.
As a result, patients in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties will no longer have to travel for personalized medicine in the specialties where Florida Hospital has affiliations with USF Health. The areas include cardiology at Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute; breast health at Florida Hospital Tampa; neuroscience at Florida Hospital Zephyrhills; and surgical oncology, melanoma and breast cancer at Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital in Tarpon Springs.
For example, cardiovascular patients at Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute will benefit from research collaboration and USF Health’s exploration in genomic screening for personalized health care. Genomic screening uses an individual’s genetic profile to customize the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease to each patient.
The four affiliations are viewed by hospital officials as the foundation for Florida Hospital and USF Health’s plans to establish a higher standard of coordinated care throughout the market. So, expect more to come.
STEM now can be spelled UNCF.
The United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona and Akerman Senterfitt recently launched the STEM Pipeline Program—a partnership of private business and nonprofit organizations aimed at increasing the interest of African-Americans and other minorities in science-related fields.
While the demand for skilled individuals with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) continues to increase, minorities are still underrepresented in these fields due to inadequate foundational skills during middle and high school, lack of financial resources for college, and low awareness of interest in STEM-related careers, according to UNCF. The STEM Pipeline Program is an approach to stimulating interests in scientific careers by providing students with hands-on experience. Interns will “live and breathe” laboratory research on a daily basis and refine their skills over a series of years, with the hope being to help train scientists of tomorrow.
In addition to providing in-classroom career information about STEM education at local middle and high schools with diverse populations, the program fosters further development by offering a four-year scholarship to qualified students toward a STEM major, which includes paid internships for all four summers at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona. In addition, upon graduating with a four-year degree, scholarship recipients will continue to receive career counseling and mentorship assistance.
Needed: Newcomer Orientations
New-job jitters are common, but some employers aren't helping ease their workers' anxiety, a recent survey from Accountemps suggests. More than one-third of human resources managers interviewed said their companies don't offer a formal orientation program to help prepare new staff.
Overlooking the orientation process could be a missed opportunity for employers to help new hires feel like part of the team—and make a more immediate impact. When asked to name the greatest benefit of their orientation program, 35 percent of respondents said it helps employees better understand the company's values, guidelines and expectations.
Interestingly, the smaller the organization, the more likely it is to have a formal orientation program: 67 percent of small firms (20 to 49 workers) have them, compared with 52 percent of large companies (1,000 or more employees).
Accountemps, a specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals, offers five tips for managers on helping new hires acclimate: roll out the red carpet; aim to ease anxieties; arrange day-in the-life tours; provide a roadmap; and make use of mentors.
Hearty Response to Corporate Giving
Obviously, Heart of Florida United Way is all about overcoming difficult odds—and helping lives and raising money.
Last fall, when HFUW launched an ambitious 2011-2012 funding campaign, it did so against a rising tide of economic uncertainty. Yet, the final tally: a goal-setting $19,365,723 in donations to HFUW, Central Florida’s most comprehensive health and human services charity.
Led by Walt Disney World’s $5.7 million raised among its cast members and corporate resources, HFUW topped the 2010-2011 campaign sum of $17.4 million by 11.2 percent. Publix Super Markets Inc. ranked second in corporate giving, raising $2.6 million from its employees, while Lockheed Martin Corp. rallied more than 2,500 of its local employees to generate $1.1 million in donations. Additionally, United Way recognized superlative workplace campaigns by Darden Restaurants Inc., SunTrust Bank Central Florida, City of Orlando, Orange County Government, UPS Florida District, Tupperware Brands Corp., AT&T, Florida Hospital and Wells Fargo. Target, CenturyLink and the University of Central Florida were also honored for campaigns that surpassed $100,000 in support for the first time.
Research and Rewards
Introducing Tampa Bay’s flagship Research Council.
The council's first-ever meeting was held recently, with representation from across Tampa Bay. Included among the approximately 20 attendees were leaders from the Regional Business Plan for Tampa Bay, BioFlorida’s Western Chapter, Tampa Bay Chapter of BioFlorida, the Center for Retina and Molecular Disease in Polk County, the Roskamp Institute in Sarasota, All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg and the USF Office of Research. Just to name a few. The effort is being chaired by Dr. Debbie Sutherland, CEO of USF Health’s Center for Advanced Medical Learning & Simulation (CAMLS).
During the meeting, the group identified an initial list of priorities important to the various research institutions across the region. Among them: to build a network of research organizations in the region, share common databases and take inventory of Tampa Bay’s current research organizations by mapping assets and resources. Moving forward, the group will hold a series of regular meetings to further flesh out priorities and shape the council role.
Notably, according to officials, creation of the council represents exactly what the Regional Business Plan aims to do—build upon and leverage the region’s existing strengths and opportunities to grow high-value business and create high-wage, sustainable job growth.
And the Winners Are …
Middle-market companies were on center stage during the 6th Annual SMART Awards in May, as the Orlando Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth recognized companies based on their corporate culture, growth, business creativity and economic contribution.
Finalist companies were required to be in a current stage of growth, with annual revenue or sales of $10 million to $1 billion, and with headquarters in Central Florida. From 21 finalists, seven winners in seven industry award categories were announced, while more than 230 people attended. Keynote speaker was Tom O'Neal, associate vice president of research and commercialization at the University of Central Florida (featured on Page x).
The winners: Quality One Wireless (Distribution); Digital Risk (Financial Services); Vista Clinical Diagnostics (Healthcare & Life Sciences); Craig Technologies (Information Technology); FARO Technologies (Manufacturing); Massey Services (Other Services); and J. Raymond Construction Corp. (Real Estate).
A Pitch for Sports Business
The pitch sailed over the catcher's head. Actually, it was the first pitch ever thrown by the right-hander. Yet, for Phil Tan, an Atlanta native and longtime ardent Atlanta Braves fan, the moment was dream come true.
Tan, a music mix engineer who has contributed on three Grammy albums (for Ludacris, Mariah Carey and Rihanna), threw the ceremonial first pitch during a Braves spring exhibition game at Disney's Wide World of Sports, as part of Full Sail Day at the ballpark. Tan is a Hall of Fame alumnus of Full Sail, which used the occasion to celebrate a partnership that enables the university to promote its broadening sports curriculum to Disney's global audience of sports enthusiasts.
The partnership agreement follows the university’s recent launch of its new Sports Marketing and Media Bachelor of Science Degree Program. The 32-month curriculum, offered both on-campus and online, is designed to help students develop a balanced skill set of technical expertise and content creation in the sports arena. Students also learn core business and marketing concepts as they apply to sports media, business models, sports marketing and research, public relations, sports law and contracts, and licensing and intellectual property.
Full Sail also recently collaborated with ESPN in launching a sports broadcast research lab at the university, complementing the current ESPN Innovation Lab located at Disney. That lab has been critical in the development of ESPN 3D, Ball Track, NBA Player Card and Ultimate Uplink.
DID YOU KNOW?
Showalter Flying Service—the site of the cover photo (featuring U.S. Rep. John Mica) from the previous issue of FORWARDFlorida—dates back to 1945, when after World War II Howard and "Sandy" Showalter and "Buck" Rogers migrated to Florida, acquired 100 acres of land in Winter Park and built Showalter Airpark. Originally intended to serve private pilots with a country club atmosphere, the facility evolved into a place for flight training. Through the decades, it steadily moved closer to its original intent, ultimately building a nationwide reputation for service. Today, Showalter Flying Service remains a family business. And, despite the arrival of major competitors, Showalter Flying Service continues as the principal general aviation operator in Orlando.
In case you were wondering, those signs that read RBC did, in fact, change in PNC not long ago. That's when PNC Financial Services Group Inc. completed the conversion of 900,000 customers and more than 400 branches across six southeastern states, including Florida, from RBC Bank (USA) to PNC Bank. This represents PNC’s seventh successful acquisition in the past eight years and extends the company’s track record with integrations. At 415 branches, this was PNC’s single biggest conversion at one time. In 2009-2010, PNC converted more than 6 million customers and 1,300 branches from National City Bank in four phases during a seven-month period.
The Florida Hospital Association has been awarded a contract by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to support the Partnership for Patients campaign, a national initiative to improve care and reduce costs launched earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The 62 Florida hospitals that are involved include 27 from the 14 counties of the Super Region. The contract is in partnership with the Health Research & Educational Trust, an affiliate of the American Hospital Association. By focusing on 10 areas for quality improvement, the goal of Partnership for Patients is to reduce preventable complications among hospital patients 40 percent and readmissions 20 percent by the end of 2013.
Florida has an estimated 587,600 women-owned firms, including 77,300 in Tampa/St. Petersburg, according the State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express OPEN. Only top 25 metropolitan levels were revealed in the comprehensive study analyzing data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Statewide, the women-owned firms employ 473,100 people, including 79,600 in Tampa/St. Petersburg. The state's total economic contribution is roughly $77.6 billion, with $11.7 billion coming from Tampa/St. Petersburg. Of the top 25 metropolitan areas nationwide, Tampa/St. Petersburg ranks seventh (41.9 percent) in growth of number of firms and 13th (38.2 percent) in growth of firm revenue.
Linemen from OUC – The Reliable One recently won First Place Overall in the 12th annual Florida Lineman Competition in Gainesville. Hosted by the Florida Municipal Electric Association, the contest featured more than 100 linemen from 16 municipal utilities throughout the state. OUC’s winning team placed either first or second in four different events. The Florida Lineman Competition is a venue for linemen to practice and showcase their skills to friends and families. The event is similar to a rodeo and is based on tasks that linemen must know how to do. OUC’s team finished first in the 88-kilovolt (kV) Insulator Change and second in the Mystery Event (Wire Tie In), Vertical Hurtman Rescue, and Journeyman Cut-Out and Arrestor events.
With the Super Region serving as a virtual hub of franchise activity—just look around—here's interesting news: In a recent report, the International Franchise Association predicts growth across the franchise industry in number of establishments, employment, economic output and contributions to U.S. gross domestic product. The 2012 Franchise Business Economic Outlook projects that the franchise industry will add nearly 14,000 establishments in 2012, an increase of 1.9 percent, along with 168,000 jobs, an increase of 2.1 percent.
Health Management Associates Inc., parent corporation of Venice Regional Medical Center and the largest hospital system based in Florida, plans to expand its regional central business office in Sarasota County. The a move is expected to preserve 148 and add 217 local jobs over two years. The company’s network of physician practices, Gulf Coast Medical Group, has 320 employees at 12 locations throughout Sarasota County. The new 28,500-square-foot office in Sarasota will serve HMA’s operations in Florida and elsewhere with back office functions such as billing, collections and other shared services.
Largo-based ConMed Linvatec, a global leader in the fields of arthroscopy, multi-specialty endoscopic medical video systems and powered surgical instruments, has opened the Center for Orthopaedic Education. The 16,000-square-foot training facility will provide advanced surgeon education, surgical skills training and professional development on the company's existing medical device development and manufacturing operations. The expansion is expected to have a local economic impact of nearly $2.8 million.
Orlando will soon be recognized as a medical destination seeking cures for diabetes, according to Florida Hospital – Sanford-Burnham researchers. Researchers at the Sanford-Burnham Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes, a partnership between Florida Hospital and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, believe that by applying the concept of personalized medicine to diabetes and obesity, they can help “crack the code” on those global epidemics and provide a more individualized, tailored approach to finding cures. The institute's new 54,000-square-foot facility in Orlando contains a variety of tools that are crucial to finding cures. One of the facility’s highlights is the Calorimetry Laboratory, which contains two dorm-sized rooms and two small calorimeter rooms that analyze the air in the room to measure energy expenditure and the type of food a person is burning without the person being hooked up to machinery.
Great Bay Distributors, one of the largest distributors of Anheuser-Busch products in Florida, has closed on a $9.75 million real estate deal, purchasing 96-acres in Gateway St. Petersburg. The land assembled parcel borders Interstate 275, with neighboring business entities including Valpak, Halkey Roberts and the future headquarters site of Jabil Circuit. Great Bay Distributors intends to build a new warehouse and distribution facility, relocating a former facility in Pinellas County with a workforce of 300 employees.
Forbes magazine named Pasco County-based Dais Analytic Corp. as one of the 12 “Energy Projects to Watch” in 2012. Selected by the U.S. Department of Defense, Dais Analytic was ranked No. 2 on the list of the most promising clean-energy projects. Last year, the Pasco County Board of County Commissioners approved a $254,000 grant for Dais Analytic to aid the company in developing a new generation of energy efficient, environmentally friendly heating, cooling and refrigeration products called “NanoAir.” The county grant will enable the company to hire additional employees. In addition, Pasco Economic Development Council has provided help with training, job placement, consulting services, local government support and investor opportunities.
In early April, the Port of Tampa, one of the largest and most diversified seaports in the U.S., welcomed the first of what will become monthly shipments of Honda CRV’s. American Honda Motor Co. Inc. selected the Port of Tampa as the import gateway for new model CR-Vs, built in Guadalajara, Mexico, which are ultimately destined to Haiti, Dominican Republic, St. Maarten and the Bahamas. The shipment of CR-Vs arrived on board a NYK vessel, part of one of the world’s leading shipping lines. With ample facilities and its geographic location, the Port of Tampa is well-suited for a full spectrum of large and specialty cargoes.