New pharmaceutical manufacturer brings jobs to Central Florida


Some high-paying jobs are coming to Central Florida in the form of a new pharmaceutical manufacturing company.

Gov. Rick Scott was at Thursday's announcement of Prime Therapeutics' new building opening up in Southridge Commerce Park.

WFTV's Drew Petrimoulx asked the governor if the new company is part of his jobs creation plan.

"(I) finished school and after looking for a job for two years I couldn't find anything," said Tiffany Lebron.

One on the 135 new employees at the state of the art pharmaceutical plant is Lebron.

"It helps me to support my family," said Lebron.

In August, Prime Therapeutics opened the facility that specializes in manufacturing drugs for terminally ill patients.

On Thursday officials touted plans to add nearly 100 more high-paying jobs.

To lure the company to Orlando, state and local officials offered up an incentive deal worth $639,000, paid for by taxpayers.

Most the money came from Scott's Enterprise Florida program that doles out millions to companies each year.

"If you account for people that have dropped out of the workforce, unemployment is over 10 percent. So I'm wondering, do you think its working?" asked WFTV's Drew Petrimoulx.

"Oh, gosh yes," Scott said. "Biggest drop in unemployment of any state in the country, down 2.3 percent. Isn't that two percent more of a function of people dropping out of the workforce as opposed to getting jobs? The thing to focus on is the 150,000 private sector jobs."

That's still not on pace to create the 700,000 jobs over seven years that Scott promised in his campaign. On Thursday, Scott said job growth will compound as new employers like prime expand.

And for Lebron, the program is working.

"I have bigger goals. I have the opportunity to be even a supervisor one day," said Lebron.

Company officials said the average salary when the plant is fully staffed will be more than $50,000.