TAMPA — Bristol-Myers Squibb has begun hiring for dozens of jobs at its huge new Tampa office, where one day 579 employees are expected to support the company’s drug-discovery efforts.
The New York-based pharmaceutical giant wouldn’t give details about its local hiring efforts this week, but a search of its Web site, at www.bms.com/careers, showed at least 76 jobs in Tampa in accounting, quality control, billing, customer service and other functions.
All told, the company has an aggressive plan to hire 250 workers by year’s end. The listings do not include laboratory-oriented jobs.
Fritz Eichelberger, a recruiter who focuses on information technology workers, said Bristol-Myers Squibb’s entry into the Tampa market is one of the most buzzed-about topics among job seekers. He’s not working directly with the company, but he’s nonetheless hearing from people who are trying to get a foot in the door there, Eichelberger said.
Bristol-Myers Squibb’s new Tampa office, at 5104 Eisenhower Blvd. South, comes at the expense of some New Jersey employees. The company is relocating 200 positions from one of its offices near Princeton, N.J., to Tampa, and it’s expected to relocate another 325 or so jobs here from other offices.
The cheaper cost of labor in Florida is a significant factor in the decision to relocate, a company spokesman said last month. Another reason could be local government subsidies, although the company didn’t cite them as a factor. Hillsborough County commissioners approved giving Bristol-Myers Squibb up to $2.1 million in tax incentives to open here, and the state may add another $4.8 million more in incentives.
The company’s job postings give some clues about what kind of work it will do here. At least 15 jobs, for example, have the word “validation” in their titles, such as validation analyst.
These employees probably will monitor Bristol-Myers Squibb’s computer systems to make sure they’re functioning properly, especially any computer systems involved in drug testing or discovery, said Patrice Cunningham, marketing director for Tampa-based software maker Pilgrim Software, which sells to the pharmaceutical industry.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires drug companies to follow numerous guidelines in every step of drug development, Cunningham said.
Such validation analyst jobs might command about $50,000 to $75,000 a year in the Tampa area, Eichelberger said.