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Highlights of Economic and Business Growth in the Tampa Bay Region (News Briefs)
Date:4/7/2009

TAMPA BAY, Fla., April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- News briefs concerning economic and business growth in the Tampa Bay Region from the Tampa Bay Partnership:

Humana Cares Opens New National Service Center in Tampa Bay

Humana has expanded its local presence by opening a new 37,000-square-foot national service center for its Humana Cares division in the Carillon area of St. Petersburg. The center currently employs more than 275 associates, adding about 100 associates locally since last fall, and has plans to expand its on-site staff to more than 325 by the end of 2009. Positions to be hired include registered nurses, dieticians, and other health care experts. The need for health care workers and the overall medical industry has remained resilient and is cited as one of the Best 150 Recession Proof Jobs/Industries. Humana, the parent company of Humana Cares, represents Florida's largest Medicare health-benefits company with more than 400,000 members statewide. (Contact: Mitch Lubitz, 813-287-6180, mlubitz@humana.com)

PaperFree Tampa Bay Launches Electronic Prescription Effort

A new public/private partnership called PaperFree Tampa Bay launched a plan to jump-start America's electronic health revolution to make health records completely paper-free. PaperFree Tampa Bay, an initiative led by the University of South Florida and Allscripts, will deploy more than 100 "electronic healthcare ambassadors" with a goal to convert 100 percent of physicians in the Tampa Bay region from paper prescriptions, known to be the cause of costly medical errors, to electronic prescribing. The effort is a first step toward the implementation of Connected Electronic Health Records (HER) to improve patient safely and reduce costs, and intends to leverage funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. (Contact: Susanna Martinez Tarokh, 813-974-2776, smarin1@health.usf.edu)

Transamerica, InterSecurities New Headquarters in Tampa Bay

As part of the Aegon group of companies, Transamerica Financial Advisors and InterSecurities, both full-service broker/dealer firms, have announced plans to merge and create a new company to be headquartered in St. Petersburg. Currently InterSecurities is headquartered in the Carillon business park in St. Petersburg's Gateway business district. The resulting merger will retain the Transamerica Financial Advisors entity and represents 1,800 registered representatives and $15 billion in client account values. (Contact: Nicole Lorey, 213-741-5809, nicole.lorey@transamerica.com

WellDyneRx Gets Tampa Bay Operations Rolling

Colorado-based pharmaceutical benefits management company, WellDyne, Inc. recently moved into a 66,000-square-foot facility in Lakeland and has plans to hire 100 employees during the course of the year. The new facility will use an advanced robotic dispensing and distribution system capable of filling more than 30 million prescriptions annually. WellDyne has plans to add 578 jobs to its Lakeland operations by the end of 2010. (Contact: Susan Cain, 303-645-2613, scain@welldynerx.com)

Canadian GPS Company Moves Headquarters to Tampa Bay

GPS Industries, a 14-year-old Canadian company, has moved the company's headquarters from Surrey, British Columbia, Canada to Sarasota. The firm engineers and markets global positioning system and Wi-Fi networks and products to golf courses and residential community developments. GPS Industries employs 21 in Sarasota and plans to grow to at least 45 employees in the next few years. (Contact: Kevin A. Carpenter, 941-894-8030, kevin.carpenter@gpsindustries.com)

Progress Energy Florida, USF Work on Smart Grid

Progress Energy Florida and the University of South Florida's Power Center for Utility Explorations have been selected by Florida's Energy and Climate Commission to create the power grid of the future, known as the "Smart Grid." The Smart Grid has the capability of helping customers manage their bills and will allow the utility's grid to operate more efficiently, maintain high-quality energy delivery and seamlessly integrate distributed energy resources, including renewable energy generation and energy storage. Once developed, the Smart Grid will be the first in Florida and one of the largest in the nation delivering power to homes and businesses. Other project partners include, the Governor's Energy Office, Publix Super Markets Inc. and HD Supply. (Contact: Vickie Chachere, 813-974-6251, vchachere@admin.usf.edu)

Florida Ranked Fourth-Largest 'Cyberstate' for Technology Employment

Florida remains the fourth largest in technology employment according to the Cyberstates 2009 report by the group TechAmerica. Florida employs 280,300 workers in the tech industry, representing a payroll of $19 billion in 2007, the most current year for which state data is available. The state's computer systems design and related services sector picked up 4,100 net jobs. Florida was also ranked first in computer training employment with 1,600 jobs, third in communications services employment with 84,900 jobs and third in engineering services employment with 59,200 jobs. (Contact: Charlie Greenwald, 703-284-5305, charlie.greenwald@techamerica.org)

St. Pete Times Forum Ranked No. 1 Venue in World

The St. Pete Times Forum ranked as the No. 1 venue in the world for gross ticket sales in the first part of 2009, according to industry magazine Venues Today. From mid January to mid February, the venue's total gross ticket sales were over $6 million, which topped the No. 2 venue, Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia, by almost $700,000. For the second year in a row, Venues Today named the Times Forum the top-grossing arena in Florida. In 2008, the Forum grossed nearly $32 million for 80 shows and more than 460,000 people. (Contact: Elmer Straub, 813-301-6600, www.sptimesforum.com)


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SOURCE Tampa Bay Partnership
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