January 2012 – Polk Works’ annual Workforce Summit was held on January 26, 2012 at The Lakeland Center. The half-day summit offered company executives, human resource professionals, educational staff, and the general public critical information on business issues such as Labor Law, Disability and Privacy; Legal issues in Social Media and Leadership. Following the break-out sessions was a luncheon with a keynote speaker, Monica Wofford, CSP of Contagious Companies. Monica informed and entertained with “Make Difficult People Disappear”, an engaging presentation designed with each audience member in mind. Participants experienced the awareness of their own preferences in behavior and personality, explored the behaviors of others that made them appear difficult, and practiced utilizing this information in real world scenarios. Attendees received HRCI Certification hours for all sessions.
March 2012 – On March 13, 2012 Polk Works sponsored the “What if Symposium”. The event included educational institutions as well as employers. Local educational institutions were asked to set up booths that the participants can visit as well as providing experts in financial aid & scholarships. There was also an area set up for the young people to conduct mock interviews as well as receive resume assistance. The ultimate objective of this symposium was to empower the young person with a broader view of the world of work and the opportunities that are available to them.
May 16th – Polk Works sponsored Congressman Dennis Ross’ Community and Veteran Employment Fair at Polk State College’s Lakeland Campus. Numerous employers were on hand conducting interviews and in some cases hiring on the spot. Military veterans were highly touted and encouraged to attend.
June 1, 2012 – Polk Works hosted its 5th Corporate Institute at Polk State College’s Lakeland Campus for staff. Various training and brainstorming sessions were conducted throughout the day. Leadership Institute candidates were announced: Migdalia Alvarez, Michael Willis, Beverly Dingle, Steven Carr, Gina Ronokarijo, Allen Smoak, Marybeth Soderstrom & Kathleen O’Donnell.
July 2012 – Lori Walsh is appointed as the Board’s Chair.
July 1, 2012 – The Florida Legislature passed House Bill 7023, Accountability Act, which strengthens the accountability and transparency of regional workforce boards. One of the Governor’s priorities in his seven-point Job Creation and Economic Growth agenda.
October – Polk Works’ CEO initiated planning for the Race-to-Place initiative, a community effort to place 10,000 job seekers into jobs.
October 31st – The Veteran and Community Job Fair was hosted by Polk Works with Ben Albritton and John Wood of the Florida House of Representatives at Polk State College in Winter Haven. This was the first job fair event hosted by Polk Works to require professional dress for job seekers and be paperless.
December 21st – The Mid-Year Corporate Institute as staff prepared for Race to Place.