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Trailblazers of the Lehigh Valley Give Testimonials About the Region

By Colin McEvoy on December 28, 2017

The Lehigh Valley has been featured in a 24-page feature in American Way, the in-flight magazine of American Airlines, the largest airline in the world. Below is a portion of a story called “Global Impact,” which highlights the various regions, companies and economic trends of the Lehigh Valley. This particular excerpt is from “The Trailblazers of the Lehigh Valley.” The full story and the rest of the Spotlight Lehigh Valley feature can be found online here.

Below are three testimonials explaining how some of the Lehigh Valley’s most prominent companies and organizations are promoting innovative thinking to stay at the top of their fields.

John Simon, President of Lehigh University

John Simon (illustration by American Way)

John Simon (illustration by American Way)

Founded in 1865 by industrialist Asa Packer, Lehigh University has long contributed to the intellectual capital of Bethlehem and the whole Valley, not only through the education of generations of local leaders and workers, but also as a research institution that tackles the big issues of the time.

Today, the university is leading the way in such modern technologies as biomedical imaging and tissue engineering, while it has placed an emphasis on interdisciplinary research through its Cluster Initiative—encouraging collaboration between departments to provide the critical mass required to advance the frontiers of knowledge.

“For the larger-scale challenges that we face in society, a single discipline isn’t going to provide the path forward,” says its president, John Simon. “It’s going to be teams of people that come from different fields and different backgrounds, with different vantage points on the problem, that will actually lead to forward-looking solutions.”

Seifi Ghasemi, Chairman, President & CEO of Air Products

Seifi Ghasemi (illustration by American Way)

Seifi Ghasemi (illustration by American Way)

Ranked 288th on the 2016 Fortune 500, Air Products is a world-leading industrial gases company that serves more than 170,000 customers with operations in 50 countries, all built upon the expertise of around 16,000 global employees.

“No matter how strong the strategy, it must be executed by every employee in the company with a focus on safety, speed, simplicity and self-confi dence,” says chairman, president and CEO Seifi Ghasemi. “We want to build a truly entrepreneurial culture where every person comes to work saying, ‘This is my company,’ and acts like the CEO of his or her role.”

This approach has led Air Products to be, among other businesses, the world’s leading commercial supplier of helium, while its status as the planet’s largest hydrogen producer is helping it lead the development of new technologies as the gas is increasingly used as an alternative fuel for transportation and power generation.

Nacho Abia, President & CEO of Olympus Corporation of the Americas

Nacho Abia (illustration by American Way)

Nacho Abia (illustration by American Way)

Before even opening this page, it’s likely that you’ve heard of Olympus — although that’s likely for its line of cameras, even though that represents just a fraction of the company’s overall revenue. Instead, what may surprise you to know is that the company is also a major player within the medical industry, where its near-100-year history in optics has made it a global leader in such areas as endoscopy, while more than 10 million colonoscopies a year are performed in the U.S. alone using its equipment.

I want Olympus to become better known for all of the good that it puts back into the world through all of our offerings and businesses, especially our medical business,” says Nacho Abia, president and CEO of Olympus’s American business, which has been located in the Lehigh Valley since 2006. “I do believe that more people will begin to recognize Olympus beyond its cameras, and for its integral role in developing products that treat illnesses, prevent diseases, ensure safety and save lives.”

Visit here to read the rest of this story and to download the rest of the Spotlight Lehigh Valley feature in American Way.

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Lehigh ValleyQuick Facts

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

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$39.1 Billion

Gross Domestic Product
2016

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City Center Lehigh Valley
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10.5% of Labor Force
Employed in Manufacturing
Q2 2017

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$3.44 Billion

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2015

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Air Products
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$59,989

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PPL Electric Utilities
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24,246

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National Penn
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659,312

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Olympus
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344,623

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

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4,399

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10.7% of Labor Force
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UGI
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NFI
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15% of the total community college degrees awarded in PA
2015-2016 academic year

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$6.9 Billion

Manufactuing Contribution to GDP
2016

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

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$7.98 Billion

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

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$5.3 Billion

Professional & Business Services
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Fuling
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80,000 employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

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21.7%

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