Lehigh Valley Again Ranks Top 10 in Nation for Economic Development

By Colin McEvoy on March 1, 2022

The Lehigh Valley ranked among the Top 10 regions in the Northeast for 2021 in economic development, as well as the Top 10 nationwide for regions of its population size, according to Site Selection.

Despite the economic challenges created by the COVID-19 crisis, the Lehigh Valley has once again ranked among the Top 10 regions in the Northeast for 2021 in terms of economic development projects completed, 

Additionally, for a sixth consecutive year, the Lehigh Valley once again placed among the Top 10 nationwide for economic development developments completed among regions with a population size between 200,000 and 1 million.

Both of these rankings are part of Site Selection magazine’s prestigious Governor’s Cup Awards, which each year determines the best-performing metropolitan areas in the country. The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) submitted projects to Site Selection for consideration in the awards.

“These rankings show that the fundamental strengths of the Lehigh Valley economy remain strong and have helped us weather the COVID-19 crisis,” said LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham. “The Lehigh Valley is positioned well for continued economic growth in both traditional areas of strength and in new sectors emerging in a post-pandemic economy of rapid change and development.”

The Lehigh Valley tied with Akron, Ohio for eighth place among regions in the 200,000 to 1 million population range, coming in just behind Des Moines, Iowa, and Toledo, Ohio, and outperforming such areas as Bridgeport, Conn.

The Lehigh Valley performed even better among regions in the Northeast of any population size, coming in at sixth place, despite competing with much larger metropolitan areas that have funding and resources available to them, such as New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia.

“The Lehigh Valley was a strong performer again this year with an 8th place finish nationally and 6th place finish regionally for qualified investment projects in 2021,” says Mark Arend, Editor in Chief of Site Selection. “This demonstrates that the Lehigh Valley has the location attributes that are in high demand, which will be of great interest to our readers.”

Site Selection does not disclose which development projects in Lehigh Valley from 2021 it has identified for its rankings. Business attraction, expansion and retention projects tracked by the magazine may differ from those presented by LVEDC due to the magazine’s specific criteria for inclusion.

LVEDC has tracked about 50 major projects for 2021, creating or retaining more than 5,000 jobs.

Those projects will be detailed in the forthcoming LVEDC Annual Report, which will be released on March 22, the same day as the organization’s 2022 Annual Meeting virtual program. Visit here for more information or to pre-register for that event.

Some of the major 2021 projects identified by LVEDC include Martin Guitar’s new 200,000 square-foot distribution facility in Tatamy, Cigars International is nearly doubling its space in Bethlehem, and Sharp once again growing in the Lehigh Valley.

Yourway expanded its Upper Macungie Township headquarters to 300,000 feet, A.P. Deauville relocated from New Jersey to the Lehigh Valley, and Stuffed Puffs opened a new manufacturing facility in Hanover Township, Northampton County.

Other significant economic development projects from 2021 tracked by LVEDC included Bio Med Sciences, BusPatrol America, Capital Blue Cross, D. Gillette Industrial Services, Follett, Penn State Lehigh Valley, and SunOpta.

Published by Conway Data, Site Selection is the oldest and one of the most widely-read publications in the corporate real estate and economic development field, with a circulation base of about 44,000 executives involved in corporate site selection decisions.

LVEDC Annual Meeting Program to be Broadcast Virtually on March 22

Don Cunningham, President & CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC), will deliver keynote remarks and an economic overview during an address that[...]

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