Florida Gov. Rick Scott (middle) gives instructions on the proper groundbreaking form flanked by (L to R:) Mark Begor, President and CEO of G.E. Energy Management, Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos, Scott, Pinellas County Commissioner Norm Roche and State Rep. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater, during the groundbreaking ceremony for GE Energy Management’s Manufacturing Center of Excellence in Clearwater Thursday 7/24/14. The ceremony was held inside out of the rain and box of dirt was used for the occassion. The expansion will create 250 new jobs in Pinellas County.JIM DAMASKE | Times

General Electric breaks ground on new Clearwater manufacturing center

JIM DAMASKE | Times Florida Gov. Rick Scott, center, is joined Thursday by, from left, General Electric energy management president and CEO Mark Begor, Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos, Pinellas County Commissioner Norm Roche and state Rep. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater, at a groundbreaking for the company's new Manufact …


Special report: Tampa Bay's Top 100 Workplaces

Want to know what makes a great company? More than 30,000 local employees told us the secrets. Meet some of the workers and the three winners. They are all a part of the Tampa Bay's Top 100 Workplaces.

  1. Auto title lender TMX Finance skirts Florida's ban on high-interest loans


    When Florida lawmakers banned high-interest car title loans in 2000, then-Gov. Jeb Bush proclaimed that the new law would protect Floridians from lenders "who prey on the desperate."

    This InstaLoan in Brandon is one of 1,470 TMX stores in 18 states. A typical Florida contract carries an effective annual rate of 144 percent.
  2. Hotel executive calls out Tampa's 'deplorable, embarrassing' taxicabs


    TAMPA — Hotel developer Lou Plasencia flies all over the nation from Tampa International Airport. When he steps into a taxi, that's one of his first impressions of the city he's visiting.

    Two companies, Yellow Cab of Tampa and United Cab Co. of Tampa, pay for the right to serve TIA. No others operate there.
  3. American craft brewers setting up shop overseas


    RICHMOND, Va. — Helping to quench a growing thirst for American craft beer overseas, some of the United States' largest craft breweries are setting up shop in Europe, challenging the very beers that inspired them on their home turfs.

    Stone Brewing Co. CEO and co-founder Greg Koch, center, toasts the crowd last Saturday after announcing the Escondido, Calif., company’s plan to build a brewery and bistro in Berlin.
  4. Hillsborough hotel market on track for pre-recession highs


    TAMPA — The Hillsborough County lodging industry appears to be headed for a record year in 2014.

    Santiago Corrada, CEO of Visit Tampa Bay, said bay area tourism officials have worked better together.
  5. Tampa Bay: Better than most, still behind many for 'best' business metro area

    Economic Development

    Defying the economic success of western cities, Raleigh, N.C., ranked first this year in Forbes' list of the 200 "Best Places for Business and Careers."

  6. The Daily Drivers: 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited AWD


    When Toyota introduced the Highlander in 2001, it was one of the first true "crossovers," and the midsize SUV has had a long and successful run. For 2014, the Highlander has been redesigned with a bolder look and higher-quality cabin. Our tester was the hybrid version, which gave us a case of sticker shock for a …

    The storage tray has a pass-through for the gadget’s power cord, which plugs in below.
  7. Apple faces class-action lawsuit from workers over pay


    A judge's ruling this week raises the stakes in a lawsuit against Apple that accuses the tech giant of failing to provide its hourly workers with timely meal and rest breaks without compensating them with an extra hour's pay.

  8. Book advises how to retire sooner, happier

    Working Life

    In 2012, there were 43.1 million Americans 65 and older. By 2050, that number is expected to reach 83.7 million, according to two recent reports from the U.S. Census Bureau. As you probably know, most of those people will be baby boomers — born between 1946 and 1964 — whose youngest members are now turning …

  9. My First Car: Xxxxx


    '66 Triumph TR-4A

    In the summer of 1965, I walked the lot of the Triumph dealership on Florida Avenue almost every day. By the fall, I finally wore down my dad (and the salesman) and got the one I had my eye on. I loved driving it across the Gandy Bridge to St. Petersburg Junior College, with …

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  10. Career Q&A: Talk to HR about layoff scenario

    Working Life

    Q: Everyone knows that our company is slowly going under. Several division heads have been ousted, and massive layoffs have occurred. But while most people are worried about losing their jobs, I would actually like to be laid off.