By Chuck Weber email
BOCA RATON, FL (WFLX) - Some surprising good news came at the annual State of Palm Beach County speech Thursday. Yes, there's the bad economy, tight county budgets and yet another scandal involving a county commissioner. Still, county leaders managed a positive revelation-- four companies are either expanding or locating here, creating new jobs.
County Commission Chair Jeff Koons gave this year's State of the County address at the Boca Raton Resort. Alluding to Mary McCarty, now the third county commissioner facing federal charges and apparently headed to prison, Koons told the crowd, "I'm embarrassed what some of my commissioners have done. We will work hard to take a look at that. But our system is strong."
Koons discussed the current tough budget times, yet called on state lawmakers to find a way to increase education spending and fund the Tri-Rail commuter train. He also urged those in attendance to contact their state lawmakers and demand that more local tax dollars be returned to our area.
The sponsor of the luncheon, the county's Business Development Board, used the occasion to announce two companies are moving to Palm Beach County. Two other firms will expand their operations here.
Campus Management, a computer systems company, based in Boca Raton is enlarging its facility. Sixty new positions will be added.
Biotest Pharmaceuticals, also in Boca, is expanding as well. Biotest says it will hire 50 new employees.
Rochoet, Inc., a manufacturer and refiner of precious metals, is moving its global sales and marketing operation to downtown West Palm Beach. At least 12 jobs are expected.
Finally, Settlement Benefits Association, a business which facilitates insurance payouts, has moved to Greenacres. The company will initially employ five people, with more positions likely.
"There continues to be demand for pharmaceutical products," explained Jordan Siegel.. chief financial officer of Biotest. "We are continuing with our expansion plans, even in the economic downturn we face right now."