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Politics

Rick Scott Tacks On 300 More to Florida Job Count

November 17, 2013 - 6:00pm

More IT jobs are coming to Panama City.

Gov. Rick Scott announced Monday that iSirona, an information technology company which provides solutions for medical device integration, will be expanding its operations in Panama City. The expansion will create 300 new jobs and a capital investment of $2.25 million.

iSironas expansion in Panama City will create 300 jobs which is great news for Florida families," said Scott. "For its expansion, iSirona considered other locations like California, Texas and Virginia, but chose Florida for our great business climate. There have been more than 365,000 private-sector jobs created in the last two years and our unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in five years. Florida provides job creators with a great workforce and the opportunity for growth, but we still have more work to do to build a diverse economy that will create jobs for generations to come.

iSirona was established in 2008 and headquartered in Panama City. The company was ranked "One of America's Most Promising Companies" in 2013 by Forbes magazine and was also ranked as the fifth fastest-growing private company in U.S. health care in 2012 by Inc. Magazine.

Since the beginning of 2012, iSirona has seen growth in Florida. The company has grown from 31 employees to over 180.

Monday's announced expansion will triple its workforce to more than 400 employees.

We consider Florida and Panama City to be partners in iSironas success," said CEO of iSirona Dave Dyell. "We continue to be pleased with the statewide commitment to nurture the high-tech sector; our outstanding universities and community colleges that are wonderful resources; and our ability to recruit top talent that appreciates the local lifestyle. We are delighted that our ongoing success is bringing more high-value jobs to Panama City.

The company received a $1.5 million grant from the Industry Recruitment, Retention and Expansion Fund (IRREF) Grant Program, which is administered by the University of West Florida.

The IRREF Grant Program was created as a result of SB 2156, which was authored by Senate President Don Gaetz. The Oil Spill Recovery Act was an important component of SB 2156. The act will allot $10 million per year for three years to eight Northwest Florida counties for the purposes of research and development, commercialization of research, economic diversification and job creation.

Gaetz pointed to competitive business incentives as the reason why iSirona located to Florida.

iSirona could be in Silicon Valley but because of the highly competitive business incentives created by Floridas Legislature and Governor Scott, they located in what they like to call Silicon Bay in Northwest Florida, Gaetz said. Helping our successful businesses stay and expand sends the right message to private-sector job creators looking to expand or relocate to Florida and is key to Northwest Floridas continued recovery from the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Florida's software and computer systems design and integration industryis one of the largest in the U.S, with some 12,600 firms. Nearly half of the 80,000-plus professionals who work in the field are employed by software development firms, and the remaining work in related technology-intensive industries throughout the state.

Gray Swoope, secretary of commerce and president and CEO of Enterprise Florida, said iSirona's operations are a good sign for high-tech industry in Florida.

The consolidation of iSironas operations in Panama City is telling of the proactivity of the high-tech industry in Florida," said Swoope. "The strong research and development network and exceptional workforce in Florida will help companies like iSirona continue their product development and successful innovation.

Reach Tampa-based reporter Sllison Nielsen at Allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonNielsen.

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