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Top 5 Reasons to Live, Work, and Locate Your Business in the Lehigh Valley

By Colin McEvoy on December 28, 2015

This story first appeared in the second issue of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development magazine, a publication developed by LVEDC and Journal Communications. This magazine highlights the region’s competitive advantages for targeted sectors, as well as providing an overview of the region’s business climate, livability, transportation infrastructure, and other economic assets.

Lehigh Valley map1. Market Access

Located an hour north of Philadelphia and 90 minutes west of New York City, the Lehigh Valley’s location in the Northeast gives businesses access to one-third of the U.S. consumer market, making it a hub for distribution and fulfillment firms and manufacturers with shipping needs. Transportation infrastructure encompasses all modes and includes direct access to three interstates, two Class I rail providers and intermodal facilities, along with close proximity to the ports of Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York, and three international airports.

2. Affordability

In the Lehigh Valley, the cost of doing business is lower than most large areas in the Northeast, and labor costs are in line with the national average. The region also offers a wealth of incentives, including low-interest financing programs that help businesses fund construction, land, equipment, working capital, workforce training and sustainable development projects.

3. Industrial Sites

For companies looking for space to set up large-scale manufacturing and distribution operations, the Lehigh Valley has an abundance of shovel-ready sites and buildings ready for repurposing. The region heavily promotes the reuse of brownfields and has Foreign Trade Zone status, providing businesses involved in international trade with opportunities to reduce costs.

4. Skilled Workforce

The Lehigh Valley has a strong, industrious workforce known for its production expertise and high level of technical training. Workers are committed to their employers and the community, spending thousands of hours giving back through volunteer work with local service organizations. Companies can draw from a deep pool of talented, educated professionals thanks to a dozen colleges, universities, and career and technical centers in the region that enroll more than 50,000 students.

5. High Quality of Life

Corporations find it easy to attract talent to the Lehigh Valley, which offers a lower cost of living and more affordable housing than most parts of the Northeast. Residents have access to exceptional schools and hospitals, as well as plentiful arts, culture and recreation. Cities in the region are bustling with live music and entertainment, specialty restaurants and retail, and sports attractions such as professional hockey and minor league baseball.

Don Cunningham: Lehigh Valley Lending Network Increases Access to Capital

This column, written by LVEDC President and CEO Don Cunningham, originally appeared in Lehigh Valley Business on November 16, 2015. (Click here to read Cunningham’s previous c[...]

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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

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    City Center Lehigh Valley
  • Industry Spotlight

    9.8% of Labor Force
    Employed in Manufacturing
    Q4 2016

  • By the Numbers
    $3.44 Billion

    Exports
    2015

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    1,504 Total Office Buildings
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    $57,510

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    1,770 Total Industrial Buildings
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    24,400

    New Jobs Created Over Past 5 Years

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    5.0% Industrial
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    658,477

    Population

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    7.7% Office
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    342,493

    Labor Force

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

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    5,073

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    25.8 Million

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    10.1% Industrial rent growth
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    115.5 Million

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