IGT expands in Lakeland, adds quality jobs to workforce

LAKELAND, Fla. — You’ve probably scratched off a lottery ticket at least once in your life, but have you ever wondered where they come from?

Companies like  International Game Technology or IGT prints the tickets off all over the world.

Most recently, expanding it’s printing facility in Lakeland, Florida.

The additional 45,000 square feet for IGT allows space for new instant ticket production. 

It also boosts the local economy by adding jobs and more money into Central Florida.

“Finding a job is difficult, it is,” said Camilia Wong, a young chemistry engineer who says climbing the ladder after college is a tough experience. “You have a place where you want to live finding jobs in that area can be kind of difficult.” 

But being lucky didn’t come in the form of a scratch off for Wong, she landed a job at IGT just three weeks ago.

Wong is now putting her USF degree in chemistry engineering to use.

“When you were looking at the different security layers, how they bond together, how they interact together, the conditions of the inks everything we use,” Wong explains the process of making the scratch off tickets, one that isn’t so simple.

Wong’s position is just one of 60 jobs IGT will be adding in 2018.

The company looking to increase it’s full time employment number by 24 percent by 2021.

IGT first opened in Lakeland back in 2009 with a staggering success rate of 112 percent job growth, 200 percent increase in game production, while contributing $4.9 million to local businesses. 

“Lakeland is a great community, it’s growing, there is a lot here and I just think this helps add to that,” said Laura Thurston who lived in Lakeland before IGT hired her on.

Before that, the young business woman was searching for a job for nine months before finally getting hired by IGT.

IGT boasts, that these are not just jobs, but good paying placements that will continue to enrich the area.

The City of Lakeland requires the scratch off company to pay its employees more than the average Polk County employee.

According to Date USA, the median household income in Polk County is about $44,000.

“The jobs that we are adding pay above the average wage of the counties, so the positions we are adding are going to exceed that expected wage,” Shannyn Talley, with IGT’s Human Resources said.

IGT says Lakeland is a perfect location for their production and distribution because it sits right along the busy I-4 corridor.  

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