The Bay Economic Development Alliance (EDA) announces the location of GPD Pathology, a life sciences company, to Bay County, Fla. GPD Pathology, an independent laboratory that processes and diagnoses patient tissue specimens, is projected to hire 83 employees over three years at an average annual wage of $68,000, more than 200 percent of Bay County’s average annual wage. The company expects to be operational by March 2013 and will be located in the former HealthSouth building at 1710 Lisenby Avenue in Panama City.
The independent laboratory will receive tissue specimens from dermatologists, family practitioners, gastroenterologists, urologists, ob-gyns and clinician specialties from across the Southeast U.S. The specimens will be received, tested and diagnosed at this facility. The new positions will not only include those specializing in pathology and dermatology, but also data entry workers, transcriptionists, customer service representatives and sales personnel. One of GPD Pathology’s principal owners is Dr. Jon Ward of Gulf Coast Dermatology. Because of his growth in his dermatology practice within northwest Florida, south Alabama and Georgia, he chose a location close to home for his new venture.
“As a local businessman, it was important to locate this new venture in my own backyard,” said Dr. Jon Ward, GPD Pathology president. “We have chosen a location that has been vacant for three years and are planning to make a capital investment of more than $4.6 million to the facility.”
“We are excited to select Bay County, Fla. as our new location for GPD Pathology’s corporate headquarters and life sciences operation,” said Ron Hankins, operational consultant for GPD Pathology. “While we could have located this laboratory in a variety of metropolitan areas, Bay County makes an attractive case, especially in quality of life.”
“GPD Pathology’s choice of Bay County is a great example of Florida’s ability to stimulate economic growth through targeted industries and strategic areas. In this case, they are life sciences and headquarters establishments,” said Florida Secretary of Commerce Gray Swoope, who serves as president & CEO of Enterprise Florida Inc., the state’s principal economic development organization. “We’re pleased that our state’s business environment and resources can help progressive companies like GPD Pathology meet their goals and achieve greater success.”
“We are pleased to welcome GPD Pathology to Bay County,” said Joey Ginn, chairman of the EDA. “The location of the company to Bay County has a tremendous impact on our community. Because of the company’s growth, an additional 61 jobs are expected to be generated in other Bay County businesses. It will be a high-impact industry that does not depend on the local market for its business success which helps to diversify and stabilize our economy.”
The location project, termed Project Freckle, received a Qualified Target Industry (QTI) tax refund in the amount of $415,000 through Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity to encourage the high-wage job creation. The incentive is performance-based; no money will be awarded until the jobs are created and maintained.
About the EDA
The Bay Economic Development Alliance (EDA) is a public/private partnership working to establish a globally competitive business environment for Bay County which encourages economic growth, enhances the community’s quality of life and nurtures the creation and expansion of businesses.