PINELLAS COUNTY, FL (Jan. 6, 2011) Pinellas County Economic Development and the Manatee Economic Development Council announce today that through Florida economic development assistance, Oshkosh Corp., a Fortune 350 company, is expanding its Pierce Manufacturing and Frontline Communications operations in Florida. The result could add up to 200 jobs in Bradenton and Clearwater in 2011.
After an extensive review, the Fire and Emergency segment of Oshkosh Corporation has decided to relocate two of its businesses -- Medtec Ambulances and Oshkosh Specialty Vehicles (OSV) -- and consolidate them with two other existing business units in Florida. Medtec Ambulance will be relocated and consolidated with Pierce Manufacturing in Bradenton, while OSV will be relocated and merged with Frontline Communications in Clearwater. The existing Fire & Emergency segment currently employs approximately 450 in Florida.
"We want to thank Florida's local and state government officials for their assistance," said Jim Johnson, Oshkosh Corp. executive vice president and president of Fire & Emergency. "We plan to invest $5 million in capital improvements to expand our Florida facilities. Relocation decisions are always difficult, but this will improve operational efficiencies, optimize manufacturing capacity, and allow us to be successful in today's highly competitive markets."
OSV will relocate its Harvey and Calumet City, Illinois manufacturing operations to Clearwater, Florida. They will be consolidated with Frontline Communications, another Oshkosh operation located in Clearwater. Approximately 50 manufacturing and office positions will be added to Frontline's current operations as a result of this consolidation, which will improve the overall competitiveness of the businesses for the long term. The average annual salary of these new jobs is expected to be at least 150% of Pinellas County's average annual wage of $38,598.
"We're very pleased to welcome Oshkosh Specialty Vehicles as they expand their operations with Frontline Communications. Announcing new jobs is a great way to begin the year, and promoting Pinellas' pro-business climate to encourage the creation of high-wage careers is our priority. This expansion further illustrates our commitment to economic development in Pinellas County," said Susan Latvala, Chair of the Pinellas Board of County Commissioners.
Enterprise Florida and the governor's Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development worked with local officials and economic development organizations to assist the company's relocations. The planned relocations qualify Oshkosh for up to $1.44 million in economic development incentives. Contributors included: state of Florida, $1,074,000; Manatee Board of County Commissioners, $333,732; and Pinellas County, $40,000.
Medtec Ambulance Corp. will relocate its current manufacturing operations in Goshen, Indiana and White Pigeon, Michigan to existing facilities of Pierce Manufacturing Inc. in Bradenton. Approximately 100 to 150 highly-skilled manufacturing and office employees will be added to Pierce's Bradenton operations as a result of this consolidation. Similar to its other operations, the company will install a state-of-the-art, flexible assembly line that will allow multiple vehicle types to be assembled in the Bradenton facility.
"We are excited about the skilled jobs and new manufacturing technology that Oshkosh is bringing to Manatee County, and we appreciate the efforts of the Manatee Economic Development Council and the State of Florida in helping to facilitate job creation in our community," said Ed Hunzeker, Manatee County administrator.
Medtec is a leading North American manufacturer of custom ambulance vehicles. Pierce Manufacturing is the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of fire apparatus and other emergency vehicles. Pierce Florida will manufacture Medtec products at the Bradenton location while still producing its own portfolio of emergency vehicle products. Medtec will continue to operate as a separate brand, with Medtec manufacturing operations combining with Pierce Florida in Bradenton.
Frontline Communications is a premier manufacturer of command and communications vehicles and broadcast vehicles in Clearwater. OSV is a global leader in high technology mobile medical imaging vehicles and high technology transportable and re-locatable trailers and shelters for military and commercial applications.
# # #