Here’s what’s driving growth — and 150 new jobs — at this Tampa IT firm

February 8, 2017

Margie Manning | Tampa Bay Business Journal

ReliaQuest, a Tampa company that provides IT security for its clients, is adding at least 150 jobs in 2017.

The new jobs are in addition to the more than 100 jobs the firms added in 2016.

ReliaQuest is one of several companies firming up the technology sector in the Tampa Bay area. While entrepreneurs historically have been concerned there’s a lack of funding and talent here, ReliaQuest has overcome both hurdles.

The company received a $30 million growth equity commitment from FTV Capital last year. Brian Murphy, ReliaQuest CEO, said at the time that the company would use the funding for research and development of technology that will be needed by its clients three to five years from now.

The new jobs appear to be designed to fulfill that goal. They will allow the company to introduce advanced monitoring solutions and build out a new research and development arm of the company, dubbed the RQ Innovation Team, a press release said.

“Tampa has become a destination for and generator of high-tech jobs, and ReliaQuest is a symbol of the kind of energy that Tampa has today as it continues attracting new employers and stimulating growth,” said Jeff Vinik, owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning and a key player behind a planned $3 billion development in downtown Tampa.

ReliaQuest qualified for up to $330,000 in state and local incentives under the Qualified Target Industries program in fiscal year 2014-15, saying it would create 55 jobs with an annual average wage of $63,669. The company said it exceeded that projection by almost double.

Vinik and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn were on hand for the jobs announcements at ReliaQuest’s new headquarters at 777 South Harbour Island Blvd.

The Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. helped ReliaQuest with connections to the city of Tampa for expedited permitting and CareerSource Florida for Florida Flex training grants. About 30 percent of ReliaQuest’s current workforce are veterans, and the company is applying for a Veterans Florida Business Training Grant.

Job listings are on the company’s career website.