Pinellas County Business News
January, 2017
Tampa Bay Export Alliance Trade Mission to the Dominican Republic P rojects $6.8 Million in Export Sales for Local Companies
The Tampa Bay Export Alliance (TBEA), a cooperative effort of Pinellas County Economic Development, the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation and the Pasco Economic Development Council, announced that the companies participating in December's trade mission to the Dominican Republic have projected future sales of approximately $6.8 million as a result of the trip.

Thirteen local companies participated in the U.S. Commercial Service's Gold Key Service (GKS) Matchmaker program, which provided customized one-on-one meetings with companies in the Dominican Republic. These Gold Key companies conducted approximately 140 meetings with potential customers that resulted in the nearly $6.8 million in actual and expected export sales. 
Feb. 24: Business of Biotech
Network with professionals from across the science, business and biotechnology spectrums and get in-depth looks into new and innovative fields with breakout sessions on nanoparticles, successful partnerships, the clinical trials network, and patent strategies. Click here to learn more and register.

Export Trade Mission to Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 23-27.
Opportunity for Pinellas Companies
With a population of 41.5 million people and a GDP of approximately $609 billion, Argentina offers excellent opportunities for Pinellas companies. Argentina is Florida's fourth largest export destination with an estimated $3.3 billion worth of exports.  Due to recent changes in political leadership, the country has adopted a pro-business approach, and new legislation allows Argentine importers an easier process to buy foreign goods.  This Enterprise Florida Export Sales Mission, supported by Pinellas County Economic Development, will provide local companies with the U.S. Commercial Service's Gold Key Service (GKS) Matchmaker program of customized one-on-one meetings with potential customers and partners in Argentina.  Visit for more information.  Contact Brent Barkway at (727) 464-7411 or to discuss this trade mission and opportunities for your company.

Explore the new Florida Virtual Entrepreneur Center
The statewide online directory of agencies has been revamped to provide an improved browsing experience for all stages of entrepreneurship. Discover resources to assist you in developing a business idea, formulating an action plan, launching a start-up, and growing and optimizing an existing small business. Additionally, scroll down the portal to read start-up success stories from entrepreneurs located in Pinellas County.

Jan. 11, 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: FDOT Construction Career Fair, Clearwater
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) OnBoard4Jobs Construction Careers program helps jobseekers gain employment on roadway construction projects with local contractors. This includes hiring workers for On-the-Job Training programs. The program's focus is to recruit a viable construction workforce and increase the number of minorities, females and veterans on federal and state-funded roadway construction contracts. The program provides opportunities to unemployed adults, as well as graduating high school seniors, to secure jobs with industry leading contractors. Learn more and register for the Pinellas career fair at .

CareerSource Pinellas Receives $250K Grant from The Able Trust
A quarter-million dollars was donated by The Able Trust to CareerSource Pinellas d.b.a The Science Center for the Abilities Training Initiative program, which provides training and certifications to help individuals with disabilities gain employment in the St. Petersburg/Tampa Bay region.
The Science Center provides pre-vocational training and work experience opportunities for in-demand occupations such as construction, manufacturing and information technology. "Our goal is to train people, while helping them overcome barriers," said Edward Peachey, President & CEO, CareerSource Pinellas.
"There's just a ton of talent out there," said Susanne Homant, President & CEO of the Able Trust. "The biggest barrier people with disabilities have to overcome is misperceptions in the business community of what their capabilities are."

Learn more about the Abilities Training Initiative at

Pinellas Education Foundation Ranks First in National Study of
K-12 Education Foundations
The nation's only annual study and ranking of K-12 education foundations -- "Stepping Up: The Nation's Top K-12 Education Foundations 2016" -- has ranked Pinellas Education Foundation first in the nation, making 2016 the third consecutive year the foundation has been in the nation's top spot.  To view the study, visit
"Achieving this honor is a testament to the strength of our board, committees and staff and a reflection of the strong relationships we have built with Pinellas County Schools and our business and community partners," Chairman of the Foundation Gary Regoli stated. "When we work together, we're able to create and sustain innovative programs and initiatives that positively impact all of our students and teachers every year."

Learn more about the Pinellas Education Foundation at

Pinellas News

Palm Harbor logistics firm plans 50 percent staff increase
(Tampa Bay Business Journal)

Caribbean business trip nets nearly $7M in sales
(Business Observer)

Competing metros: Tampa Bay rebounds to best performance in decade in Milken Institute rankings
(Tampa Bay Times)

White House selects Tampa Bay as new TechHire community
(Tampa Bay Business Journal)

Tampa Bay Area: Most anticipated development projects in 2017
(83 Degrees)

From free marketers to millennial ambassadors: Here are the Tampa Bay business people to watch in 2017
(Tampa Bay Times)

Mixed-use development project well under way at former Nielsen site in Dunedin
(Tampa Bay Times)

Here's what the partners behind Cassis in downtown St. Pete are planning for retail spaces in ONE and Bliss
(Tampa Bay Business Journal)

Two apartments projects planned for Gandy area, downtown St. Pete
(Tampa Bay Times)

Jabil's positioning for iPhone 8 production wins love from analysts
(Tampa Bay Business Journal)

New effort underway to keep and create manufacturing jobs in Florida
(ABC Action News)

Young companies get a boost from USF
(Tampa Bay Business Journal)

What's the state of St. Petersburg's economy? Despite some hurdles, it's hard not to celebrate the boom
(Tampa Bay Times)

In This Issue
Quick Links
Business Workshops
The Florida Small Business Development Center at Pinellas County Economic Development hosts a number of business workshops each month. Find a full schedule of upcoming workshops at

Pinellas County Economic Development | 727-464-7332 | |
13805 58th Street N.
Suite 1-200
Clearwater, FL 33760