School system is top Polk employer in 2011

Published 3:05 pm Wednesday, December 21, 2011

St. Luke’s second largest employer

Polk County Schools tops the list of the county’s main employers in 2011 with 450 total employees.

St. Luke’s Hospital is the county’s second highest employer with 352 total employees this year.

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The Polk County Board of Commissioners recently reviewed the county’s audit report for fiscal year 2010-2011, which also included statistical and economic information.

The report compares top employers for 2011 to the top employers of the fiscal year ending in 2006, when St. Luke’s topped the list with 398 employees.

Other top employers in 2011 include Tryon Estates with 250 employees, Polk County government with 225 employees, White Oak Manor with 135 employees, Autumn Care with 103 employees and LaurelHurst and Hatch plant with 60 employees each, according to the report, which was taken from a local business survey.

Top employers in 2006 included Polk County Schools with 366 employees, which placed it second behind St. Luke’s Hospital at the time. Tryon Estates was third in 2006 with 250 employees and Polk County government was fourth in 2006 with 155 employees, according to the report.

Textile businesses on the list in 2006 that are no longer in operation in 2011 include Quality Textiles, which employed 105 in 2006 and Woodland Mills, which employed 100 in 2006.

Other companies have decreased employees since 2006, including Carolina Yarn Processors, which had 67 employees in 2006 and 51 in 2011, according to the report. Timken Inc. decreased its workforce from 50 employees in 2006 to 35 in 2011. Wayne Wire Company reduced its workforce from 43 employees in 2006 to 32 in 2011. Kangaroo Products has remained fairly steady with 30 employees in 2006 and 26 employees in 2011.

Larkins Restaurant, with 24 employees in 2011, did not exist in 2006.