January 17, 2020
Friday, January 17, 2014
Distribution center and warehouse will create 400 jobs and $40 million in capital investment
LAKELAND, FL – Today, Governor Rick Scott attended the grand opening of O’Reilly Auto Parts’ new distribution center and warehouse that will create 400 jobs and generate $40 million in capital investment into the community.
Governor Scott said, “O’Reilly Auto Parts’ new distribution center and warehouse is a great addition for families in the Lakeland community. We have worked hard to create more than 446,300 private-sector jobs since December 2010 and our unemployment rate is at 6.4 percent, the lowest it’s been in five years. Florida has experienced an incredible economic turnaround, but we aren’t stopping there. We will continue to strengthen our economy and create jobs and opportunities for generations to come.”
O’Reilly is one of the largest specialty retailers of automotive aftermarket parts, tools, supplies, equipment and accessories in the United States, serving both the do-it-yourself and professional service provider markets. Founded in 1957 by the O’Reilly family, the company operates over 4,100 stores across 42 states.
“We are very excited to begin servicing our stores from this new, state-of-the-art distribution center in central Florida,” said Greg Johnson, Senior Vice-President of Distribution Operations for O’Reilly. “O’Reilly currently operates over 90 stores in Florida, 30 of which opened within the past year. We see great opportunities to continue to expand our store base throughout Florida, and our new distribution center in Lakeland will provide us with the springboard necessary to successfully execute that growth.”
The broader wholesale trade, transportation and logistics industry employs more than half a million Floridians. Of those, some 85,500 work at companies specifically providing logistics and distribution services. As the gateway to Latin America, Florida’s logistics and distribution industry is poised to grow further with the Panama Canal expansion in 2014 and the numerous infrastructure developments and upgrades underway around the state.
Secretary of Commerce and president & CEO of Enterprise Florida, Gray Swoope said, “O’Reilly Auto Parts’ new distribution center in Polk County is a great addition to Florida’s logistics and distribution industry. The strong workforce in Florida and great tax benefits will help companies like O’Reilly Auto Parts to continue growing and I look forward to seeing their future accomplishments.”
This project was made possible through strong partnerships between Enterprise Florida, the Lakeland Economic Development Council, Workforce Florida, Inc., and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
City of Lakeland, Mayor, Howard Wiggs said, “This wonderful addition to our community that was made possible through our partnerships with Polk County and the Lakeland Economic Development Council (LEDC). We are grateful that O’Reilly has chosen to become a part of Lakeland and we are excited about the 400 full time jobs this project brings.”
LEDC Council Chairman and Partner with Crowe Horwath LLP, Ira Anderson, said, “The LEDC team is pleased to see the O’Reilly project complete and employing local residents. O’Reilly’s company culture and ownership mirrors the values of our business community and is sure to have a positive impact overall here. We think Lakeland is an excellent choice for anyone looking to open a high impact distribution center given our location, great labor force and business friendly policies.”
President & CEO of Workforce Florida, Chris Hart IV, said, “Florida is known for its focus on responding to the talent needs of our target and infrastructure industries, which include the critical logistics and distribution sector and companies like O’Reilly Auto Parts. The 400 jobs being created by O’Reilly Auto Parts is exciting news for Central Florida and more evidence of our growing economy.”
“We welcome the expansion of O’Reilly’s operation in Florida and look forward to watching this successful company grow in our state,” said Jesse Panuccio, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. “The new O’Reilly distribution center and the 400 jobs it will bring is great news for Polk County families. This expansion will help strengthen the valued and growing manufacturing industry in Florida.”