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Facts about area gathered for incoming Hertz employees

May 15, 2013
Fort Myers Beach was packed Wednesday with visitors, many of them from out of state, as tourist season kicked into full swing and the weather was perfect.
Fort Myers Beach was packed Wednesday with visitors, many of them from out of state, as tourist season kicked into full swing and the weather was perfect. / Terry Allen Williams/The News-Pr

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Southwest Florida’s municipal governments and chambers of commerce are gathering information to give Hertz Global Holdings employees a look at what to expect if they relocate here from New Jersey.

Hertz announced last week that it’s moving its corporate headquarters from Park Ridge, N.J., to the southeast corner of U.S. 41 and Williams Road in Estero, where it will have about 700 employees.

“What we’re focused on right now is getting the materials together they want to have in their information center up there,” said Jim Moore, director of the Lee County Economic Development Office, who’s working with Hertz relocation consultant Brookfield Global Relocation Services to assemble the package of information.

That data won’t get down to the level of individual companies, he said.

But Christine Ross, president and CEO of the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce and the Bonia Springs Estero Economic Development Council, said that Chamber members have a way to get their names out to those Hertz workers.

They can put their brochures at the chamber’s visitors center, which is a mile and a half from where Hertz will build its new headquarters, she said — noting that there’s a good chance any visiting Hertz employees will stop by there as they scope out the area.

Richard Broome, Hertz’s spokesman, said the company’s in the earliest stages of helping its employees in the relocation process.

“We have an information website up and running which provides some basic information to our folks, but right now we’re basically answering questions,” he said.

The most common subjects of inquiries:

“Education for their children, employment for spouses, health care they or their family may need,” Broome said. “And of course the real estate question: Where am I going to live; what’s it going to cost?”

Moore said his office will be collecting information from Lee and Collier sources at least up through late May, when he’ll be going up to Park Ridge to make a presentation to Hertz officials.

After that, Broome said, the company will start sending groups of employees on tours to check out Southwest Florida in person.

The tours will be “nothing like a vacation,” he said. “They’re really exploratory trips to learn more about the region, get a flavor for the communities where they’ll live and work.”

Time is of the essence, Broome said: By the end of the year Hertz will have a contingent of employees, mainly executives, in temporary offices.

Connect with this reporter: @DickHogan (Twitter)

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