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Success Stories

Autonomous Vehicles: The Future of Driving and Central Florida’s Economy

It’s no secret that the new Advanced Mobility Institute at Florida Polytechnic University plays a role in researching autonomous vehicles, or, as most of us know them, driverless cars. But its focus spans much further, researching and testing experimental unmanned and connected systems technology in agriculture, senior-citizen and planned communities, public transportation and more. And […]

Growth in Auburndale is Powering Forward

Industrial growth is booming and residential growth is picking up, all of which means city officials in Auburndale, Florida are busy — and pleased. And they forecast even more development in the next five to 10 years in the city of almost 16,000 people in the north central portion of Polk County. “Expect to see […]

Lakeland Airport Awarded $4.6 Million Grant to Build New Hangar

Lakeland Airport Awarded $4.6 Million Grant to Build New Hangar The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) started Lakeland and Polk County officials’ week on a positive note when it announced Monday that it approved a $4,692,176 million grant to build a MRO facility on Lakeland Linder International Airport property. The airport, along with the […]

Opportunity Zones Open New Door for Investment in Polk

A new federal program that’s received little attention is unfolding as an “opportunity” for investors to develop within 19 zones in Polk County, Florida. The new community development program — part of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 — is called Opportunity Zones. The Treasury Department has certified 8,700 such zones — 12 […]

Haines City Hosts Successful IRONMAN With Only Three Weeks Notice

After Hurricane Michael blew the wind out of IRONMAN Florida’s considerable sails in Panama City Beach, Florida, organizers — in Hawaii for IRONMAN’s world championships — called Haines City, Florida to see whether the city could host the event with only three weeks advance notice. Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation Ryan Ritchie and Haines […]

The Merlin Way Brings Fun, Growth and Magic to Central Florida

When Merlin Entertainments waves its magic wand, good things happen, and LEGOLAND Florida Resort in Winter Haven is a shining example of how one company can make a huge impact in Central Florida. Merlin Entertainments is the operator of LEGOLAND Florida Resort who brought the major attraction to Florida in 2011. “What LEGOLAND has done […]

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 […]

Lakeland Linder and Aviation in Polk Soars

On a recent sunny Wednesday morning, visitors to Lakeland Linder International Airport (LAL) were greeted by a KF Canadian jet sitting just inside the perimeter fence. It was a plane renting a “parking space” before heading to its new home. Lakeland Linder officials charged a small daily fee. Just one of many examples of airport leaders’ […]

Polk Global Symposium Participants Talk Trade, Tariffs

Central Florida is one of the most important trade communities in the world, and it’s in a unique position to benefit from ongoing conversations on the topic, said Bill Lane, executive director of Trade for America. “Whether you’re on the right or left politically … on things that are really important to your community, you […]

Frostproof’s goals: Resident engagement, community development

When a city turns 100, it’s time to celebrate, and Frostproof City Manager Lee Evett clearly is proud of the rockin’ party his city hosted on a summer weekend in 2018. From watermelon and pie-eating contests, bands, water events, a parade, and fireworks, residents clearly enjoyed a day full of fun. Missy Hadden, the library […]