Fast-growing technology company plans to add 350 jobs over five years
BRADENTON, Fla. – Fast-growing Star2Star Communications LLC has launched a major expansion at its Bradenton area facility to accommodate the projected hiring of 350 employees over the next five years, according to Sharon Hillstrom, president and chief executive officer of the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp. (EDC).
“Star2Star is a leader in cloud-based communications solutions, and the company’s rapid growth has already meant scores of high-impact jobs in the Bradenton area,” Hillstrom said. “The Bradenton Area EDC has worked closely with Star2Star over the years to ensure that the company’s latest expansion occurs in our community.”
The EDC assisted Star2Star in applying for economic development incentives and rapid response permitting through Manatee County Government. The company has qualified for $700,000 in performance-based incentives based on adding 350 jobs over the next five years. The jobs must pay 50 percent more than the average annual wage in Manatee County.
“The unified communications market is experiencing double-digit growth, with Star2Star’s solution having particular success in the mid-market, and growing interest from larger businesses,” said Star2Star Chief Executive Officer Norman A. Worthington, III. “The Bradenton-Sarasota area is consistently rated a ‘Best Place to Live’ so you can live and work in paradise, which aids our employee recruitment and retention efforts. With the help of the Bradenton Area EDC, we were able to connect with local government incentives, permitting and workforce resources we needed to continue to grow here.”
Founded in 2004 in Sarasota, Star2Star Communications delivers a cloud communications solution that unifies customers’ voice, video, fax, instant messaging and presence management into a single system. Available across North America, Star2Star systems serve hundreds of thousands of business users, including large national chains with multiple locations.
Star2Star Communications was recently named a top 10 VoIP/UC Provider by Infonetics, andin the past three years, was named to the Forbes Most Promising Companies list, the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 twice, and the Inc. 500/5000 three times. Star2Star also recently received Inc. Magazine’s Hire Power Award honoring the top private business job creators in the country.
Star2Star moved from downtown Sarasota to a larger location at 600 Tallevast Road near Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport in 2008 to support the company’s sales growth. In 2010, Manatee County Government approved an $80,000 performance-based expansion grant for Star2Star based on the creation of 80 jobs. Star2Star has since grown from 25 to 186 full-time employees in Manatee County, far exceeding expectations.
The latest expansion will add 30,000 square feet to the existing 62,500-square-foot facility. Job openings are listed on the company’s website at www.star2star.com.
“Star2Star Communications — a local success story — has a track record for innovation, job creation and reinvesting in its facility,” said Ed Hunzeker, Manatee County administrator. “This exemplifies the type of business the Manatee County Board of Commissioners seeks to encourage to locate and grow in the Bradenton area.”
Manatee County offers several incentives to businesses wishing to relocate or expand in the community. A list of Manatee County’s economic development incentives is available at www.mymanatee.org/econ_dev
About the Bradenton Area EDC
The Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp. (EDC) is the lead economic development organization for the Bradenton area’s nine communities located on the south side of Tampa Bay. The EDC works to diversify the local economy by attracting and retaining high-wage jobs for area residents, and connecting existing businesses to the resources they need to succeed. Information: www.ThinkBradentonArea.com
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