Special to The Suncoast News
NEW PORT RICHEY — Applicant Insight held one of the business events of the summer last week with an official ribbon cutting at its new headquarters.
The event marked a major success not just for Applicant Insight but for city and county officials and business leaders.
Several months ago the firm, which provides background checks, drug screenings and related services to employers, was struggling with a decision: remain in Pasco County or move on to a location in Pinellas.
When President and CEO John Hagen and his colleagues at the Pasco Economic Development Council got wind of the potential move, they acted immediately to encourage the firm to keep its roots in New Port Richey. New Port Richey and Pasco County officials were also involved.
After much negotiating Applicant Insight opted to remain here, along with its some 100 employees.
Founded in 1990, Applicant Insight provides its services to both domestic and international business clients.
The company says it has “an excellent retention rate for both clients and employees.”
In an interview Applicant Insight’s corporate controller, Maryann Carlton, said company’s overall goal is to “continue growth in the area.”
“We’ve been a local presence for over 20 years and there’s been great growth recently,” Carlton said. “We’re very excited about it.”
She added, “We really appreciate how the city and county came to together to keep so many employees here in Pasco.”
Carlton said the July 10 ribbon cutting at the company’s new home at 5652 Meadowlane St. went well and was pleased that Mayor Rob Marlowe, Councilman Jeff Starkey and other city officials attended.
“The teamwork was refreshing,” Carlton said.
In addition, Commercial Assets Partner Realty helped Applicant Insights find its new home just north of Medical Center of Trinity West Pasco Campus, east of Grand Boulevard, and Duke Energy installed streetlights and trimmed trees around the site.
Government and business officials were keen to keep Applicant Insight from leaving for Pinellas because the company’s mean salary is 125 percent of the median Pasco County wage.
The PEDC’s Hagen said seeing with the building’s transformation has been a “gratifying experience.”
“To go in there now and see all of it redone; it was extremely gratifying to see those changes,” Hagen said. “We helped to implement a lot of the upgrades to get the new building to the point it’s at today.”
After the building was “gutted and practically remodeled,” Hagen added, “it’s absolutely first class.”
The presence at the ribbon cutting of U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, and state Rep. Amanda Murphy, D-New Port Richey, underscored the significance of Applicant Insight’s decision to stay in Pasco County, Hagen said.