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Governor makes private visit to LVEDC to discuss jobs and economic development

By LVEDC Staff on May 29, 2013

Governor Tom Corbett visited the offices of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. last Thursday (5/23) to discuss jobs, economic development and infrastructure in Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley with LVEDC’s leadership.

Gov. Corbett met in private for more than an hour with LVEDC President and CEO Don Cunningham, Board Chairman Tom Garrity and Joe Uliana, LVEDC’s contract director of government relations.

Gov. Corbett, center, is shown with Don Cunningham, LVEDC President and C.E.O., right, and Joseph Uliana, LVEDC’s contract director of government relations, on May 23rd.

“Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley have a good story to tell about weathering the national economic recession and creating new jobs and economic growth,” Cunningham said, after the meeting. “We discussed ways that the state can continue to partner with the Lehigh Valley to continue the economic recovery and to continue to grow.”

The Lehigh Valley is fortunate to have a member of the Governor’s Action Team, which is the primary entity of state government that works on business recruitment and expansion opportunities, embedded with the staff of LVEDC, Cunningham said. LVEDC provides office space to the state for Janet Smith, an economic development veteran.

“We expressed to the Governor that without our partnership with state government, which is greatly enhanced by sharing office space, we would be much less competitive in our efforts to grow and recruit businesses in the Lehigh Valley,” Cunningham said.

The group discussed a variety of topics, including the possibility of an expanded Inland Port rail facility on the site of former Bethlehem Steel property in Northampton County, increased freight rail activity in Lehigh County, infrastructure improvements better needed to serve the Slate Belt region, the success of downtown Allentown’s Neighborhood Improvement District, and the Governor’s proposal to increase transportation funding in Pennsylvania.

The LVEDC Board of Directors voted last week to endorse the Governor’s plan to increase wholesale gasoline taxes to increase funding for roads and bridges and transportation funding in Pennsylvania, joining the lobbying efforts of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce. Joe Uliana of JMUliana and Associates, who represents the economic development interest of LVEDC and the Lehigh Valley in Harrisburg, arranged the Governor’s visit.

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