By Jeff Ostrowski, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 8, 2003
BOCA RATON -- Nurse staffing company Cross Country Inc. plans to add 125 workers at its headquarters here, affirming the health-care sector's position as the brightest spot in the job market.
The Palm Beach County Commission on Tuesday approved a $62,500 job-growth incentive grant to Cross Country in exchange for its promise to add the new positions over the next three years. The company stands to land $250,000 in tax refunds from Enterprise Florida, the state's economic-development agency.
Many of the new workers will be recruiters who will persuade nurses to sign up for 13-week assignments at hospitals throughout the country, said Cross Country Treasurer Richard Ives. Other new employees will fill administrative positions.
Cross Country promised an average salary of $35,000. The placement firm will expand its headquarters at 6551 Park of Commerce Blvd. N.W. by 35,000 square feet to accommodate the new workers, Ives said.
Cross Country's expansion bucks an otherwise lackluster economy. The health sector has added some 20,000 jobs statewide in the past year, buoying Florida's job market. Area hospitals aggressively recruit workers, although that effort is hampered by a shortage of nurses and other skilled health-care workers.
"There's just more demand out there than supply, and we're trying to take advantage of that," Ives said.
Cross Country (Nasdaq: CCRN, $14.52) reported revenue of $469 million in the first nine months of 2002, up from $356 million in the same period in 2001. It has 290 employees at its Boca Raton headquarters.