Lehigh Valley’s 2019 a Historic Year for Economic Growth, National Recognition
By Colin McEvoy on December 27, 2019
As the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) approaches the new decade, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on 2019, an historic year of economic growth and national recognition for the Lehigh Valley.
The past 12 months have seen continued growth for the regional economy. The Lehigh Valley’s gross domestic product has reached a record-high $41.2 billion, and the region saw significant year-over-year job growth. Both the GDP and job growth were driven in large part by manufacturing, the region’s second-largest sector in terms of economic output.
Additionally, Lehigh Valley has become one of the best markets in the country for homebuyers, particularly those between ages 18 and 35. The region saw steady growth in the millennial demographic in 2019, and was the fastest growing region in Pennsylvania for working age residents.
Lehigh Valley has been gaining national attention as well. Site Selection magazine recognized it as one of the top five fastest-growing regions with under a million people in the United States, and the single fastest-growing region of its size in the Northeast U.S. for a third consecutive year.
Additionally, LVEDC was named one of the Top 20 economic development corporations in the United States, Forbes magazine highlighted the region’s thriving manufacturing sector, and Lehigh Valley was the subject of a dedicated 26-page section in the Delta Air Lines in-flight magazine.
2019 also marked the launch of Made Possible in Lehigh Valley, a marketing campaign that seeks to increase outside awareness of the positive attributes Lehigh Valley has to offer, develop a positive image of the region, and market it as an attractive place to drive talent acquisition and retention.
The Made Possible in Lehigh Valley launch video was nominated for a Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award, and LVEDC has been highlighting regional testimonials on the Made Possible Instagram account. LVEDC also partnered with Discover Lehigh Valley on the release of an eight-page Lehigh Valley Relocation Guide via the Made Possible campaign.
It was also a big year for talent efforts in Lehigh Valley. LVEDC began 2019 with the creation of a new work group focused on the increased need for talent and other issues facing Lehigh Valley companies.
That group, working with the LVEDC Education and Talent Supply Council, helped launch Lehigh Valley’s first-ever internship summit, a new networking event for young professionals, and the creation of materials highlighting hot careers in Lehigh Valley.
2019 also saw the announcement, construction, or completion of several major business attraction/expansion projects, including:
- Air Products breaking ground on its new corporate headquarters
- ADP opening a new downtown Allentown office for 1,000 employees
- Keurig Dr Pepper announcing a manufacturing facility that will create 378 Jobs
- Tyber Medical unveiling its new manufacturing facility in Northampton County
- S’mores snack-maker Stuffed Puffs opening a new manufacturing facility
- The Continental Cup Company choosing the region for its first manufacturing site
- Lehigh Valley Health Network breaking ground on a new Northampton County campus
- IQ Fibers choosing Lehigh Valley for its first Pennsylvania manufacturing site
- Allegiant Air establishing an aircraft base at Lehigh Valley International Airport
- Straight Arrow Products breaking ground on its Forks Township expansion
- The Downtown Allentown Market holding its long-awaited grand opening
LVEDC also hosted Lehigh Valley tours for international business representatives and commercial real estate brokers in 2019, hosted its Fall Signature Event with OraSure Technologies, won two International Economic Development awards, and was named the Lehigh Valley Nonprofit Organization of the Year.
Don Cunningham: Lehigh Valley Should Bring the Trolleys Back
This column, written by LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham, originally appeared in The Morning Call and on the newspaper's website on Jan. 8 2020. (Click here to read Cu[...]Continue to Next Page