Forbes Article Highlights Lehigh Valley’s Thriving Manufacturing Sector
By Colin McEvoy on July 18, 2019
Those of us who work and live in the Lehigh Valley know that manufacturing is not a thing of the past. The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) has long worked to spread that message outside the region in no uncertain terms: “Hey, world, we still make stuff here!”
And the world is getting the message. A recent article in Forbes, one of the nation’s leading business magazines, details the rejuvenation of Lehigh Valley’s manufacturing sector following the closure of Bethlehem Steel, and the region’s evolution into a more balanced, diversified economy.
LVEDC worked closely with Forbes reporter Jim Vinoski as he worked on the story, which first ran on the magazine’s website on July 16. LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham is quoted extensively, and several Lehigh Valley manufacturers are featured, including Martin Guitar, Mack Trucks, Victaulic, and OraSure Technologies.
In the story, Cunningham speaks about the cultural heritage of manufacturing in the Lehigh Valley, the strong engineering programs in the region’s higher education institutions, and the fact that 33 percent of U.S. consumers are within an eight-hour truck drive.
“In 2017 we went over $40 billion for our local GDP for the first time – the GDP is higher today than when we had steel,” Cunningham said in the story. “Manufacturing is now third largest for numbers of jobs, and second largest for output for Lehigh Valley. We’ve got 680 different manufacturers across two counties.”
LVEDC has been heavily focused on efforts to attract and retain employees in the manufacturing sector and other industries in the Lehigh Valley.
Below is a brief excrept of the Forbes story, which ran with the headline “Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley Bounces Back From Big Steel’s Departure.” Click here to read the full story.
When the old headquarters tower for Bethlehem Steel was demolished in May, many news stories portrayed it as just another piece in a long line of bad news for Pennsylvania industry. After all, it was the final chapter of a company that at one time was the second largest steel producer in the country, and an economic mainstay for the Bethlehem area.
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