Johnson & Johnson to bring 500 jobs to Tampa

September 18, 2015

Jerome Stockfish | Tampa Tribune
Global health care giant Johnson & Johnson will open a new North American shared services headquarters in Tampa, creating 500 jobs over the next three years with a capital investment of $23.5 million into the region.
A major taxpayer-funded incentive package helped lure the New Brunswick, N.J.-based company to establish the operation in the first five floors of six-story Hidden River Corporate Center One near Interstate 75 and Fletcher Avenue. It will likely include roles such as human resources, accounting, information technology and other back-office jobs.
“We currently have a strong presence in Florida and this new site will continue to build on the successes that our businesses have already achieved across the state,” said Erin Champlin, vice president of Johnson & Johnson Global Services, in an announcement of the move. “We look forward to increasing our presence in the state and within the Tampa community.”
In March, the Hillsborough county commissioners and the Tampa City Council approved a combined local incentive package of $1.5 million. That was pooled with a commitment of $4.9 million from the state through the Quick Action Closing Fund program for a $6.4 million overall incentive offer.
The incentives are performance-based, meaning funds are only paid after the jobs are created at a minimum average annual wage of $75,000.
A statement from the governor’s office touted Florida’s right-to-work status, zero personal income tax and low corporate tax rates as advantages in corporate recruitment. Gov. Rick Scott also boasted about a pro-growth business climate with fewer roadblocks and governmental regulations.
“It’s exciting that Johnson & Johnson chose Florida for its North America shared services headquarters over other states,” Scott said. “I look forward to their continued success in Tampa and across the state.”
A company spokesman declined to say what other cities or states were in the running for the relocation.
Ernie Knewitz of Johnson & Johnson said the Tampa move adds to an already significant footprint for the company in Florida. Its Vistakon eye care business is based in Jacksonville and its surgical, consumer and pharmacy businesses are in South Florida, which serves as a hub for Latin America.
“We think Florida is an attractive state. People definitely want to live there,” said Knewitz, the company’s vice president for global media relations. “And particularly in Tampa, we think there’s a strong talent pool in the area. We found the site to be very attractive.”
Economic development officials in the spring said they were working on a $9.1 million deal that would yield 700 jobs. Rick Homans, president and chief executive of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp., said the deal announced Thursday represented the first phase of Johnson & Johnson’s plans. A second phase of growth will be dealt with separately, he said.
“This lands Johnson & Johnson in our market with both feet at a very high level, and it gives the company a chance to find out what a remarkable place this is to do business,” Homans said. “We hope that we will see all kinds of growth from Johnson & Johnson in the years ahead.”
Johnson & Johnson is one of the most highly recognized brand names in the world. Its consumer health care products include its eponymous baby shampoo and lotion, Band-Aid adhesive bandages, Listerine mouthwash and Tylenol pain reliever.
“Tampa offers everything Johnson & Johnson needs to attract and retain the best talent for their new North American shared services headquarters,” Mayor Bob Buckhorn said in the announcement. “Our city has become a magnet for well-educated millennials, and our lifestyle and business climate can’t be beat. Johnson & Johnson made the right choice in choosing Tampa, and we look forward to supporting their growth here for decades to come.”
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