Category Archives: Business Resources


Congressman Ross Welcomes Local Veterans to D.C.

U.S. Rep. Dennis A. Ross (R-FL-15), Senior Deputy Majority Whip, released the following statement after he and members of his staff welcomed veterans from the Flight to Honor Polk Florida and the Honor Flight of West Central Florida to Washington, D.C.

“I am truly privileged to welcome these brave veterans visiting our Nation’s Capital today. These courageous soldiers fought to preserve our country’s freedoms in World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to shake their hands and personally thank them for the sacrifices they made to defend our nation’s honor.

“As the son of a WWII Navy Veteran and brother of three veterans, I have seen firsthand the selflessness, integrity and devotion that goes into being a United States soldier. Words cannot adequately express the respect and gratitude I have for these fine men and women. It is a blessing to live in a country made free by these heroes.”

The Flight to Honor Polk Florida and the Honor Flight of West Central Florida programs enable World War II and Korean and Vietnam War veterans from across the entire nation to view their memorials in Washington, D.C. There were 90 Polk and Hillsborough County veterans in attendance of today’s flights.

Veterans and guardians who wish to participate in the Flight to Honor Polk Florida can request an application by visiting or calling 863-940-4841. Those wishing to participate in the Honor Flight of West Central Florida can visit or call (727) 498-6079.

To view photos from today’s event, click here.

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Court Sides With Students Over Lawsuit Against Tax Credit Scholarships

Approximately 70,000 students will continue to receive educational opportunities thanks to a decision by a Florida judge to dismiss a lawsuit against tax credit scholarship and school choice programs.

This Florida Chamber-supported program, created in 2001 by former Governor Jeb Bush, allows businesses to provide scholarships for students from low-income families to attend high-quality private schools, helping to break generational poverty by providing students with exponentially greater educational opportunities for success.

“In Florida, we’re way beyond sitting back and letting the status quo roll over students’ opportunities and lives,” said Patricia Levesque, Executive Director of Foundation for Florida’s Future in a statement. “The unions do not speak for the tens of thousands of parents and teachers embracing choices that make success possible for more and more students every year.”

The Florida Chamber believes talent is quickly becoming Florida’s new economic development currency. The Florida Chamber will continue to support programs that empower parents, provide students with learning opportunities and help our state succeed.

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Lakeland Electric Receives National Recognition For Reliable Electric Operations

Lakeland Electric is one of 191 of the nation’s more than 2,000 public power utilities to earn the Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3®)1 designation from the American Public Power Association (APPA) for providing consumers with the highest degree of reliable and safe electric service. Kenneth Stone, energy services and accounting manager at Braintree Electric Light Department of Braintree, Mass., and executive committee member of APPA’s RP3 Review Panel, presented the designees on May 18 during the association’s annual Engineering & Operations Technical Conference held in Sacramento, CA.

The RP3 designation recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement. Criteria within each category are based on sound business practices and represent a utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity. The RP3 designation now lasts for three years (up from two), so the 97 utilities that earned the designation this year join the 94 that received it last year for a total of 191.

“Utilities that have earned APPA’s RP3 designation are implementing best practices for the industry, and are a testament to public power’s commitment to serving their community,” said Stone.

“We’re honored to receive the RP3 designation,” said Joel Ivy, General Manager of Lakeland Electric. “Our utility staff puts in a lot of hard work to serve this community. RP3 represents a much appreciated recognition of this hard work.”

Lakeland Electric is the third largest public power utility in the State of Florida serving 126,000 customers with production capability of over 1100 Megawatts. The utility is also one of the first utilities established in Florida having started operation in 1889.

This is the tenth year that RP3 recognition has been offered. APPA is the national organization representing more than 2,000 not-for-profit, community- and state- owned electric utilities. It is located in Arlington, VA.

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