July 24, 2014

Around the State

| 1/1/1999
Lake Hamilton -- Auburndale-based Dual Tech, a manufacturer of specialty tow truck bodies, is building a $1 million plant on 31 acres. Dual Tech will double its workforce from 30 to 60 when the facility is complete at the end of the year.

Lakeland -- Auto-insurer Geico Corp., based in Washington, D.C., is building a $20.5 million, 297,000-sq.-ft. call center, which should be ready late this year. Geico already employs 650 here and expects to reach 3,000 by 2004.

St. Petersburg -- Florida Progress Corp. (NYSE-FPC) formed a new subsidiary, Progress Telecommunications Corp., a fiber-optic telecommunications business. It will sell wholesale fiber-optic service in Florida to long-distance carriers, Internet service providers and other telecommunications companies.

Sarasota -- ThermaCell Technologies (Nasdaq-VCLL), a manufacturer and marketer of coatings and building materials, acquired regional paint manufacturer and distributor American Paints of Pompano Beach.

Tampa -- PricewaterhouseCoopers will add 450 jobs here over the next 15 months as it consolidates many of its North American functions. The accounting firm is building a $52 million training center near Tampa International Airport and a new administrative center near Raymond James Stadium.

American Viking Lines began a twice-weekly cruise ferry sailing between the Port of Tampa and Progreso, Mexico, on the Yucatan Peninsula. The vessel can carry 630 passengers and accommodate cars, RVs and roll-on cargo.

The Tampa Bay Partnership, which markets the region, established the Central Florida Interstate Transportation Initiative, focused on ensuring central Florida and Tampa Bay obtain federal funding to complete improvements to I-4.

Winter Haven -- Accent Marketing Services, a Louisville, Ky.-based direct marketing company, opened its fifth customer communications center here. The facility will employ 300 by year end.

Tags: Florida Small Business, Politics & Law, Southwest, Business Florida

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