Sep 02, 2021


 Pacer Group located in Hardee County after a proactive Industrial Development Authority board member reached out to the CEO in 2006.

         “I was reading the paper and read that Pacer had paid half a million dollars for a small parcel of land in Sarasota,” recalls Lory Durrance, who at the time, was an Industrial Development Authority board member. “So, I called them and told them about the Hardee County commerce park, where they could spend less money and buy eight acres.”

         That phone call led Pacer Group to buy eight acres in the Hardee County Commerce Park for $219,510. The company built a 40,000 square foot building where electronic boat harnesses are produced.

         “We provide boat builders with all the components for a fully functioning electrical system” explains John Swiatkowski, Pacer Group President. “At our Hardee county facility we manufacture electrical wire harnesses, electrical breaker panels, battery management systems, as well as, dash and switch panels.  This includes processes such as wire processing, aluminum fabrications, powder coat, paint/clear coat, hydro-graphics, and UV printing.  Pacer products combine to create durable electrical systems and enhance the attractiveness and functionality of boats.”

         Pacer currently employs 140 people and is expecting to reach 165 employees within months, making expansion necessary. The Hardee County Industrial Development Authority and the Hardee County Economic Development Authority are each contributing $1 million toward the construction of a 22,500 square foot building to meet Pacer Group’s growth needs. Upon completion of construction, Pacer will enter into a lease/purchase agreement, that includes a job creation incentive, with the Hardee County Industrial Development Authority.

         The Hardee County Industrial Development Authority commemorated the beginning of construction with a groundbreaking ceremony. The celebration was held on Tuesday, August 10th. Commissioner Melendy, Chairman of the Hardee County Commissioners, gave opening remarks and expressed appreciation to Pacer for the contribution of jobs created in Hardee County and congratulated the company on its success. John Swiatkowski, Pacer Group President, spoke to the strong relationships within the Hardee County business community and the partnership with the Hardee County Economic Development office.

         “The Hardee County Industrial Development Authority remains committed to assuring a destiny of prosperity for our community,” emphasizes Bill Lambert, Hardee County Economic Development Director. “The commerce park has been an effective resource in recruiting businesses to Hardee County. So much so that we are now nearing completion of a 104 acre expansion, adding an additional 20 lots. Businesses like Pacer are an asset to our county and encourage us to continue our efforts in economic development!”


About Hardee County Economic Development Council

The Hardee County Economic Development Council (EDC) and Hardee County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) have a dual membership board. The EDC staff manages IDA projects and spearheads economic development in Hardee County.

Hardee County has experienced many economic development successes. The Hardee County EDC/IDA have supported 25 projects from 2006-2020. These projects result in a significant on-going economic impact on the area and help diversify the County's economy. Recent data from the Florida Institute of Government at the University of South Florida and Impact Data Source indicates that the firms supported by the EDC/IDA over the last 15 years generated direct, indirect and induced revenues for area businesses of $1.5 billion.



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