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LVEDC Again Recognized as Accredited Economic Development Organization

By Colin McEvoy on January 24, 2022

The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) has once again been recognized as an accredited economic development organization by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

The IEDC, the largest membership association serving economic and community development professionals in the world, noted that LVEDC particularly excelled in the areas of research and communication, community outreach, and talent supply and workforce development and attraction.

“It is clear the organization has good community support; capable and talented leadership and staff; is well organized; has an up-to-date, dynamic strategic plan; and is achieving success for the Lehigh Valley region,” IEDC’s reaccreditation report reads.

LVEDC is one of 70 economic development organizations recognized by IEDC as an Accredited Economic Development Organization (AEDO). This marks the fourth consecutive time LVEDC has received this accreditation, having first become accredited in 2010.

Don Cunningham

Don Cunningham

“We are very grateful to the various stakeholders from across the Lehigh Valley who took the time to participate in IEDC’s site visits and provide information as part of this reaccreditation process,” said LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham.

“An AEDO is a highly coveted credential provided by IEDC that recognizes professional excellence of economic development organizations,” Cunningham said. “The designation sets LVEDC apart and establishes credibility among site selectors, community leaders and investors.”

The AEDO program is a comprehensive peer review process that measures economic development organizations against commonly held standards in the profession. Reaccreditation with the IEDC occurs every three years, though this year marked the first on-site visit by an IEDC accrediting team since 2013.

“The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation displays the professionalism, commitment, and technical expertise that is deserving of this honor”, said IEDC President & CEO Jeff Finkle.

The program consists of two phases: a documentation review and an onsite visit. Each phase is designed to evaluate information about the structure, organization, funding, program, and staff of the candidate economic development organization.

Multiple stakeholders from both the private and public sectors of the Lehigh Valley participated in this process, including representatives from such companies as B. Braun, Capital Blue Cross, Crayola, FirstEnergy, Lehigh Valley Health Network, OraSure Technologies, People’s Security Bank & Trust, PPL Corp., and Tyber Medical.

Several regional partner organizations also participated, including Allentown Economic Development Corporation, ArtsQuest, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Discover Lehigh Valley, the Lehigh County Authority, Lehigh University’s Small Business Development Center, Lehigh Valley Economic Investment Corporation, Manufacturers Resource Center, and the PA DCED’s Office of International Business Development.

Other participants included educational institutions like, Lehigh Carbon Community College, Lehigh Career & Technical Institute, and Lehigh University; officials from the city of Easton and counties of Lehigh and Northampton; and representatives of U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, U.S. Rep Susan Wild, state Sen. Pat Browne, and state Reps. Jeanne McNeill and Ryan Mackenzie.

“Earning the AEDO accreditation tells the community and prospects that LVEDC attained a measure of excellence assuring that their trust is well placed, and their business is in good hands,” according to IEDC.

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