Engines of Job Growth Purr in Manatee


Employment prospects continue to brighten in Southwest Florida as job generation recently showed signs of picking up further in Ellenton and Port Manatee, promising to generate further momentum to the region’s resurgent housing sector.

Added steam on the labor front in Manatee County looms as live shows and events producer Feld Entertainment announced in July 2015 that it is moving its motor sports division to Ellenton. This move, in the process, will create 200 additional jobs over the next five years. The company has already brought 408 new positions to the county following the relocation of its global headquarters here in 2013.

Feld Motor Sports, which is moving from Aurora, IL, is popular for its shows of scintillating high-speed motorcycles and monster trucks in action accompanied with dazzling pyrotechnics. Other world-renowned Feld productions include, Disney On Ice, Disney Live! And Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Luring locators

Engines of Job Growth Purr in Manatee

The juicy incentives on the county and state levels that are being offered to businesses locators in Manatee and Florida prompted Feld Entertainment to transfer its operations to the Sunshine State. Relocating its motor sports division to Ellenton qualifies the company for a total of $2 million state and county performance-based incentives.

To earn these incentives Feld must add 200 new jobs within the next five years. The jobs created must have an average wage of $72,000 or twice the average wage in Manatee County. If added office space is built for its motor sports unit, Feld Entertainment may also qualify for the county transportation impact fee refund.

The company has earned the reputation of being a growth engine for well-paying jobs in Ellenton. It has, in fact, delivered ahead of schedule and exceeded the wages and jobs requirements under the incentives that Feld Entertainment received when it moved its global headquarters to Manatee in 2013.

Here comes the Spanish

Big moves can likewise be expected to materialize soon at Port Manatee as a result of a business development mission team that the Manatee and Sarasota counties sent to Catalonia, Spain, a few months ago. Eight Spanish companies have been reported as committing to either put office staff into the into the port’s Intermodal Center or to use the center as a virtual office prior to establishing manufacturing facilities and product distribution in the United States.

The first office occupants from these Spanish companies are expected to be at the port before the end of 2015. These firms setting up shop at Port Manatee include: renewable energy company Recialum; renewables engineering firm Optima Renovables; electric bicycle builder Oto Cycles; tire recycling company Foix-Fores; perfumery Bejar Signature; e-learning firm Aditio+; media company Time Out; and translation firm Translationary.

A new tenant, Manatee Ship Repair and Fabrication LLC, has also been added recently to Port Manatee. Creating eight new jobs, the company’s entry has been described as an ideal complement to the full-service port. The new tenant has a combined experience of over 80 years in servicing a full spectrum of commercial vessels for such requirements as at-berth topside ship repairs, pipe fabrication and repairs, and structural fabrication.