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Ceridian hiring up to 220 in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — Ceridian Corp. will add up to 220 high-wage jobs over the next year in its St. Petersburg operations, a hiring spurt sweetened by a tax incentive package worth up to $1.9 million.

Ceridian, which manages human resources, payroll and benefits for more than 110,000 clients worldwide, is based in Minneapolis.

St. Petersburg, however, has long been one of its key markets, tied largely to its purchase of the former HR company ABR Information Services in 1999. In 2000, Ceridian moved into a new 400,000-square-foot headquarters in St. Petersburg to house its benefits services division, where it now employs about 1,200.

"We've been growing our company here in St. Petersburg since 1996," said Charles Daye, senior vice president of human resources with Ceridian.

"We really didn't want to go elsewhere to continue our growth, and we're delighted to have some options that make expanding here cost-effective."

Though the Tampa Bay area's unemployment rate is still in troubled territory at 12 percent, there have been fewer layoffs compared with the recession's peak, along with a string of recent anecdotes about hiring. Within the last month: Tampa ad agency Triad Retail Media said it is adding 50 more workers; financial services firm USAA began hiring 160 more permanent positions and 60 seasonal workers at its Tampa campus; and Home Depot said it will hire 900 seasonal employees in the area.

In the latest case, Ceridian has agreed to pay a higher-than-average salary for new hires and make $1.5 million worth of capital improvements on its St. Petersburg campus in order to qualify for a tax refund under the state's Qualified Targeted Industry program. The average annual wages for newly created jobs will be $45,188, or at least 115 percent of the average Pinellas County wage of $39,294.

Because of its location, the company also qualifies for a bonus refund for adding jobs in a designated brownfield area and for expanding within a designated enterprise zone.

If it creates all 220 jobs pledged, it will be eligible to receive refunds totaling $1.87 million, or $8,500 per job.

"Job creation is paramount to our economic future," County Commission chairwoman Susan Latvala said in a statement. "I'm delighted to help a longtime local company increase its presence in Pinellas and bring new, high-paying jobs to our area."

New hires will support Ceridian's Comdata business as well as human resource management solutions. Comdata handles credit and payment transactions for customers in the transportation industry, and the human resource management unit provides businesses with payroll processing, benefits administration, recruiting and work force management.

To search for job openings, go to ceridian.com and then click on Careers under the "Want to learn more?'' box at the bottom of the page. As of Monday, there were 29 available positions posted. Ceridian spokesman Cary Griffith said additional openings would be posted throughout the year.

Jeff Harrington can be reached at jharrington@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8242.

Ceridian hiring up to 220 in St. Petersburg 02/28/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 7:08am]
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