Local leaders credit regionalism for bringing home 500 Time Warner jobs to Tampa

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Governor Rick Scott made the announcement in Tallahassee today, joined by a TimeWarner official, with Hillsborough County Commission Chairman Al Higginbotham and Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation Chair Rhea Law standing right besides them.


At this time it's unknown where the actual site for the center will be located, other than it will be somewhere in Tampa, Temple Terrace, or some part of unincorporated Hillsborough County. TimeWarner says they considered 59 locations for the site, with the final decision coming down to Georgia, New York or Florida.


TimeWarner currently has 50 employees working in Tampa, and this sentence included in Sanders' story should not be overlooked: "The shared resource center will reduce jobs that have repeated functions throughout the company."


So maybe it's 450 jobs coming to the area?


Today's announcement rips the veil of secrecy that both the Tampa City Council and Hillsborough County local governments in recent weeks when they were asked to approve tax incentives for an unknown company promising 500 jobs. The final package includes $1.5 million in Qualified Target Industry funds — tax refunds for every new job created, including $1.2 million from the state and $300,000 from local community matches


In a joint statement sent out by the EDC, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Higginbotham, and Temple Terrace Mayor Joe Affronti, the stakeholders prided themselves on working together for the common cause:


"We realized early on that we needed to collaborate in order to accommodate the company’s needs and timeline, so we each agreed to pursue approval of local incentives even though one or more of us will be eliminated and will therefore end up not having to participate in the incentives programs. The impact of TimeWarner’s decision on our local economy will be felt throughout our area and we will all benefit from the company’s decision. This is a banner day for our residents and workforce. We look forward to demonstrating our appreciation by collectively offering TW Business Services a warm welcome and helping them become rapidly established here.”

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For decades now, Tampa has been known as being, among other things, the business home for call centers. You remember, those low paying jobs that Americans used to get before they were outsourced to India?

Time Warner was one of leading businesses bringing such jobs to the Tampa area, and it was announced today that the corporation intends to bring in 500 jobs over the next five years for a new shared resource center in Hillsborough County, beginning a year from now with about 100 employees.

The St. Pete Times Katie Sanders reports that those jobs will "mainly be in human resources and information technology, with most salaries starting 'north of $50,000.'"

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