Talent Pipeline

Lakeland is home to five colleges and universities, 17,000 college students and over 66 high school academies. The Lakeland-Winter Haven MSA has a total employment of 339,319 and access to over 10.5 million people within a 100-mile radius as of the 2021 Census estimates.

Recently ranked as “THE BEST PLACES TO WORK IN MANUFACTURING” and BEST CITIES FOR NEW GRADS”, We have a 3% annual population increase, which earned us the fifth spot on U.S. Census’s Top 10 Metropolitan Areas in Numeric Growth list.


Wage Data

Lakeland’s MSA annual average wage is $51,588 or $24.80/hr, most state and local incentives are tied to job creation require companies to pay 115% of our average wage which is $59,326 or $28.52/hr. Employees of companies moving to Florida, will be able to provide their family with a much larger house and amenities (pool, etc) in Lakeland vs. our competitors.

The average price of a home in Tampa and Orlando is roughly between 40% to 60% higher than a home in Lakeland/Polk County. Business Insider ranked Lakeland as the “#1 city to buy a house, where jobs are plentiful, construction is booming, and young people are moving in.” Overall, the state of Florida has a favorable and business friendly environment as there is no state income tax.




Quick Response Training (QRT) offers partial reimbursement to relocating or expanding businesses for expenses related to training new or existing employees after jobs have been created or retained and the training has occurred.

This business-friendly program is flexible to respond quickly to corporate training objectives. Once approved, the business provides a company match of cash or in-kind contributions. The business chooses what training is needed, who provides it and how it is provided.



Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) provides training to currently employed workers to keep Florida’s workforce competitive in a global economy and to retain existing businesses.

The program is available to all Florida businesses that have been in operation for at least one year prior to application and require skills upgrade training for existing employees. All IWT funds are subject to availability of funding and contingent on training needs. Awards are made on a first come – first serve basis.



The Veterans Florida Business Training Grant is available to Florida businesses seeking to train and hire military veterans. The program helps businesses meet workforce demands in a competitive environment by facilitating access to training and education in high-demand fields for veterans through matching training grants up to $8,000 per veteran employee trained.



Florida companies may be able to receive local funding assistance for skills upgrade training for their employed workers. Employed Worker Training (EWT) Grant is a locally funded resource with guidelines established by each of Florida’s individual regional workforce board.

EWT may be used to meet many industry or company-specific training requirements. Businesses may become more competitive by providing their employees new skills that may lead to greater productivity. New skills for employees may also result in career advancement opportunities for the individual.



CALL OUR TEAM: 863-687-3788