Polk County, Florida located along the heart of the I4 corridor is a multifaceted economic engine centered on innovation, technological advances, manufacturing, logistics and so much more.
In the past 18 months, more than $450 million in new capital investment and 2,400 new jobs have been announced in the county. Look beyond the borders and the centrally located Polk County, which has more land than the state of Delaware and more rail miles than any other county in Florida, can reach nearly 10 million people within 100 miles.
That’s what makes Polk County a hub for e-commerce fulfillment centers, logistics, distribution and manufacturing, along with corporate headquarters like Publix Super Markets and it’s why new companies are moving here. Nucor Steel — the largest steel manufacturer in the country — is building a $240 million rebar micro mill in Frostproof that will offer 250 jobs with salaries of $66,000 when it opens in 2020. And Amazon Air is constructing their newest $100M facility encompassing three buildings at Lakeland Linder International Airport, bringing 1,000 jobs with it.
All those companies need a talented, evolving workforce, and they lean on Polk’s seven institutions of higher education to help train the employees of tomorrow. Polk State College offers students associate’s and bachelor’s degrees or certificates for quick entry into the workforce, while Florida’s 12th state university, Florida Polytechnic University, teaches the next generation of engineers, computer programmers and more.
As Polk County continues to grow and diversify, Florida Poly’s students, professors and researchers are likely to work in jobs yet to be created in the Central Florida Innovation District, an area anchored by the university and the Florida Department of Transportation’s SunTrax in Auburndale. SunTrax offers a secured environment for researchers test and verify everything from toll technology to automated vehicles at the 475-acre facility.
An innovative, high-tech ecosystem will attract more companies like Molekule, which has broken ground in Lakeland on its first U.S. manufacturing facility, which will also serve as a hub for research and development. The company produces air purification systems and hopes this new plant will ensure cleaner air for everyone.
With its central location between two major international airports and three deep-water ports, and its own CSX Intermodal Logistics Center that brings trucks and rail together in Winter Haven, Polk County offers manufacturers and fulfillment centers several options to get their goods anywhere in the state within a day.
Key logistical advantages, strong infrastructure, an educated workforce, and a supportive business community and County Commission, all make Polk County the ideal location.
For a confidential consultation for your next expansion or relocation project, please contact Jennifer Taylor, Vice President Business Development, at the Central Florida Development Council. Jennifer can be reached at (863) 937-4430 or [email protected]