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LVEDC is Seeking to Hear Your Stories in Each Lehigh Valley Municipality

By Andrew Kleiner on August 6, 2018

LVEDC Director of External Affairs and Redevelopment Andrew Kleiner after meeting with officials from South Whitehall Township.

LVEDC Director of External Affairs and Redevelopment Andrew Kleiner after meeting with officials from South Whitehall Township.

This column was written by Andrew Kleiner, LVEDC Director of External Affairs and Redevelopment, for the August 2, 2018 issue of “Quarterly Connections,” a quarterly newsletter LVEDC distributes to municipal officials in the Lehigh Valley.

When we first launched our quarterly municipal newsletter, we talked about our desire to visit each of the municipalities across the Lehigh Valley and learn about what is happening in our region.

Since late April, the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) has been on the road visiting municipal offices from Upper Mount Bethel Township to Lower Milford Township.

These meetings are structured so LVEDC can learn about what’s happening in each municipality about everything from economic development to housing trends to sewer capacity. It’s important to learn about development and the issues associated with that development in every municipality regardless of land size, population, or economic development priorities.

The information that LVEDC gathers at these meetings is a crucial component of the overall economic development strategy for the region.

Each of our 62 municipalities are crucial components of the greater Lehigh Valley to us and, we want to have regular and purposeful discussions with our partners in municipal government. These conversations are also, importantly, an opportunity to explain the operations of LVEDC to our partners and hopefully open new connections between them and the resource partners with which we are engaged.

LVEDC Director of External Affairs and Redevelopment Andrew Kleiner in North Catasauqua.LVEDC wants to hear from you. We want to understand what projects you are working on, what your long term municipal goals are – we want to hear about your infrastructure, your parks, your favorite places and your people. As Don Cunningham so often says, for LVEDC and the Lehigh Valley to be successful we need to “know ourselves.” That’s what these meetings are truly about: knowledge and understanding.

LVEDC invites you to reach out and say hello. We want you to ask questions. It’s our job to listen. As Director of Redevelopment and External Affairs, I am dedicated both to meeting with you and to serving as your connection to LVEDC. I’ve spent the last three months travelling across the Lehigh Valley and my trips will continue as summer turns into autumn.

As this effort continues, expect new and increased communications from LVEDC in other ways as well. Hard copies of LVEDC’s quarterly Commercial and Industrial Real Estate Report will be mailed to your offices, as well as special reports like LVEDC’s recent talent supply study and 2017 Annual Report. We will send special event invites through email as well, targeted specifically at you.

Going forward, these sustained partnerships will be a key component of the success of the strategic plan LVEDC adopted in November. One of the initiatives of that plan is to “continue to engage county and municipal leaders on local development priorities, marketing support, financing programs, and information sharing through website connections and enhancements, and communication vehicles.”

We look forward to continuing this conversation together. If I haven’t met with you yet, rest assured that I will be reaching out soon. If you’ve already met with me, I will be checking in now and again to see how things are going in your part of our Lehigh Valley. It’s our partnerships that will make us successful with helping businesses come here, start here, and grow here.

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