Northeast Fla., Jacksonville Business Briefs - November 2010
GAINESVILLE — Urban theorist Richard Florida projected Gainesville will have a 17.7% increase in "creative-class" jobs between 2008 and 2018. Gainesville had the biggest projected gains in any U.S. metro area in his predictions for such positions, which include high-wage, high-skill positions in fields such as technology, healthcare and the arts.
» Time magazine named the online music-sharing site Grooveshark, a University of Florida spinoff company, one of the 50 best websites of 2010.
» The University of Florida is among the top job-recruiting colleges in the country, according to a Wall Street Journal survey. The newspaper surveyed job recruiters at 479 of the largest public and private companies, non-profits and government agencies to see which schools their recruiters preferred when looking for employees. Pennsylvania State University topped the list of 25, followed by Texas A&M University and the University of Illinois. UF came in at No. 9, the only Florida college on the list.
» Shands HealthCare and the University of Florida announced plans to spend $100 million over the next five years to create the Shands Hospital for Children and Women.
JACKSONVILLE — PNC Mortgage will add 200 jobs when it opens up its Southside office by the end of this year.
» Jacksonville-based design-build firm Haskell Co. acquired Atlanta engineering firm E2M for an undisclosed amount, to better market itself to food, beverage and consumer-product manufacturers. Haskell says it will become a one-stop shop, constructing the buildings while E2M sets up manufacturing lines.
» Interline Brands, a Jacksonville-based distribution company, opened a 275,000-sq.-ft. distribution center in the Westside Industrial Park and added 70 jobs there in a realignment of its national network.
» The Jacksonville Economic Development Commission that once championed development of the high-rise Shipyards project on the St. Johns River is now asking the city to let the 40-acre property become a public park. The project collapsed in the economic downturn and has reverted to city ownership. The EDC says continuing to try to develop the site for residential and commercial use would dilute downtown revitalization efforts and add competition to the ailing real estate market.
» The Jacksonville Economic Development Commission approved $300,000 in financial incentives for Adecco Group North America to add 100 positions in Jacksonville, most of those to be filled next year at an average salary of $45,600. Adecco is the staffing firm that acquired Jacksonville's MPS Group earlier this year.
» Winn-Dixie Stores stock fell to its lowest level since emerging from bankruptcy in 2006 — around $6.50 — after the company issued
a gloomy forecast for fiscal 2011.
» The Florida Times-Union cut 6% of its workforce in response to sluggish advertising revenue the newspaper said likely will stretch into 2011. Twenty-six layoffs included cartoonist Ed Gamble. The T-U is owned by Augusta, Ga.-based Morris Publishing Group, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in March.
» CSX Corp. received the highest score of any U.S. industrial company on the S&P 500's Carbon Disclosure Project, which monitors corporate governance on disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions, risks and opportunities for climate change and other measures.
OCALA — Nobility Homes, one of the nation's largest manufactured-housing companies, saw sales rise 41% in the third quarter to $4.35 million from a year earlier. The company posted a loss of $133 million vs. a profit of $21,862 a year earlier after taking $352,995 in non-cash losses for an investment in two retirement community limited partnerships. President Terry Trexler said mobile-home shipments in Florida for November 2009 through July 2010 were up 18% from the same period the year before.
PALATKA — Trustees at 52-year-old St. Johns River Community College voted to change the name of the school to St. Johns River State College. St. Johns became accredited this year to offer bachelor's degrees in early-childhood education and organizational management. It
will begin doing so in January.