One of the world's largest accounting and professional-services firms announced on Monday that it plans to open a new tech center in Lake Mary, Florida, and hire up to 1,000 high-salaried workers over the next four years.
"This is one of the biggest economic development announcements that the city has seen recently," said Tom Tomerlin, Lake Mary's economic-development manager, about the planned move by Deloitte Consulting LLP.
"They are a worldwide brand, and these are high-valued folks that they plan to hire."
The average wage for the jobs will be $60,520 a year, or about $20,000 more than the average wage in Seminole County. Most of the positions will be in software development, systems analysis and information technology, according to a company press release.
In the coming weeks, Lake Mary and Seminole County leaders are scheduled to vote on a proposed incentives package worth up to $1.7 million that was offered to Deloitte Consulting to lure it to the area.
Details of the so-called "jobs growth incentive" package are still being worked out. But a draft report shows the county and Lake Mary each contributing $850,000. The money would be contingent on Deloitte Consulting hiring 200 workers by the end of 2015 and an additional 800 by the end of 2018.
Deloitte LLP will set up its delivery center headquarters at an existing four-story office building at 901 International Parkway and spend as much as $24.6 million in modifying the 130,000-square-foot structure to suit its needs.
The company has already signed a 10-year lease on the building and had recently started hiring to fill hundreds of positions. Deloitte officials even showed up at a recent Upstart Expo job fair at East End Market.
Company officials could not be reached for comment regarding the Lake Mary move on Monday.
However, Casey Barnes, vice president of business development for the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, said Deloitte officials first contacted his organization in January 2013, looking for a place to set up a large center.
The company was also looking at four other areas around the country -- including in Arizona, Texas, Georgia and Louisiana. It settled on Lake Mary, primarily because of the potential to tap former students with computer science skills from the University of Central Florida and Seminole State College.
"They were impressed with the talent that is coming out of UCF and other colleges," Barnes said. "That was a very key driver."
Only about 50 current Deloitte Consulting employees will be transferred from centers around the country to Lake Mary, with the remaining employees hired locally, city officials said.
In the company's press release, Deloitte Consulting's Bert Naquin, who will serve as the center's director, stated that the region's schools were a factor.
"Access to skilled workers -- especially in areas such as business HR [human resources], IT [information technology] and systems engineering -- and proximity to well-respected educational institutions make the Orlando area an optimal location for our delivery center," Naquin said.
Deloitte Consulting is the latest high-wage company to make plans to relocate to Lake Mary.
In April, wireless carrier Verizon announced that it will add 350 jobs on top of the 750 high-paying positions already planned for its new four-story building off International Parkway. The average salary for all those jobs is $60,000 a year.
In fact, Deloitte will rent out the same building at Colonial Center Heathrow which was previously occupied by Verizon employees before they moved into a new 220,000-square-foot building off International Parkway.
In June, county and city leaders announced a deal that would grant CareMed Pharmaceutical Services, based in Lake Success, N.Y., to move its headquarters to Lake Mary. The company plans to hire an additional 165 full-time workers over the next three years after moving to Lake Mary with its 85 employees.
The average annual salary for the CareMed jobs would be $50,000, with more than two dozen top administrators earning at least $80,000 a year.
Verizon received $7.5 million in state incentives, with contributions from the county and the city, to relocate to Lake Mary. CareMed was offered a "jobs growth incentive" package worth up to $500,000 from Seminole and Lake Mary.
"The bottom line is businesses like Deloitte and Verizon are coming to Seminole County because they want to share the same high quality of life that we enjoy here: Our quality of schools, our low taxes, our great trails," Seminole County Commissioner John Horan said. "This is something that our region should be proud of."
Deloitte and its subsidiaries have 57,000 employees in the United States and offers audit, financial, tax, risk management and professional consulting services. It already employs 877 professionals in five Florida locations.
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