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

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% of Labor Force
Employed in Manufacturing
Q2 2018

By the Numbers
$3.65 Billion

Exports
2017

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
669,899

Population

Investor Spotlight
Olympus
By the Numbers
344,623

Labor Force

Investor Spotlight
Lutron Electronics
Industry Spotlight

17.4% of Labor Force
Employed in Health Care & Social Assistance
Q2 2018

Industry Spotlight

7.9% of Labor Force
Employed in Education
Q2 2018

By the Numbers
5,073

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

Investor Spotlight
BB&T
Industry Spotlight

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

By the Numbers
$8 Billion

Finance, Insurance & Real Estate
Contribution to GDP

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

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