LVEDC Invited to Share Best Practices at IEDC Webinar
By Colin McEvoy on December 21, 2021
The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) spoke at a recent webinar about best practices for economic development organizations in the use of metrics, data visualization, and research findings to support development strategies and understand and tell regional stories.
George Lewis, LVEDC Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Research, was a featured speaker in a webinar hosted by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the world’s largest and most prestigious organization serving economic developers.
During the presentation, Lewis discussed how LVEDC uses research data to monitor economic developments and trends, understand the Lehigh Valley’s competitive position, and communicate the region’s successes and information to the organization’s various stakeholders.
“One of LVEDC’s guiding principles is to ‘know thyself.’ We view data as much more than a collection of numbers,” Lewis said. “Our research directly supports LVEDC strategic objectives by generating the knowledge and insights we need to tell the story of Lehigh Valley’s economic growth and transformation.”
The webinar, entitled “What Metrics Matter Most: Where You’ve Been and Where You Want to Go,” was presented on Dec. 17 as part of IEDC’s larger series about end-of-year assessments and best practices for metrics and data visualization.
Lewis particularly highlighted the LVEDC Annual Report, which has won an IEDC Excellence in Economic Development award for Best Annual Report for four consecutive years. The most recent annual report can be viewed or downloaded on the LVEDC website.
The annual report seeks to illustrate the past year in Lehigh Valley economic development for both internal stakeholders and external site selection and corporate location decision makers. It highlights the year’s most significant development stories, trends, and projects in a visually appealing and readable way.
Lewis noted that research and data support LVEDC’s strategic objectives to tell the Lehigh Valley’s economic story, target recruitment in high-value sectors, and partner with regional employers and educators to understand and address skills gaps and talent needs.
“Our analysis of economic data produces information that expands our knowledge, and increased knowledge brings a deeper understanding of our region’s opportunities and challenges,” Lewis said. “LVEDC has always stressed the importance of “knowing thyself, and developing that understanding helps lead to insight that informs our strategies.”
LVEDC identifies and tracks key demographic data points to tell the stories of the Lehigh Valley economy, such as population growth, components of growth, prosperity, employment patterns, and job recovery data, Lewis said.
This data is used for such purposes as highlighting commercial real estate activity, attracting and developing regional talent, providing direction for the successful Lehigh Valley Talent Initiative, and supporting the Made Possible in Lehigh Valley marketing initiative, Lewis said. In the latest annual report, it also illustrated that the COVID-19 crisis did not slow development interest in the Lehigh Valley.
The other speakers selected by IEDC to present at the webinar are Erin Schneiderman, Director of Marketing for Denver South, an economic development organization based in Englewood, CO, and Michele DeWitt, Assistant City Manager and former Economic Development Director for the City of Williamsburg, Va.
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