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Research, Engineering and High Tech
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Laser-focused on progress 

Perfectly positioned within Florida’s High Tech Corridor, Central Florida is a clear choice for cutting-edge businesses in search of a location combining low operating costs with an abundant, highly-skilled workforce. This diverse cluster includes Research & Engineering, Aerospace, Defense & National Security, Information Technology Services and Electronics.

Central Florida is home to more than 11,500 high-tech companies, including several state-of-the-art data and disaster recovery centers. Our inland location offers a strategic choice for companies in search of protection against flooding and other natural disasters that may affect the rest of the state. Colo5 recently invested more than $20 million in their new Lakeland location, citing the city’s centralized access to multiple markets and abundant technology providers as primary reasons behind their choice. In Winter Haven, Protected Trust provides server colocation, disaster recovery and other cloud-based data protection services from their fully-secure downtown location.

Companies in the Aerospace, Defense and National Security industries also benefit from Polk County’s central location and multimodal infrastructure. Defense giant Draken International is headquartered in Polk County, taking advantage of Lakeland Linder Regional Airport to house its 120,000-square foot hangar. The Lakeland-based company operates the largest fleet of privately owned tactical aircraft in the world.

As the number of high-tech companies in the area continues to increase, so does Polk County’s ongoing commitment to cultivating a tech-savvy workforce. Our students have opportunities for unique engagement with the STEM disciplines as early as middle school. In addition to the STEM-focused Polk Academies, creative partnerships between education and industry have also bred programs like MERIT—Medical, Engineering, Robotics Innovation for Tomorrow—a result of Florida Polytechnic University and Lakeland Regional Medical Center’s collaborative effort to introduce ambitious students to state-of-the-art surgical robots used in today’s operating suites.

Overall, Central Florida’s location at the epicenter of the state’s high-tech cluster guarantees that companies within this industry have access to the workforce, infrastructure and business climate they need to get started quickly and achieve long-term success.  

Featured Employers

SEMCO Construction
Madrid Engineering Group
Duke Energy
A-C-T Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc./American Compliance Technologies, Inc.
Bright House Networks
Sage Land Group
Wallis Murphey Boyington Architects
Folsom Construction
KeySafety Systems
Kincart Construction Company
Lockheed Martin
Curry Controls
Clark Environmental
Protected Trust
Florida Business Continuity Center
DSM Technology
EarthLinked Technologies
Draken International

Leading Education Programs

Florida Polytechnic University: The latest addition to Florida’s State University System, Florida Polytechnic is exclusively dedicated to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). With a groundbreaking curriculum shaped by professors and industry professionals alike, students graduate fully prepared for workforce success.

Polk State College - Aerospace Sciences: Polk State College now offers a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Sciences with concentrations in Aerospace Administration and Professional Pilot Science—the first of its kind at any public college in Florida.
  • © 2016 Central Florida Development Council
  • 5908 Hillside Heights Dr., Lakeland, FL 33812
  • Telephone: (863) 937-4430  ·  Fax: (863) 937-5340
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