Gov. Rick Scott joined Bristol-Myers Squibb Thursday at the grand opening of its North America Capability Center in Tampa.
“We want a state with dynamic, growing industries that will create jobs and careers for generations to come,” Scott said in a statement from his office. “Today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating 579 new jobs at Bristol-Myers Squibb is a great step in that direction. With Bristol Myers Squibb’s expansion to Florida, over the next three years, 579 more Florida families will have the opportunity to live their version of the American Dream right here in the Sunshine State.”
The project was made possible through partnerships between Enterprise Florida, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, Tampa Bay Partnership, Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, Workforce Florida, Inc. and the Department of Economic Opportunity, according to the statement.
“As Bristol-Myers Squibb continues its success as a BioPharma leader, we are excited to celebrate the opening of our newest, state-of-the-art center here in Tampa,” Paul
von Autenried, senior vice president of Enterprise Services and chief information officer for Bristol-Myers Squibb, said in the statement. “With the help of our new colleagues in Tampa, we look forward to further building our capabilities and expertise to support our company’s mission to deliver innovative medicines to patients with serious disease in an increasingly complex and competitive industry.”
The statement also said:
The North America Capability Center occupies about half of a four-story, 130,000-square-foot building in Mainsail Village near Tampa International Airport. The office space design is inspired by the company’s cultural focus on innovation and continuous improvement. The center’s open floor plan features meeting rooms and gathering spaces including special zones designed to encourage creativity and collaboration.
Last July, Bristol-Myers Squibb announced plans to bring 579 highly skilled positions to the Tampa Bay region by 2017 – most of them filled by people living in the Tampa Bay area. Knowledge workers in information technology, marketing services, business and finance services, and other functions supporting the company’s biopharmaceutical business in the United States are already working at the center and additional employees will be hired throughout 2014.
The project is a huge boost to the Hillsborough area and Florida’s life sciences industry. Florida already ranks second among states for Food Drug Administration registered medical device manufacturing facilities, third for pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing businesses, and sixth for bioscience employment and higher education degrees awarded, with nine medical schools spanning the state.
The company is already making a difference in the community by donating $50,000 to the Hillsborough Education Foundation and Hillsborough Public Schools. The gift will improve Middleton High School’s science laboratories, further develop its STEM curriculum and enhance teacher professional development. Middleton prepares students in grades 9-12 from across Hillsborough County for careers in medicine, health care and scientific research.
“Science is at the core of nearly everything we do at Bristol-Myers Squibb,” von Autenried said. “As a leading BioPharma company, we are committed to making the study of science and technology exciting for young learners who might help us discover the miracle cures of tomorrow. Our gift will help Hillsborough County students who are pursuing careers in the biomedical sciences more effectively integrate and apply what they learn and more deeply explore their interests in the sciences and technology.”