Expanding Opportunities

Learn why some of the world’s leading manufacturers choose to be in the Lehigh Valley in this short video about the high-performance manufacturing industry in the region.

After several decades of employment decline, manufacturing is back on the rise in the United States, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the Lehigh Valley. The region’s economic assets are well-suited for this expanding industry, which is growing at a much faster rate in the Lehigh Valley than in the rest of Pennsylvania and much of the country.

The Lehigh Valley’s manufacturing sector grew by 4.1 percent from 2013 to 2014, and ranks 64th out of 381 metropolitan markets in the country.

An economic analysis by the Atlanta-based Garner Economics identified high performance manufacturing as a target sector for the Lehigh Valley based on these factors, among others:

  • Central location and proximity to major U.S. Northeast markets
  • Well-developed transportation infrastructure
  • Availability of water and sewer lines to industrial sites
  • High relative proportion of residents with bachelor’s degrees in engineering
  • Strong existing local pool of high-demand occupations
  • 740 post-secondary completions in year 2012 from local institutions in engineering fields
  • 422 annual post-secondary completions in critical fields from local institutions
  • Presence of Lehigh University’s Center for Manufacturing Systems Engineering
  • High measure of local specialization in electrical equipment and component manufacturing
  • Average target subsector five-year forecasted growth of 10.5 percent
  • Quality of place assets: ample opportunities for cultural activities, recreation, shopping

The Lehigh Valley is home to several nationally-renowned manufacturing companies, such as B Braun Medical and Lutron Electronics. Mack Trucks builds all of its trucks for the North American market in the Lehigh Valley, and last year enjoyed the biggest output its plant has ever seen.

Fuling Plastics, China’s largest manufacturer of plastic tableware and kitchenware, recently chose the Lehigh Valley for its first American manufacturing facility, marking the first time a Chinese manufacturer has opened a facility in Pennsylvania. Company officials said this decision was based on the Lehigh Valley’s central location, convenient transportation, strong support network, public security, and the cooperation of local officials in making the project happen.

For more information, click here to download the full Garner Economics report

Lehigh ValleyQuick Facts

  • Industry Spotlight

    13.8% of Labor Force
    Employed in Professional & Business Services
    Q4 2016

  • By the Numbers
    $39.1 Billion

    Gross Domestic Product
    2016

  • Investor Spotlight
    City Center Lehigh Valley
  • Industry Spotlight

    9.8% of Labor Force
    Employed in Manufacturing
    Q4 2016

  • By the Numbers
    $3.44 Billion

    Exports
    2015

  • Investor Spotlight
    Air Products
  • Industry Spotlight

    1,504 Total Office Buildings
    Q2 2017

  • By the Numbers
    $57,510

    Median Household Income

  • Investor Spotlight
    PPL Electric Utilities
  • Industry Spotlight

    1,770 Total Industrial Buildings
    Q2 2017

  • By the Numbers
    24,400

    New Jobs Created Over Past 5 Years

  • Investor Spotlight
    National Penn
  • Industry Spotlight

    5.0% Industrial
    Vacancy Rate
    Q2 2017

  • By the Numbers
    658,477

    Population

  • Investor Spotlight
    Olympus
  • Industry Spotlight

    7.7% Office
    Vacancy Rate
    Q2 2017

  • By the Numbers
    342,493

    Labor Force

  • Investor Spotlight
    Lutron Electronics
  • Industry Spotlight

    17.2% of Labor Force
    Employed in Health Care & Social Assistance

  • By the Numbers
    5,073

    Technology Patents from 2000-2015

  • Investor Spotlight
    Mack Trucks
  • Industry Spotlight

    9.1% Increase in exports
    Among top 20 markets nationally in export growth

  • By the Numbers
    25.8 Million

    Total Office Inventory (Square Feet)
    Q2 2017

  • Investor Spotlight
    UGI
  • Industry Spotlight

    10.1% Industrial rent growth
    Second highest in the U.S.

  • By the Numbers
    115.5 Million

    Total Industrial Inventory (Square Feet)
    Q2 2017

  • Investor Spotlight
    NFI