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Covidien picks Hillsborough County for new manufacturing facility, creating up to 165 jobs

Hillsborough County isn't yet ready to close the books on a happy and hectic year of job announcements.

Covidien, a $10 billion health care company based in Massachusetts, said it is opening a medical device manufacturing facility in Hillsborough, creating up to 165 new jobs.

Under the project detailed Thursday, Covidien pledged an $18 million capital investment by 2017.

"Covidien's decision to expand their medical device manufacturing footprint in the state is great news for Florida families," Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement. "After our elimination of the sales tax on manufacturing equipment, job-creating businesses like Covidien are choosing Florida to expand and grow."

Covidien is leasing temporary space in Sabal Park, with plans to move into a new 62,200-square-foot facility in Riverview by mid 2014.

Through the years Covidien has pioneered a number of medical advances, including pulse oximetry, electrosurgery, surgical stapling, laparoscopic instrumentation and embolization devices.

The company said it chose Tampa Bay in part because of its strong workforce pipeline and the regional business climate.

Covidien committed to paying a minimum average wage of $41,375 and was approved to receive government incentives of $5,000 per job, or a total allocation of $825,000 under the state's Qualified Target Industry program.

The incentives — which include $165,000 from Hillsborough County and $660,000 from the state — would be doled out over eight years. The funds would only be paid after the jobs are created at the promised wages.

Interested candidates can get more details through Covidien's careers center at covidien.com.

Economic development officials have long been pitching Florida as a growing hub for the life sciences industry. Over the past decade, the state has added nearly 1,000 biotech, pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

Gray Swoope, president and CEO of Enterprise Florida, said Covidien's choice "validates Florida's position as a leader in life sciences and manufacturing."

It also is the latest validation that corporate giants are attracted to Hillsborough County's workforce.

Earlier this month, financial services giant USAA said it will add up to 1,215 jobs by 2019 and build a 420,000-square-foot facility in Brandon to accommodate its expansion. That came on the heels of HealthPlan Services' pledge to add 1,000 jobs in Tampa over five years and Amazon's deal to build warehouses in Ruskin and Lakeland, which will add about 1,000 jobs.

Also in the works: Bristol-Myers Squibb is adding 579 jobs by 2017; Time Warner plans to create 500 jobs by 2016 ; Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. is adding 255 jobs at its campus by 2016 ; and Morgan Stanley is adding 110 jobs this year.

As of August, Tampa Bay ranked as the biggest job generator among Florida metros. Job creation statistics statewide for September and October are being released today.

Covidien picks Hillsborough County for new manufacturing facility, creating up to 165 jobs 11/21/13 [Last modified: Thursday, November 21, 2013 7:58pm]

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