TAMPA — Tampa-based technology services company Tribridge plans to add up to 200 local jobs, nearly doubling its Tampa workforce by 2016 with the assistance of $1 million in government subsidies.
"Based on our projected growth, we need lots of people," Tribridge chairman and CEO Tony DiBenedetto said Wednesday.
Tribridge employs 600 nationwide, with more than 240 working at two locations in the West Shore business district. Locally, salaries average in the upper $80,000s.
Most of the new jobs are expected to come in two areas.
The first is cloud computing, a Tribridge division that has grown by more than 100 percent a year for three years. It has clients in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe, but everyone in the division is in the Tampa Bay area.
The second is what Tribridge calls "human capital management," a suite of automated, cloud-based personnel services such as recruiting, corporate training and performance management.
Founded in 1998, Tribridge has 3,750 clients. Last fall, Inc. magazine ranked the company No. 55 on its list of the 100 leading job creators in the United States. Inc. also ranked Tribridge No. 3 among Florida companies for job creation and No. 3 in the IT services industry.
"We're creating a brand in the world that Tampa is a high-tech place," DiBenedetto said.
Mayor Bob Buckhorn said companies like Tribridge — "a Tampa success story" — are helping to wean the bay area from its historic dependence on real estate and construction.
"This is how we create our destiny," Buckhorn said. "We don't create our destiny by building more subdivisions."
To facilitate the expansion, the state is providing Tribridge with $800,000 in incentives, with another $200,000 coming from Hillsborough County and the city of Tampa.
The incentives are to be paid only after the creation of jobs with the promised salaries.
Tribridge committed to paying, on average, at least $48,813 a year, which is 115 percent of Florida's average annual wage, but the company says the 200 new jobs are expected to pay well above that.
Forty of the new hires are expected this year, with 70 in 2015 and 90 in 2016, according to the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. The hiring is expected to drive a $1.8 million investment in IT hardware and facilities.
There's a talent gap in high-growth fields like IT, DiBenedetto said, and one way to help fill it is to work with local and state officials.
Without their help, he said, "we would have done less jobs, and we certainly would have done less jobs here."