Polk’s Capital City
The dominant force in the economy of Bartow is city, county and state government. As the capital of a county with over 7000,000 people, Bartow has an unusually large number of government jobs. In addition to city and county offices, there are also a number of regional, state, and federal offices located within Bartow city limits.

Nine of the 17 largest employers in Bartow are government entities. The largest by far is the Polk County School Board with over 12,000 employees. Other county entities, which employ many people in the Bartow area, include the Polk County Commission, the Sheriff’s Office, the Clerk of Courts, the Tax Collector, and the Property Appraiser. The Florida Department of Transportation District One office is located in Bartow and is responsible for southwest Florida’s transportation needs.

Bartow City Government
The City of Bartow is governed by a City Commission of five; overseeing the Bartow City Manager. Visit the City of Bartow webpage here for more information about city services, staff, utilities, and recreation programs.

Bartow’s Population
As the capital, a unique dynamic is created that blends the best of a small town environment with that of a bustling center of government and commerce. During the typical work week, thousands of people come to work in governmental jobs. Bartow’s population of some 20,000 residents increases by almost 10,000 people during the work week.

Hot Spot For Business
Economic vitality is supported by the city’s position as the seat of county government as well as several state agencies. The Bartow Economic Development Council, Greater Bartow Chamber of Commerce, Bartow Community Redevelopment Agency and Main Street Bartow are active partners in the economic well being of the area. Bartow is home to CareerSource Polk, a non-profit corporation that oversees state and federal funds dedicated to preparing and upgrading a skilled workforce. The Polk State College Clear Springs Advanced Technology Center provides workforce training through eight institutes, including manufacturing, child care, contractor safety, insurance, IT/computers, professional development, real estate and supply chain management.