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Highlights of Economic and Business Growth in the Tampa Bay Region
Date:1/8/2008

ished at USF

The University of South Florida won a competitive bid to launch one of the newest Confucius Institutes, cultural centers that China has spread to universities globally. The Confucius Institute at USF is expected to help the educational and business communities in Tampa Bay and throughout Florida develop and promote closer ties with China, the world's fastest-growing economy. USF's campus is the only Florida location for the cultural center, branches of which have proliferated in 64 countries since 2004, including 40 in the United States. USF is running the Confucius Institute with its longtime partner, Nankai University in Tianjin, with which it has exchanged students and faculty for nearly 25 years. Two Nankai scholars will arrive at USF in February. A third will arrive in time for the fall semester, when the institute will begin a course on doing business in China. The Chinese government will award USF $100,000 annually for up to five years to teach introductory Chinese, contemporary political science and doing business in China. USF will match that with about $200,000 for the first year. (Contact: Ken Gullette, 813-974-4014, kgullette@admin.usf.edu)

Work Tools International Rolls Out Tampa Bay Expansion

Work Tools International, one of the world's largest manufacturers of specialty and decorative paint applicators, is utilizing a $3.2 million Industrial Revenue Bond (IRB) to finance an expansion in Pinellas Park, FL. The expansion includes construction of a 43,600-square-foot building, the purchase of new manufacturing equipment, and the addition of 10 new manufacturing jobs. "The IRB is opening new doors for us," explains Greg Kieler, Co-President of Work Tools International. "With it, we were able to end our days of leasing and purchase the land and building needed to expand our product line and increase our sales." With its IRB-funded expansion, the company plans to manufacture more of its WHIZZ line of paint rollers, brushes,
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SOURCE Tampa Bay Partnership
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