2023 employment outlook: Amid Amazon uncertainty, a roll call of Tallahassee job creators

From the Tallahassee Democrat

What the local Chamber of Commerce sees as a banner year for many local companies may pave the way for more hiring in 2023.

Numerous multi-million dollar projects are under construction, tagged to generate jobs and boost Tallahassee’s economy.

They represent developments from the public and private sectors across a range of industries. Some projects, such as the 4Forty North mixed-use redevelopment project, will reshape the skyline for downtown Tallahassee. Others will target manufacturing and advance science sectors.

The largest job-creating project in the coming year belongs to Amazon.

Even as the retail behemoth has laid off employees and slowed expansion plans, the massive robotics fulfillment center on Mahan Drive is expected be operational and on track to generate 1,000 new jobs for Tallahassee at some point in the coming year.

It was originally projected to open before this holiday season. However, that didn’t pan out and local officials don’t have a clear idea when it will be up and running. Amazon officials did not respond to questions either.

There is also no immediate signs of a hiring blitz for the Tallahassee facility. As of early December, the only advertised local jobs on the official Amazon site were two management positions. It’s also not clear when Amazon plans to fill positions needed to bring the facility online.

However, when all is said and done, local officials are still expecting Amazon to deliver the largest jobs win in city and county history ‒ and a last-mile facility in northwest Tallahassee on top of that.

The additional jobs will count toward the capital city’s ambitious goal of creating more than 17,000 jobs by 2030 to remain competitive in the Florida, national and global job market. While some say Tallahassee’s economy is strong, nearly every business struggles to find qualified workers and employers are all pulling from the same labor pool.

Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Sue Dick said local employers and business owners are cautiously optimistic when discussing economic projections for 2023.

“The fourth quarter has shown an increase in interest rates impacting certain sectors, but many companies are sharing that 2022 will be a record year for revenue,” Dick said. “Tallahassee is unique in that the economy is fueled by private industry along with public sector investment, providing a steady economy.”

Other than Amazon, here’s a rundown of some of the projects that are likely to bring new jobs to the capital city in 2023 or beyond.


4Forty North

It’s the largest mixed-use redevelopment currently underway in downtown Tallahassee. Located at the former Envision Credit Union’s flagship location on North Monroe Street, it’s slated to have an economic impact of $88.4 million.

On any given day, there’s an average of 125 people working on-site at the 4Forty North development. Depending on needs, 250 people across the project could work directly on-site at the project. Another 30 to 40 consultants and support staff are working, too.

“When it’s all said and done, you’re probably looking at about 300 people who take some type of stake in the project,” said Chuck Howell, a partner at Charles Street Development CO, the project’s developer.

Once complete, the five-story, mixed-use development will bring 248 residential units and a mix of retail and restaurant space. Howell said he’s working on a “couple of options” but can’t provide details at this time.

Jobs to be created: 125 on-site jobs on average

North American Aerospace Industries

The largest economic development opportunities coming to the capital city are circling Tallahassee International Airport, which could generate 1,300 permanent jobs and 1,800 temporary jobs in the coming years with a three-pack of developments.

North American Aerospace Industries, initially dubbed Project Alpha during early negotiations, is the biggest of the three and slated to have a $450 million economic impact if the city and county can seal the deal with the company. It specializes in aircraft teardown and recycling.

Projected jobs created: 985 permanent jobs; 1,443 temporary construction jobs

Aero Center Tallahassee

Estimated to have a $19 million economic impact, Aero Center Tallahassee is leasing roughly 7.75 acres of airport property to build approximately 38,000 square feet of facilities that will include fueling, line services and other aircraft services, including a 44,000-gallon fuel storage system.

Jobs to be created: 29 permanent and 100 temporary

Burrell Aviation at Tallahassee International Airport

The company signed a lease with the city of Tallahassee for roughly 19 acres.

With an estimated economic impact of $60 million, the project calls for the construction of executive-style business hangars, along with maintenance repair and overhaul hangars. The deal also allows flexibility for the company to bring other aeronautical-related developments to the airport.

Projected jobs created: 291 permanent jobs and 263 temporary construction jobs


On any given time, there are 12 to 15 homes under construction at this giant residential community taking shape in east Tallahassee.

Full support for each home would require about 10 or so on-site workers, said Richard Yates, who’s developing Fallschase. The jobs count is fluid based on the stage of completion for each home as the development ultimately targets bringing 1,500 new single-family homes to the capital city.

“There are a constant number of people who are involved in that construction process,” Yates said.

Projected job count: Fluid based on the number of jobs.

Florida State University

The university has $1 billion in projects planned in the coming years. More than 140 capital projects are in various phases of construction; FSU has allocated about $214 million for its 2022-2023 Fixed Capital Outlay Budget.

Six projects are major job creators. Kyle Clark, senior vice president for finance and administration at FSU, said these key projects “will set the university up for success over the next few decades as we grow our research enterprise, including the FSU Health initiative, and continue our educational mission.”

While the projects will boost Tallahassee’s economy, job projections for each one is difficult to pinned down. Some of the major projects include: the Interdisciplinary Research & Commercialization Building in Innovation Park, Legacy Hall, home of the new FSU College of Business at the Civic Center, and improvements at Doak Campbell Stadium. The university is also set to break ground on a long-awaited, 150,000-square-foot football-only facility on Dec. 17.

Projected job count: Fluid at this time.

Project Dakota

This confidential project is with an advanced manufacturing company that’s in negotiations with the Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality. It’s slated to produce nanomaterials.

Projected job creation: 125 jobs.

Project Guard

Specifics on this project are unknown to the public at this time due to confidentiality clauses while in the negotiation phase. According to OEV, it’s related to an advanced manufacturing company and it’s looking to manufacture mobile buildings.