Lehigh Valley project helps Pa. earn national honor
By LVEDC Staff on June 24, 2014
Area Development magazine, a leading national economic development publication, has recognized a Lehigh Valley development project among the 10 projects that earned the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania a coveted Silver Shovel Award. The honor acknowledges the states that were most successful in driving significant job growth and securing investments in new and expanding facilities.
The Wal-Mart project ranked fourth in Pennsylvania’s top 10 list, spurring the creation of 351 jobs and the investment of $96 million. The distribution center is located in Bethlehem, Northampton County.
“The Lehigh Valley continues to provide suitable land and ready to-go sites that can attract companies to locate in the Lehigh Valley,” said Don Cunningham, president and CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. “These and other factors have played a vital role in us being able to land the manufacturing, production and distribution operations of large companies.
“This award is a recognition of the regional and collective effort the Lehigh Valley puts forward by having business, government and economic development leaders work together to make our region attractive to new companies.”
Area Development magazine awards five Gold Shovels and up to four Silver Shovels in four population categories. Pennsylvania earned its honor in the 8 to 15 million population tier. States were rated on these weighted factors: direct job creation numbers, new jobs per capita, amount of new investment, number of new facilities, and number of projects creating high value-added jobs. This is the ninth year Area Development has dispensed the awards. The award is for projects landed in 2013.
Last year the Lehigh Valley was recognized for three projects that helped to spur Pennsylvania’s award. The projects – Ocean Spray, Bimbo Bakeries and Westport Axle – ranked second, sixth and tenth, respectively.
In March, Site Selection, one of the most highly-read national magazines that covers corporate real estate and economic development, recognized the Lehigh Valley as the second best performing region economic development in the United States in its prestigious Governor’s Cup Awards rankings for 2013. It was the highest ranking the Lehigh Valley ever received.
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