Top technology employer opts to stay in Brevard County
Friday, July 17th, 2015 at 1:52pm.
Brevard County is celebrating today after the decision was finally made by major Fortune 500 company Harris Corporation, to retain its headquarters in Melbourne. It had been touch and go, with many predicting a relocation to Virginia after a powerful bid made by the state. However, it turns out that Melbourne's bid has tipped the balance, in a decision that will reinforce Brevard's global reputation for technological innovation.
The big news brings with it happiness and relief for the many existing employees already working for this major player in the defence industry. Harris is one of Brevard County's top employers, providing work for something like 6000 Florida residents. Over half of those working for the firm are skilled and highly qualified scientists and engineers. That means welcome job security, stability and provision for thousands of families. What's more, the restructuring of the business looks set to attract massive future economic benefits and a likely influx of increasing numbers of scientific and engineering professionals to the area.
Skilled technology workers jobs secured
Harris has been located on the Space Coast for nearly 40 years. Recently it took over Virginia-based firm, Excelis Inc which increased the company's size substantially. The scale of this major business acquisition was expected by many to mean Harris moving its headquarters from Florida to Virginia. A huge lobby from Virginia included some highly lucrative (undisclosed) incentives, but eventually the bid was overcome, with a very strong case made by the combined efforts of Florida state and the Economic Development Commission of the Space Coast.
The stock market showed the significance of the move, with Harris stock trading at 86 cents more on the day of the announcement than the previous day. To give some idea of extent of the business, Harris's total annual revenue is around $8 billion, and its total number of employees across the whole firm is approximately 23,000. Harris plays a significant role in the national and the local economy with impressive figures in terms of employment, market profile, and community contributions. Annually it trades with over 1000 suppliers in Florida, to a level of around a quarter of a billion dollars of in-state business every year. Currently the corporation is the sole representative of the top 10 defence contractors to have its HQ in Florida.
The new headquarters will be situated across from Melbourne Airport, and the restructuring of Harris also means two new business segments - 'Space & Intelligence' and 'Technology' are to be located in Palm Bay, Brevard County, with the remaining two in New York and Virginia.
Harris - great for Brevard education and charities
Retaining Harris is a very welcome boost for education in Brevard also. The firm has long been involved with contributing expertise and finanace to schools in the county and has maintained a close relationship with Melbourne's Florida Institute of Technology, to whom it has awarded over $34 million worth of financial contributions and input over its history. More than 50% of new college graduates employed by Harris come from state school backgrounds.
Harris also has an impressive track record in the voluntary and charitable sectors. Over recent years the business and its workers combined have donated $15 million to charities in the community and given many hundreds of thousands of hours in time.
Another welcome boost for Brevard County real estate
With schools, charities, local businesses, families and science and engineering professionals all celebrating, it's no wonder than there's such a buzz over this latest news. We're expecting the real estate market in Brevard County to feel very real benefits as other technology giants are also attracted to the area. It can only be good news if you're interested in property in the area or you're looking to sell Contact us and be part of the good news story.