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Highlights of Economic and Business Growth in the Tampa Bay Region

TAMPA BAY, Fla., Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- News briefs concerning economic and business growth in the Tampa Bay Region from the Tampa Bay Partnership:

Tampa Bay Has Right Prescription for Expansion

WellDyneRx, a national pharmacy benefit management company, has announced plans to more than triple their prescription mail service capacity with the opening of a new 66,000-square-foot facility in Lakeland, Fla. The expansion into Tampa Bay creates 670 new high wage jobs. WellDyneRx also plans to invest $20 million to establish its southeastern operations center. Slated to open in November 2008, the new facility will utilize an advanced robotic dispensing and distribution system capable of filling more than 30 million prescriptions annually. The Lakeland location provides immediate access to major drug distribution centers and national transportation services for timely, cost effective shipments to WellDyneRx's clients across the nation. (Contact: Susan Cain, 303-645-2613,

Jabil to Remain in Tampa Bay, Build New Worldwide HQ

Jabil Circuit, Inc. (NYSE: JBL), a global electronic product solutions company, announced its selection of St. Petersburg, Fla., to remain as its worldwide headquarters. Jabil will build and equip a new worldwide headquarters, and manufacturing, research and development facilities in St. Petersburg, with an estimated value of $54 million. The announcement included a commitment to create an additional 858 jobs in the coming years. Jabil currently has 1,838 Tampa Bay employees. (Contact: Beth Walters, 727-803-3349,

'Black Box' Producer Expanding

L-3 Aviation Recorders announced it will stay in Tampa Bay and expand its operations. The Sarasota-based company, which produces more than 70 percent of the world's cockpit voice and flight data recorders (or "black boxes") and 80 percent of the world's marine recorders, signed a 10-year lease on its existing 100,000-square-foot facility with plans to expand their Manatee County operations. L-3 Aviation Recorders, a division of New York-based L-3 Communications (NYSE: LLL), employs 250 in Tampa Bay. (Contact: Jessica Parsons, 941-330-6369,

Draper Laboratory to Expand into Tampa Bay

Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, one of the world's leading independent research and development laboratories engaged in applied research, engineering and development, announced it will be establishing a BioMEMS R&D Center at the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa and a Multi Chip Module (MCM) Center in St. Petersburg. The announced expansion will create 165 jobs with an average wage of $75,000. Draper will be a research partner with the University of South Florida, SRI International and others to form the nucleus of a micro-technology cluster in Tampa Bay. Additionally, Draper will be working with Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN) on energy production efficiency improvements. Draper Laboratory qualified to receive $15 million for the multi-location, multi-county project from Florida's Innovation Incentive Fund, established in 2006 to attract world class research institutes to Florida. (Contact: Amy Schwenker, 617-258-2601,

SRI Participates in Tampa Bay Maritime Homeland Security Experiment

SRI International recently participated with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard in a Tampa Bay maritime homeland security experiment focused on enhancing the nation's port security. The objective of the experiment was to exercise mine-hunting operations in Tampa Bay with combined civilian and military crew and new technology. Collectively described as an "Adaptive Force Package," a suite of advanced technology was tested to locate and neutralize an underwater threat which might include conventional military mines or underwater improvised explosive devices. The experiment also offered participants the opportunity to practice implementation of the Department of Homeland Security's Maritime Operational Threat Response Plan which provides Department of Defense U.S. Navy resources in response to a domestic underwater threat in one of our nation's ports. The experiment successfully performed an underwater sonar baseline survey of Tampa Bay, located and identified all of the simulated mines and underwater improvised explosive devices, conducted underwater crime scene evidence mapping and gathering within a post-blast debris field, and conducted forensic analysis of device components and biometric evidence. (Contact: Ellie Javadi, 650-859-4874,

USF Research Funding Tops $360 Million

University of South Florida passed another milestone. It was announced recently that the university's research funding for fiscal year 2007-2008 rose 17 percent over the previous year to top out at $360,169,573, a more than $50 million increase over the 2006/2007 fiscal year figure. The grants come from a diverse range of sources including federal, state, and local government sources as well as a range of private sources, both nonprofit foundations and corporate. Federal funding has increased significantly. For example, the National Institutes of Health, which has seen a reduction in funds allocated from the Federal government, awarded $107.5 million to USF in FY 2007/2008, up from $62.5 during the previous fiscal year. (Contact: Barbara Perkins, 813- 974-4014,

SOURCE Tampa Bay Partnership
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