Catalyst rising: Tech firms show jobs spark

Here’s an inside look at just a few of the breaking business news stories in the Feb. 11 print edition of the Tampa Bay Business Journal:

This week’s newspaper features a series of stories and content looking at the foundation of job growth sparked by the Bay area’s technology sector.
Birth of the idea came in November when we met here at our offices with a dozen CEOs who participate in an advisory group with members of the Tampa Bay Technology Forum. It was billed as a chance for us to widen our source base, help these executives understand what makes news and how to get into the newspaper, and gain more understanding.

But first, there was some venting to do.

We heard a lot very quickly, loud and clear if you will, about what the newspaper could be doing better on the tech beat.

It didn’t catch me off guard. We were due to ratchet up the volume.

What we didn’t quite realize as we went around the room asking each CEO if they were hiring and how they were growing is how much they were hiring and growing.

That led to a Nov. 26 Page 1 story by our wonderful Senior Staff Writer Margie Manning.

Margie already covers some big beats in banking & finance and health care. But we asked her to go where she hasn’t before (no, she didn’t give me a Vulcan hand gesture) and she accepted the challenge and has been doing a fantastic job learning and reporting on the tech beat ever since.

Based on her story, we decided we wanted to try and drill down more.

We created a short survey trying to back up this hypothesis of ours that technology jobs area a true driver of local job growth in an economy still totally mired by housing gloom.