Want to know which employers in Polk County are "the best" at creating a fantastic work environment?

According to CareerSource Polk, which celebrated its annual Best Places to Work Awards and Annual Meeting, Thursday, Aug. 16 at the RP Funding Center, there are four companies which won the "Employers of Distinction" Award, noted because they have received three consecutive Best Places to Work Awards. These were included, along with other award winners, in the CSPN Hall of Fame.

Those companies (applause) are A-C-T Environmental & Infrastructure Inc., Allen & Company of Florida, Inc., Clark Environmental, Inc. and Sykes Enterprises Incorporated.

In the Small Business Category (1 to 50 employees), several companies were recognized, the Central Florida Regional Planning Council, CertainTeed Machine Works, The Florida United Methodist Foundation, Kegel LLC, OMS Insurance Group, and Patel, Greene and Associates, PLLC.

The Medium Business category (51 to 250 employees) featured Ferguson Enterprises #761, Harrell's LLC, Walmart ECommerce FC 8905.

Employers of Distinction also included (2015 - 2017) CPS Investment Advisors, Lanier Upshaw Inc., LEGOLAND Florida Resort, Madrid Engineering Group, Inc., Rita Staffing. (2016-2018) Citizens Bank & Trust, Florida Presbyterian Homes, Inc., Heacock Insurance Group, The Lunz Group, Mizkan America Inc., Spherion Staffing, and Walmart DC 6071.

In the Large Business Category, the CSPN Hall of Fame included Florida's Natural Growers, MidFlorida Credit Union, Polk County Clerk of Courts and County Comptroller, The Estates at Carpenters, Walmart FC 7853.

The famed event also opened with a "signing day" ceremony for scholarship recipients with Polk State College President Dr. Angela Falconetti and Polk County Public School Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd.

Katie Worthington, president of the Greater Winter Haven Area Chamber of Commerce, posted congrats on her blog, noting "We are proud of all of the businesses who were honored at this ceremony. Polk County is full of amazing places to work! Congratulations to all of the recipients."

The annual event's theme this year was CSPN GAMEDAY, featuring successful recruiting and what it takes to maintain and keep a workforce during times of low unemployment.

Wells Fargo and Polk State College were the leading sponsors of the event.

According to the Winter Haven Chamber website, "The Annual Meeting also serves to distribute CareerSource Polk’s 2018 Annual Report by Stacy Campbell-Domineck, President & CEO, and to recognize individuals and companies who have contributed significantly to the workforce development board’s efforts in Polk County during the 2017-2018 program year."

Some were honored with individual awards. Diana Simmons of the Great Mulberry Chamber of Commerce won the Hammer Award, for "workforce development." The Miller Award for great leadership and innovation went to Gary Clark of the CPS Investment Advisors Polk County Veteran's Council. The Workforce Champion Award was won by Bill Grob of Ogletree Deakins, LLC.

Some statistics you may not know:

Job Seeker Services, which helps people locate jobs according to their skills and the needs of area companies, has served 90,746 people, with 5,703 receiving employment, after receiving 5,395 job orders. The average wage, according to CareerSource Polk's annual report, is $11.52 an hour.

Veterans Services provides employment and training to those Veterans who are eligible, and they have served 550 people.

Training Services help the unemployed get the training they need to find a job. CSP says that 94.8 percent of those who seek training also find a job when they leave CSP.

Transition Services are offered as well. Of the 392 people who came to the program in Welfare Transition, 35.1 percent found employment.

The Youth Services seem to really shine, as they report 100 percent achievement for in-school youth who either received a credential, diploma or went on to other education and training.

Career Source Polk served 874 employers in 2017-18, providing 9,768 services, and spearheading 157 recruiting events that same year.

For more information about Career Source, visit their website at www.careersourcepolk.com.

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