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Success Stories

From Humble Beginnings to Valedictorian, Mulberry High Grad Looks to a Career in STEM Fields

Another student is using valuable lessons from Polk County Public Schools and taking them to higher education, this time to Stanford. Mulberry High School biology teacher Stace Alcala played a major role in Brenda Alvarez-Lagunas’ love of science, challenging her in such a way that the 2019 valedictorian is now attending Stanford University in California […]

Visioning the Central Florida Innovation District

Polk County and the cities of Lakeland and Auburndale have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together with the Central Florida Development Council to develop a vision for the Central Florida Innovation District (CFID). “Collaboration and coordination are key to both the establishment of a vision for the Innovation District and the realization […]

Investors Face Upcoming Deadline to Apply to Develop in Opportunity Zones

Investors are beginning to take notice of 19 “Opportunity Zones” in Polk County that are ripe for development. “We are working closely with a number of developers and businesses on advanced manufacturing, agri-tech and residential projects in four of Winter Haven’s Opportunity Zones,” said Bruce Lyon, president of the Winter Haven Economic Development Council. Because […]

SEU Grad Hopes to Use Math Degree To Start His Own Software Company

Scott Leslie learned to tackle school lessons on computers in third grade in the mid-1990s. That early work was an important part of who he is today, where he’s been and where he’s going. Although he rates his K-12 educational years as average, admitting he has nothing to compare them to, he praises Polk County […]

Services Keep Polk County Airports Flying High

Many people think of airports as places where planes take off and land. But there’s much more that happens at Polk County’s four local airports, all of which support aviation and the Polk County economy. For instance, Gulf Coast Avionics sells, installs and repairs aircraft electronics. “We bring in customers from all over the world […]

Southeastern Student Credits Bartow High for Her Pre-Med Quest

Yaliana Garcia, 19, moved to Polk County from Puerto Rico at the end of her junior year of high school. Even with such a short time here, she looks back at Bartow High School and its teachers as the reason she’s pursuing her dream to become a doctor. “I did not have the opportunity to […]

Balmoral Resort the Jewel of Feltrim Development in Haines City

“I like Haines City and Polk County,” says Garrett Kenny. “There are tremendous growth opportunities here. Going back 15-16 years, I saw a lot of growth in the Interstate 4 and U.S. 27 corridors. Looking forward another 20 years, I see Polk County expanding a lot.” Garrett Kenny was at home in Ireland when he […]

Nucor Steel Grows Its Own Electricians at Power Academy

Nucor Steel, prides itself on empowering its employees to solve problems. When the company was having difficulty finding qualified electricians, their maintenance managers decided to work together to find a solution. Six years later, one of those solutions has been implemented locally and is helping one local teen prepare for his first full-time job at […]

Polk County’s Fast Growth Brings Challenges and Opportunities

Polk County has seen fast growth in the last few years. In fact, Lakeland-Winter Haven ranked No. 4 on the U.S. Census’s Top 10 Metropolitan Areas in Percentage Growth list, with a 3.2% annual population increase from 2017 to 2018. According to the World Population Review, Polk County was home to more than 708,000 residents […]

Florida Polytechnic Director Brings Prestige to University, Polk County

Florida Polytechnic University’s dominance on the world autonomous vehicle stage continues to grow, a status that enhances all of Polk County. Dr. Rahul Razdan, senior director of special projects at Florida Poly and head of the university’s Advanced Mobility Institute (where AV technology is tested and validated), has been appointed to lead a new project […]