Lakeland is nestled between two of Florida’s biggest cities, Orlando and Tampa, and plays a vital role in the state’s economy. After all, all roads lead to I-4. But who is taking advantage of our centralized location? We’ve compiled a list of 15 of the largest employers in our city, ranging from international giants to businesses that started right here, courtesy of the Lakeland Economic Development Council (LEDC).
Where shopping is a pleasure. Publix employs more than 8,000 employees and remains the largest employee-owned grocery chain in the United States. It’s Lakeland’s largest private employer, and the franchise was originally founded right here in Polk County — Winter Haven, to be exact — in 1930. Publix is one of the 10 largest-volume supermarket chains in the country, employing over 200,000 people total.
Originally named the Morrell Memorial Hospital back in 1916, Lakeland Regional Health, which has 7,000+ employees, serves as one of the largest hospitals in Florida with medical personnel practicing in more than 40 specialties. The facilities feature modern, state-of-the-art equipment for innovative medical practice.
One of the latest employee growth categories for LRH is the addition of the Graduate Medical Education program, which brought in an additional 70+ medical residents across eight specialties in July 2023. At full capacity, the residency program will have 199 residents learning their craft and improving access to healthcare in Lakeland each year.
Just wait right there because the next 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on your car insurance… GEICO, which holds 17 corporate offices across the country, has an office planted here in Lakeland. While employing more than 3,800 employees, this company continues to provide incredible career opportunities for locals, giving us more than one reason to love that iconic green gecko.
Did you know our local government employs over 2,800 people? From Parks and Recreation and Lakeland Electric to Community and Economic Development and the Lakeland Fire and Lakeland Police departments, the City of Lakeland serves and preserves, while inspiring strong communities.
Watson Clinic has offered medical services of the highest quality since 1941. Providing walk-in, after hours, and weekend care, the company’s hospital-based doctors at Lakeland Regional Health are also on-call around the clock to offer emergency services and special care. While Watson Clinic continues to grow, it currently employs more than 1,800 people.
Known as one of the fastest growing private universities in the country, SEU employs more than 1,000 personnel. Originally founded in Alabama and relocated to Lakeland in 1946, today the school provides more than 70 undergraduate degrees available in traditional, evening, and online formats.
Amazon and Amazon Air Hub
One company Lakeland has come to appreciate is Amazon, with its fast deliveries and reliable inventory. With over 2,500 local employees, the company’s Amazon Air Hub and 1 million-sqft warehouse on County Line Road are here to help fulfill your online shopping cravings.
Serving for over 50 years, Saddle Creek continues to build customized supply chain solutions for thousands of clients. The company distributes to subscription box companies, e-commerce retailers, direct sellers, and more all over the United States. Saddle Creek employs more than 1,280 people locally.
With around 800 employees in house, Rooms To Go has a 2.5 million-sqft warehouse located in Lakeland. The company provides furniture and delivery services to homes and businesses across the US.
Offering a wide variety of accessories, equipment, and mechanical services for your vehicle, Advance Auto Parts employs 615 people across Lakeland and Polk County.
Voted the No. 6 most beautiful college campus in the South by Southern Living, Florida Southern College is a fast growing liberal arts college that employs 550 people and has more than 2,800 students enrolled per year.
Providing worker’s compensation services across the Southeast, Summit Consulting proudly employs 540 people in its ever-growing corporation. Fun fact: The company was formed at a kitchen table in Lakeland in the late 1970s.
Serving as a reliable purified water provider and delivery service, Primo currently employs 500 people at its Lakeland campus.
For more than 30 years, WellDyne has provided leading innovative strategies for mobile pharmacy services and has a specialty pharmacy for those who require specialized services. Its Lakeland headquarters has more than 425 employees.
Founded in 1973, MidState Machine & Fabrication equips clients with its machinery manufacturing, industrial maintenance and service solutions. The company currently has 400 employees at its Lakeland office.