Back

Don Cunningham Appears on Lehigh Valley Discourse Radio Show on WDIY

By Colin McEvoy on February 23, 2018

LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham (right) and Sally Handlon (left), host of Lehigh Valley Discourse, a weekly news program on WDIY.

LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham (right) and Sally Handlon (left), host of Lehigh Valley Discourse, a weekly news program on WDIY.

Don Cunningham, President & CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC), gave an update on the regional economy during a radio appearance last week.

Cunningham appeared on the Feb. 15 broadcast of Lehigh Valley Discourse, a weekly news program on WDIY that interviews major figures in the region to discuss the issues that move and shape the Lehigh Valley.

“The last several years have been really strong for the Lehigh Valley,” Cunningham said. “Sometimes you don’t realize it when you’re living here, but for those who are outside the Lehigh Valley looking in, I think it’s obvious that the place is changing and growing.”

A recording of the broadcast can be found online here. The hour-long interview was conducted by Sally Handlon, founder and president of Handlon Business Resources, and a past member of the LVEDC Board of Directors.

Cunningham discussed several aspects of the Lehigh Valley economy during the interview, including the region’s record-high $39.1 billion gross domestic product, and the fact that the manufacturing makes up $6.9 billion  or nearly 18 percent – of the total regional GDP.

He specifically cited recent expansion projects by such major regional manufacturers as Mack Trucks, which announced the addition of 400 workers to its Lower Macungie Township plant; and Victaulic, which is investing tens of millions of dollars to increase its manufacturing operations in the region.

Cunningham also discussed the region’s booming e-commerce sector, which currently employs about 28,000 people in the Lehigh Valley, compared to about 17,000 five years ago.

“We’ve had phenomenal job growth in that area, but that pace cannot continue, just because you don’t have enough people, first of all, and with what automation and robotics will do to that down the road,” he said.

Cunningham also discussed LVEDC’s new three-year strategic plan, its ongoing education and talent supply initiative, and proposal the organization made to try to win the second Amazon headquarters.

Lehigh Valley Discourse airs every Thursday evening from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., following NPR’s All Things Considered, and is later made available online at wdiy.org. WDIY is the Lehigh Valley’s community NPR station.

Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong Delivers His First State of the County Address

Just a little over three months after his election, Phillips Armstrong delivered his first State of the County on Feb. 22 as the new executive of Lehigh County. “I hope[...]

Continue to Next Page

Lehigh ValleyQuick Facts

Industry Spotlight

9.1% of Labor Force
Employed in Professional, Technical, Financial & Business Services
Q2 2017

By the Numbers
$39.1 Billion

Gross Domestic Product
2016

Investor Spotlight
City Center Lehigh Valley
Industry Spotlight

10.5% of Labor Force
Employed in Manufacturing
Q2 2017

By the Numbers
$3.44 Billion

Exports
2015

Investor Spotlight
Air Products
By the Numbers
$59,989

Median Household Income

Investor Spotlight
PPL Electric Utilities
By the Numbers
24,246

New Jobs Created Over Past 5 Years

Investor Spotlight
National Penn
By the Numbers
659,312

Population

Investor Spotlight
Olympus
By the Numbers
344,623

Labor Force

Investor Spotlight
Lutron Electronics
Industry Spotlight

33% of Labor Force
Employed in Health Care, Social Assistance & Education

By the Numbers
4,399

Technology Patents from 2000-2015

Investor Spotlight
Mack Trucks
Industry Spotlight

10.7% of Labor Force
Employed in Accomodation, Food Services, Arts, Entertainment & Recreation

Investor Spotlight
UGI
Investor Spotlight
NFI
Industry Spotlight

15% of the total community college degrees awarded in PA
2015-2016 academic year

By the Numbers
$6.9 Billion

Manufactuing Contribution to GDP
2016

Investor Spotlight
BB&T
Industry Spotlight

68th largest metropolitan area in the U.S. by population

By the Numbers
$7.98 Billion

Finance, Insurance & Real Estate
Contribution to GDP
2016

Investor Spotlight
Seedcopa
Industry Spotlight

9,747 degrees awarded by colleges and universities
2014-2015 academic year

By the Numbers
$5.3 Billion

Professional & Business Services
Contribution to GDP
2016

Investor Spotlight
Fuling
Industry Spotlight

80,000 employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

By the Numbers
21.7%

Population between ages 18 and 34

Investor Spotlight
Workforce Board