May 8, 2021

Economic yearbook 2009

Southeast Fla. Yearbook 2009

No despair -- just concern over access to capital.

Mike Vogel | 4/1/2009

“Overall, I think people are optimistic that we will see improvement in the economy sooner rather than later.” — Paula Pearson, executive vice president, SunTrust Bank, South Florida

Fort Lauderdale / Broward County

See population, income and job statistics from this region.
Recently, the Broward Alliance, Broward’s economic development group, surveyed its clients about the economy. The despair you would expect wasn’t in evidence. “The thing we’re hearing is access to capital,” says James P. Tarlton, the alliance’s CEO. Tarlton says recruitment of companies — its project pipeline — is about at pre-recession levels though companies are taking longer to make decisions. Business heads, though, aren’t oblivious to a 7.7% unemployment rate, the fewest housing starts in more than a decade and layoffs at Motorola, major Coral Springs employer Alliance Entertainment and homegrown software success Citrix. The unemployed and those looking to boost their skills are giving Broward’s higher-ed engine — including for-profits Keiser, Kaplan and Strayer along with non-profits Nova Southeastern, Florida Atlantic University and Broward College — lots of business. A long-delayed project, now scheduled for completion by 2016, to widen and lengthen the south runway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport will be an important long-term economic contributor.
Paula Pearson
“The Boca Raton market seems to have fared better than other communities, but there are still signs of a weak economy,“ says SunTrust’s Paula Pearson. [Photo: Eileen Escarda]

Businesses to Watch

Who's Hiring
» Campus Management in Boca Raton is adding 60 jobs in software development, support and other fields.
» New York-based Cambridge Security Services in Fort Lauderdale, a new entrant in the market, plans to hire 30 to add to its first 20 and grow to 500 within five years, says Regional Vice President Marco Lopez.
» Tran Construction of Miami will hire 227 to construct a $12.3-million, 41-acre container terminal at Port Everglades. It becomes the third major port project begun in the last year following a petroleum terminal and a $75-million passenger terminal to handle Royal Caribbean’s two Oasis-class ships, the largest in the world. When the new cargo terminal is finished in 2010, 254 will work there.
» PartsBase in Boca Raton, an online aviation marketplace, plans to hire 60, at an average salary of $70,000, to its staff of 75.
» Wafer World in West Palm Beach, a silicon wafer maker, plans to add 11 jobs — machine operators, engineers, mechanics and salespeople — paying an average salary of $45,000. It currently employs 19.
» SV Microwave in West Palm Beach will hire 12 over two years at an average salary of more than $46,000.
» Kaplan Higher Education, which bases its executive offices in Fort Lauderdale, has 85 openings for academic, finance, marketing, technology and operations jobs.
» Home Diagnostics in Fort Lauderdale, maker of the True line of co-branded glucose monitoring devices sold at Walgreens, CVS and other retailers, plans to invest $16 million to $18 million to expand its manufacturing by the second quarter of 2010. CFO Ron Rubin says the company will hire engineers, machine operators and mechanics this year but hasn’t determined how many. Home Diagnostics employs more than 400 of its 500 employees in Broward.

» The Broward Alliance says a manufacturing company — which it has not identified — already in the county will add 335 jobs in the next two years, taking an additional 117,000 square feet of office and manufacturing space.

People to Watch

» Ray Ferrero Jr., president of Nova Southeastern University and chairman of the Broward Alliance, the local economic development group, hopes to break ground this year on the $750-million first phase (residential, retail and academic space) of Nova’s “academical village.” The university just completed two other major building projects. Meanwhile, enrollment is up, and Nova’s adding faculty “in some programs fairly substantially.” While professing to be as “cautious and wary” as everyone else, he also says, “everything as far as we’re concerned is looking very positive.” He’s also bullish on the progress of a Broward Alliance initiative to work through local CEOs to lure jobs to the area and retain existing employers.That planning is “now bearing fruition.” Both Nova and the alliance will be ready when the economy turns better, Ferrero says.

Tags: Southeast

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