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Hillsborough business expands HQ to create 100 more jobs

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Hillsborough County is getting an extra 100 jobs thanks to the expansion of a transportation management company. BlueGrace Logistics is expanding its Riverview headquarters to provide additional jobs in a variety of fields, including technology, accounting, legal and other professional services.

“I’m proud to announce that BlueGrace Logistics is creating 100 new jobs in Riverview, which is great news for Florida families,” said Florida Gov. Rick Scott. “We are working every day to make Florida the number one state for job creation, and with more than 879,000 private-sector jobs created in a little over four years, it’s working. We will continue to work so that every family can get a great job and live their dream in Florida.”

The company currently employs 165 people nationwide.

“Tampa continues to be a leading market in Florida’s economic resurgence and we are pleased to see that BlueGrace Logistics recognizes the potential for growth in this area. These additional 100 jobs will provide even more opportunities in the Tampa area and contribute to Florida’s thriving private sector,” said Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Jesse Panuccio.

BlueGrace offers web-based transportation management systems including the company’s own BlueShip®, which enables companies to consolidate shipping into one resource. They also have several freight services, including Less Than Truckload, Truckload Services and several other services.

“More than ever, top talent from across the U.S. wants to make Tampa their home,” said Bobby Harris, CEO of BlueGrace Logistics. “This partnership helps make that a reality.  We couldn’t be more excited to further our investment in expanding in this market.”

Harris founded the company in 2009 in Apollo Beach. The industry Harris serves – the transportation and logistics industry – employs more than a half million Floridians.

Accroding to a press release from the Governor’s Office, nearly every major logistics firm has a presence in Florida and many headquarters are located in the state. As the Panama Canal’s planned 2016 expansion draws near, the business is expected to grow.

“Our expansive, multi-modal infrastructure not only supports nearly 20 million residents but close to 100 million annual visitors to our state,” said Enterprise Florida CEO Bill Johnson. “It’s a compelling reason for great companies like BlueGrace Logistics to have a presence in Florida and we’re happy they’ve decided to locate here.”

The group Enterprise Florida partnered with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Hillsborough County and the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. to ensure the expansion stayed local.

“BlueGrace Logistics is a prime example of the kind of innovative, high-growth local company that we will work hard to retain in Hillsborough County,” said Hillsoborough County Commission chair Sandra Murman. “Three other states have offered BlueGrace attractive relocation packages and attempted to recruit them away from our region, but we are committed to keeping them here and giving them the support they need to achieve greater success and bring more jobs to our community.”

BlueGrace is considered a “hyper-growth” company. It has grown by more than 7,000 percent since its inception. The company has 55 franchises across the United States.

“BlueGrace Logistics is emerging as one of Hillsborough County’s great entrepreneurial success stories,” said Ronald Vaughn, chair of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. and president of the University of Tampa. “In just six years, they have built one of the most progressive transportation and supply chain management companies in the country by developing superior technology solutions to serve the freight industry’s needs.  Hillsborough County offers them the talent and pro-business environment they need to keep up their exceptional growth.”

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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