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LVEDC Partners with New Local News Website on Survey Assessing Life in the Lehigh Valley

By Nicole Radzievich Mertz on February 14, 2023

Lehigh Valley has gone through a tremendous period of change as the region continues to be transformed by economic renaissance and population growth. A new survey measures perceptions about the Lehigh Valley’s quality of life. (Photo/Glenn Koehler)

LehighValleyNews.com, the region’s only nonprofit local news website, has released the results of its Lehigh Valley Quality of Life Survey, which was funded in part by Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) and the Lehigh Valley Partnership.

Presented on an immersive landing page dubbed “Life in the Lehigh Valley,” the survey examines the region’s changing demographics, education, environmental issues, the local economy and more through graphics, video, photographs and stories. The survey of more than 625 residents was conducted by Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion headed by Christopher Borick, a nationally recognized public opinion researcher.

“The Lehigh Valley has gone through a tremendous period of change as the region continues to be transformed by economic renaissance and population growth,” said Don Cunningham, President and CEO of LVEDC. “LVEDC is pleased to support this research, which helps our coalition better understand the perceptions of Lehigh Valley residents and how those views can inform our economic strategies and the marketing of our economic assets, advantages and quality of life.”

The survey supplements LVEDC’s three-year strategic plan, released in 2021, which calls for research and analysis to increase the understanding of the Lehigh Valley’s economy and competitive position while staying ahead of new developments and economic and social change driving opportunities and challenges. It is important to know how well that data matches the public perception. Understanding the power and influence of perception in the market is valuable in marketing the region’s assets.

LehighValleyNews.com released the results of its Lehigh Valley Quality of Life Survey, which was funded in part by Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation and Lehigh Valley Partnership. (Image Courtesy of LehighValleyNews.com)

One of the Lehigh Valley’s critical economic assets is the talented workforce spanning diverse industries and occupations as well as across all education levels. Talent is drawn to regions with a high quality of life.

The survey results, which can be accessed here, show a substantial majority of residents surveyed – 86% — describe the quality of life in the Lehigh Valley as “excellent” or “good.” Those who believe life is getting better credit the arrival of more business, better employment opportunities and more things to do in the region. The primary factors leading to pessimistic outlooks were perceptions of worsening crime, cost of living and overcrowding. Younger people had a more optimistic views, and life-long residents tended to have more pessimistic views, according to  the survey’s key findings.

LehighValleyNews.com will take a deeper dive into the data through a series of articles and the Muhlenberg’s Institute of Public Opinion will release additional break-out reports.

“Since LehighValleyNews.com launched in October 2022, our commitment has been to foster an informed, engaged and inspired community,” said Jim Deegan, Executive Editor, LehighValleyNews.com. “We’re excited to advance that initiative with the Lehigh Valley Quality of Life survey and our accompanying series, Life in the Lehigh Valley, a set of stories based off the survey findings.”

“We are grateful to LVEDC and the Lehigh Valley Partnership for their support on the commissioning of this survey,” said Tim Fallon, Chief Executive Officer, Lehigh Valley Public Media. “Our organizations’ commitment to connecting with the community to elevate and inform the residents we collectively serve has been rewarding and core to the mission of Lehigh Valley Public Media.”

Lehigh Valley Partnership President Greg Butz said the partnership is very pleased with the effort.

“The insights from this survey can inform the Partnership in the pursuit of its mission to undertake initiatives that promote regionalism, improve the business climate and enhance the quality of life in the Lehigh Valley,” he said.

LehighValleyNews.com was launched in October and part of Lehigh Valley Public Media, a community-owned nonprofit that is also home to PBS 39 and 93.1. The news site’s LehighValley+ members help fund accessible, local news for more than 1 million neighbors while gaining access to exclusive perks like in-depth features, community recommendations, event invites and more.

LVEDC, a nonprofit, markets the economic assets of the Lehigh Valley and creates partnerships to support recruitment, growth and retention of employers and the creation of jobs for people of all skill and education levels.

The Lehigh Valley Partnership was established in 1985 to marshal the resources of the business community in partnership with the private sector to promote regionalism, improve the business climate and enhance the quality of life.

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