LVEDC Looks Back on Economic Accomplishments, Ahead to Future Opportunities
By Colin McEvoy on May 10, 2022
This article originally appeared in the May 19, 2022 issue of “LV Connections,” a quarterly newsletter LVEDC distributes to municipal officials in the Lehigh Valley.
During its recent annual meeting, the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) looked back on the past year in economic trends, development projects, key initiatives, economic data, and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
“The Lehigh Valley remains in steady evolution,” LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham said. “Day by day, month by month, a new Lehigh Valley emerges. New generations and new people are filling our cities and driving our companies; new companies, different than those of my youth. The Lehigh Valley is being reborn.”
The virtual program, produced by PBS39 and streamed live on LVEDC’s Facebook page, touched upon such topics as the region’s economic output, new projects and jobs created in 2021, regional population growth, migration trends, income and employment data, and more.
“The importance of the Lehigh Valley’s premier role as a manufacturer, producer and distributor of goods became clearer as many of the region’s 700 manufacturers produced food, drinks, medical equipment, supplies and other essential items that sustained the nation,” Cunningham said during his keynote remarks.
The annual meeting also highlighted LVEDC’s new three-year strategic plan, which outlines the organization’s mission, vision, values, principles, and initiatives that will guide it as the region navigates through the end of the COVID-19 crisis.
The full 28-minute broadcast can be viewed on LVEDC’s YouTube channel. A highlight reel can be viewed below.
The organization also released its 2021 LVEDC Annual Report, which highlights economic data, major projects, target sectors like manufacturing and life sciences, and significant LVEDC initiatives from the past year.
The report includes a table and map highlighting more than 50 major expansion or new development projects from 2021 tracked by LVEDC, which created or retained a total of about 6,400 jobs.
It also includes synopses of some of the most significant reports, such as A.P. Deauville’s relocation from New Jersey, Martin Guitar’s new distribution facility in Tatamy, Cigars International’s expansion in Bethlehem, Yourway expanding its Upper Macungie Township headquarters, and Sharp growing its presence in the Lehigh Valley.
The 40-page annual report can be downloaded here or viewed below, and hard copies can be made available upon request. Each year for the past four years, LVEDC’s annual report has won an Excellence in Economic Development award for Best Annual Report from the International Economic Development Council.
During the annual meeting, LVEDC noted that despite the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 crisis, the coalition supporting the organization reaffirmed its support for regional economic growth, and LVEDC saw a record-high level of investment and sponsorships in 2021.
The organization reached just over $756,000 in investment and sponsorships for the year, welcoming new investors and seeing existing investors increase their contributions, which helped LVEDC endure the challenges created by the pandemic and continue its work to market the region’s economic assets and create partnerships that expand opportunities for all Lehigh Valley residents.
“At a time when other regions might be scaling back on such investments, our coalition in the Lehigh Valley came together and reaffirmed its commitment to advancing economic development,” said Ed Dougherty, Chair of the LVEDC Board of Directors.
LVEDC also welcomed new members to its Board of Directors, while also recognizing incumbent board members who have begun new terms this year. The newest board members include:
- Gunnar Brunius, Vice President & General Manager of Mack Trucks Lehigh Valley Operations
- Michele McGrath, Director of Global Engineering & Manufacturing with Air Products
- Shelly McWilliams, President of Lehigh Valley Plastics
- Ray Midlam, Network Vice President of Business Development & Strategy at St. Luke’s University Health Network
- Stephanie Raymond, President of PPL Electric Utilities
Additionally, the mayors of the Lehigh Valley’s three cities each serve on the LVEDC Board of Directors, and this year LVEDC welcomed two newly-elected mayors in J. William Reynolds of Bethlehem and Matt Tuerk of Allentown. They will fill the board seats previously held by Bob Donchez and Ray O’Connell, whose mayoral terms ended in January.
“We have another group of uniquely qualified and well-respected professionals joining us this year, and their fresh perspective and diverse mix of talents and experiences will help us as we face future challenges and continue to foster the economic development in Lehigh Valley,” Cunningham said.
LVEDC Committed to Visitation Campaign with All 62 Municipalities
This article originally appeared in the May 19, 2022 issue of “LV Connections,” a quarterly newsletter LVEDC distributes to municipal officials in the Lehigh Valley. The mi[...]Continue to Next Page