Tampa Bay Business Journal: June 27, 2014

TAMPA - In this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal segment, editor Alexis Muellner discusses how the role of the traditional pharmacist is shifting, the major contract J. Kokolakis Contracting just received, and the hidden problem in Bay area mass transit.

Express Scripps recently laid off hundreds of people nationwide. Among the 400 people losing their jobs in Tampa were 123 pharmacists.

The role of the traditional pharmacist is shifting so much that students coming out of the first class of USF Health's College of Pharmacy are being taught to market themselves differently.

In the future, pharmacists will have to look for jobs that exist beyond the pharmacy counter. One reason is some health care providers now see the benefit of having in-house pharmacists to keep patients out of hospitals.

J. Kokolakis Contracting recently won a major contract from the U.S. Army to renovate and modernize the MacArthur Short Barracks at West Point. The contract is worth $48.83 million.

The Tarpon Springs business beat out five others in an online bidding process. What helped Kokolakis Contracting is there are now fewer companies vying for such jobs, thanks to an improving economy.

During the last recession, company officials say they could expect at three times as many bidders for tough-to-do government contracts. Better economic conditions means contractors found easier jobs, opening up opportunities for firms like Kokolakis Contracting.

The Business Journal says there is a major hidden problem in Bay Area mass transit" the first mile/last mile. The untalked about issue is how do riders get to and from the bus and/or train station.

Some people say it is too difficult to get to stations they end up driving a car instead. For the Bay Area to offer easy-to-use mass transit, a solution needs to be found to that problem.

For more information on these stories, click on the video player, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5GN4IKBf4A or pick up this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal available on newsstands.

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