Economic yearbook 2010
Big Bend Yearbook 2010
Battling to recover from last year's layoffs.
While the three-county Tallahassee metro area lost 4,000 jobs last year, unemployment is low compared to the state overall. Among the reasons: The comparatively stable employment base provided by state government and education and university research that has translated into innovative startups, says Julie Harrington, director of Florida State University’s Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis.
There’s some expansion in the manufacturing sector, but construction is still off dramatically, says Kim Williams, chairman of the Economic Development Council of Tallahassee/Leon County and president of Marpan Supply. Danfoss Turbocor, which makes air-conditioning compressors, is “cautiously optimistic’’ for the coming year, says Doug Bishop, vice president for sales and marketing. “Because of the length of time for construction projects in an economic downturn, we’re among the last to be affected and last to turn around as well.’’
Greg Dudley [Photo: Jeffrey Camp]
» “We formed to serve the Florida biotech industry; it’s new and growing rapidly,’’ says Greg Dudley, an associate professor of organic chemistry at Florida State University. Florida Custom Synthesis, the year-old company he founded, manufactures organic compounds, active ingredients for future pharmaceuticals. Currently at three employees, it could begin expanding and hiring when it moves this spring into its permanent space in a technology incubator being built by FSU.
Business to Watch
» Syn-Tech Systems, which makes fueling systems and accessories, realized sales increases of 18% in 2008 and 27% in 2009. Last year it created 25 positions; it hired 10 more employees this January, for a total of 171. This year’s growth is expected to be similar to 2009’s. “These increases result from the fact our systems pay for themselves through direct cost savings in providing management of petroleum products, coupled with the fact that prices for these products (diesel fuel, unleaded gasoline and home heating oil) remain high,’’ says CEO Doug Dunlap.
» Global CNC Solutions of Tallahassee, which makes metal and plastic parts for industries, laboratories and the military, needs five more employees in addition to 12 already on staff. Supporting growth: Diversification, plus existing customers who are in fields not affected by the recession.
» Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare hired 214 from November to February and 974 during all of 2009. Its greatest needs continue to be for registered nurses, licensed healthcare professionals, clinical support and service workers.