by Diane Sears
Updated 12 months ago
As part of an almost $11-million incentives package, Palm Coast Data has promised to add 700 jobs over the next three years.
[Photo: Daytona Beach News-Journal/ David Masse]
State, county and city economic development officials went all out when they learned that the parent company of magazine fulfillment firm Palm Coast Data, which operates a 1,000-employee facility in Palm Coast, wanted to consolidate its nationwide operations in one location.
Ultimately, they put together an incentives package totaling $10.7 million that will keep Palm Coast Data in Flagler County. The company handles magazine subscriptions, direct mail and association memberships for more than 300 publishers and associations, including Smithsonian, U.S. News & World Report, Florida Trend, the National Rifle Association and the Sierra Club. As part of the deal, it will add as many as 700 jobs in the next three years. Jobs at the company’s Palm Coast facility pay $18,000 to $60,000.
The move is a big win in an area where unemployment is 11% and residents responding to a 2007 survey rated the city 14 on a scale of 100 for job opportunities, with a 100 rank being excellent.
Palm Coast Data President John Meneough cites Flagler County’s abundant workforce as a primary factor in the company’s decision. The city, incorporated in 1999, has grown from 32,732 residents in 2000 to 71,383 in 2007. The Wall Street Journal lists the city as the fourth-fastest-growing “micropolis” in the Southeast.
Immediately after the company’s announcement, the Center for Business Excellence in Flagler hosted a series of job fairs for Palm Coast Data, bringing in more than 1,000 applicants in three days. The expansion is expected to spin off 793 additional jobs in the community and generate direct and indirect economic input of up to $174.6 million annually, Enterprise Flagler estimates.
Says Ira Corliss, the city’s economic development coordinator: “It would have been traumatic, a financial disaster, if we had been unable to retain the 1,000 jobs.”