» Wireless communications company Interop Technologies plans to add 15 jobs over the next year. Interop recently received a commitment for $75,000 in incentives from Lee County.
» Chico’s FAS has accused two former employees and clothing retailer Cache Inc. of stealing trade secrets. According to a suit Chico’s filed in New York, the dispute involves garments included in Cache’s spring and summer collections.
» The Hernando County Tourist Development Council has targeted $20,000 to create a Florida Blueberry Festival, which officials hope will start in 2012 and become an annual event in Brooksville.
MANATEE / SRASOTA COUNTIES
» MyUS.com is leaving Manatee County for a larger location in Sarasota County. The internet shipping company, which employs 60, also plans to add up to 165 jobs during the next five years.
» WilsonMiller, a planning and engineering firm with 265 employees statewide, is being purchased by Stantec, a Canada-based design company.
» Headphone-maker Sleek Audio will shift the manufacturing operations it had in China back to Manatee County, where the company expects to add 10 to 15 jobs within the next year.
» Oscor, which makes pacemaker components, will get $210,000 in state and Pinellas County tax breaks if it adds 70 manufacturing jobs within four years.
» A 15-story condo overlooking Sarasota Bay was deemed unsafe after a large crack was discovered on the fourth floor. Residents of the 117-unit Dolphin Tower were evacuated and won’t be allowed back until the 35-year-old tower is repaired, which could take six months.
» All Children’s Hospital, which recently moved into a new $400-million facility, will join Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Health System. The deal provides financial stability for the St. Petersburg hospital and allows it to expand its research efforts. It is Johns Hopkins’ first expansion outside of Maryland. The deal is expected to be finalized by the end of the year.
» Officials expect a new Social Security hearing office in St. Petersburg to shorten wait times and reduce the workload at the Social Security hearing office in Tampa. The new facility brings 65 jobs downtown.
» British engineering company WS Atkins is buying PBSJ for $280 million. PBSJ has more than 3,500 employees and about $800 million in revenue. The engineering and construction company is No. 26 on Florida Trend’s list of biggest Florida-based private companies. Chairman and CEO Robert Paulsen will remain in charge of PBSJ.
» Consulting company Celestar is among a team of 11 contractors that won a multi-award contract from the Department of Defense that could amount to as much as $6.6 billion over the next five years. Celestar will provide technical assessments to improve the department’s technology acquisition processes.
» Cup maker Turvis Tumbler plans to hire 80 employees this year and add a 40,700-sq.-ft. building to its Venice facility. The new jobs will bring the company’s employee count to 400.