Spanish companies to bring job bonanza to Miami
By Scott Blake
Miami's Spanish connection is continuing to produce local jobs.
Three Spain-based firms have announced they will expand or relocate in Miami, creating 465 jobs in the next three years. Average annual salaries will range from $35,500 to $55,000, officials said.
The firms are: Obrascon Huarte Lain, or OHL USA, one of the world's largest global construction companies; Miami City Tour, formerly El Grupo Julia, a travel and tourism transportation company; and TotalBank, a leading retail-commercial bank in South Florida and a member of Grupo Banco Popular Espanol.
"Our community already enjoys strong ties with our friends in Spain, and I'm excited to see those bonds further strengthened with the addition and expansion of OHL USA, Miami City Tour, and TotalBank," Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in a statement.
"Job creation and getting our residents back to work is my top priority as mayor, and the growth of these companies in Miami-Dade County clearly moves us toward that vital goal," he said.
Officials made the announcement after representatives of the Beacon Council, Miami-Dade's economic development organization, and others accompanied Florida Gov. Rick Scott on a trade mission last week to Spain and Portugal.
Although the new jobs are not a direct result of the mission, the announcement highlights the importance of maintaining and improving economic ties with Spain, officials said.
"Our agenda is to create more foreign investment opportunities for Miami-Dade County," said Beacon Council CEO and President Frank Nero. "Miami-Dade already has a solid relationship with Spanish industries, and we aim to reinforce that. In addition, we are looking to expand to new horizons in Portugal."
nOHL USA is expanding its presence in the US market by adding a new US South Region headquarters in northwest Miami-Dade. Specializing in civil engineering, healthcare and university projects, OHL's new location is expected to add 255 jobs within three years with a $22 million capital investment.
"Being already one of the top construction groups of Florida will not prevent us from investing more and expanding our business," said Lauro Bravar, CEO of OHL in Miami.
nMiami City Tour will open its first US location in Miami Beach, with plans to add 150 jobs within three years with a $4 million capital investment, including state-of-the-art tour buses.
"Miami is the key to making our company a US franchise because it is a hub for trade and diversity," said Juan Boza, Miami City Tour general manager.
nTotalBank plans to further expand in Miami-Dade, adding 10 branches and 60 jobs within three years with a $4 million capital investment. TotalBank already is a leading commercial bank in South Florida, with more than $2.3 billion in assets and 19 Miami-Dade locations.
"South Florida's strengths stem from its globally strategic geographical location, vibrant economy and cultural compatibility," said Jorge Rossell, CEO and chairman of TotalBank. "These factors, coupled with currency diversification, make continuing our expansion a sound investment."
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