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Talent Pipeline

An Applied Math Degree Leads Harvard Student from Polk County to Wall Street

As Erick Meza prepares to graduate from Harvard University, he reflects on the education he received from Polk County Public Schools, one that helped prepare him for four rigorous years at the Ivy League college. Now 22, Erick graduated from the International Baccalaureate High School in Bartow, Florida in 2015. The son of Meliton and […]

Slingshot Polk Engages Student Innovators

Growing our own entrepreneurs and keeping them in Polk County, especially in STEM-related fields, remains a focus the economic development community. To that end, SlingShot Polk encourages people under the age of 25 to innovate or design their own inventions and start their own businesses. To help, SlingShot Polk offers prize money to get the […]

Polk Grad Now SEU Nursing Student Balances School, Kids, Life

Alexis Dauphinais always considered going into the medical field, following in her parents’ footsteps. A second installment in our series showcasing students who attended Polk County Public Schools and are either pursuing degrees in STEM fields or recently started working in STEM-related jobs. Dauphinais, 28, is not the traditional college student on the campus of […]

Polk Graduates find Success Pursuing High Tech Studies

Margaret and Joanna Sands attended public schools for 12 years in Polk County, spending their formative high school years at Summerlin Academy in Bartow. The military school may have seemed like an odd choice for the STEM-oriented Winter Haven twins, but one thing attracted them: Japanese. “They ended up there because they got interested in […]

Workforce Training Helps Job Seekers Prepare for Today’s Openings

Governor DeSantis could bring new support and enthusiasm for workforce training and development, something needed in Polk County and around Central Florida. “I have heard that he is an advocate for a strong economy, which means a strong workforce for vibrant business growth,” said Stacy Campbell-Domineck, president and CEO of CareerSource Polk, a “non-profit corporation […]

Graduation Rate Rises to over 80 Percent for the Polk County School District

Polk County Public Schools is pleased to announce that the school district’s graduation rate rose to 80.4 percent in 2017-18, an annual increase of 5.0 percentage points, according to the latest data from the Florida Department of Education. “I’m happy that we are graduating more students each year,” said Jacqueline M. Byrd, Superintendent of Polk […]

Winter Haven Hospital and FSU Closing Gap on Healthcare

Dr. Nathan Falk recites statistics easily, indicating he’s already done considerable research during his three weeks as the first program director for the Florida State University College of Medicine Family Medicine Residency Program at Winter Haven Hospital. For instance, did you know that more people ages 18 to 64 are insured in Polk County than […]

Meet the Employees of Tomorrow

Connecting college students with careers in Polk is an important goal for the Central Florida Development Council and Polk Vision — and the main reason behind an upcoming career fair. “All of our schools are very different and we attract different employers, so I think having a countywide fair is the perfect way to expose […]

Four Reasons Workforce Education is Important in Polk County

“The Polk County School District’s workforce education programs offer countless and invaluable benefits to our students,” said Marc Hutek, assistant superintendent of career, technical, adult and multiple pathways. “Through these programs, students are introduced to potential careers, they begin building skills and earning certifications, and they participate in numerous experiential opportunities, all of which help them […]

Robotics Students Feed the Talent Pipeline

Polk robotics students learn real-world skills in preparation for technology careers At Winter Haven High School’s Technobotics Academy, students are building real world skills they can use in technology-related jobs — jobs that are on the rise in the area as the result of strategic Polk County economic development efforts. They study mechanical engineering, computer […]