TAMPA, Fla. - In this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal report, editor Alexis Muellner discusses the changing Tampa Bay workforce, why taxi drivers are getting guest services training, and the Pasco County video games company.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of paid employees in the Tampa Bay region dropped from 1,033,000 in 2000 to 932,231 in 2010. Despite that 9.7 percent drop, the number of business establishments jumped 12.8 percent.
The increase in the business numbers is because many people who lost their jobs became part-time "consultants." Their companies are considered new startups despite only having a single employee.
Tampa Bay & Company is jump starting its new guest services training program for drivers of taxis, limousines and vans ahead of the Republican National Convention.
"I think it's a good idea and it's long overdue," said Brook Negusi, president of Cab Plus Inc. in Tampa. "The first thing you see, coming into Tampa, is the cab driver, and when you leave, you see a cab driver."
The goal is to deliver a friendly, "world-class" visitor experience for guests so they will want to return to the Tampa Bay area.
Ten years after forming in a spare bedroom in East Pasco in 2002, Artix Entertainment employs 40 people. The video game company's nine online games have 70 million accounts.
The business launched a series of action figures and an e-commerce site HeroMart through a partnership with Toys R Us. Sales are expected to hit $1 million this year.
For more information on these stories, click on the video player on the left to watch this week's report.
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