A St. Petersburg business is planning to move its manufacturing facility from Canada to Midtown.
LumaStream designs and manufactures hi-technology, low-voltage LED lighting systems. The systems can be seen at concerts, restaurants, hospitals, and locally, at the Museum of Fine Arts and Tropicana Field.
"Midtown needs a success story in terms of the type of company the city’s trying to attract," Lumastream President and CEO Eric Higgs said. "We’re a high-tech company. We’re also a manufacturing company making product here in Florida, exporting it worldwide."
Higgs hopes moving to Midtown will help revitalize the area.
"As an anchor company in Midtown success begets success," he said. "So there’s a group of companies that typically form and have synergies between each other, between suppliers, contract manufacturers. It begins a growth and a trend that that area needs."
A collaborative effort with St. Petersburg College means manufacturing students can get invaluable industry training.
"They’ll be exposed to approximately 20 weeks of training with an internship," SPC Associate Dean of Engineering Technology Brad Jenkins said. "They’ll get an industry certification that they can take any place in the country and those industry certifications are also turned into college credit."
Higgs says they’ll be able to train students. Some of them will be hired, and the others will leave highly-trained.
A temporary location will be at the old Silvernail building. Meantime, LumaStream is working to secure land in Midtown where it plans to expand from 30 employees to 200.
The company hopes to open its Midtown location in about two years.