LVEDC Releases 2021 Annual Report, Available Online
By Colin McEvoy on March 22, 2022
Despite the challenges created by the COVID-19 crisis in 2021, the Lehigh Valley is positioned well for continued economic growth in both traditional areas of strength and in new sectors emerging in a post-pandemic economy of rapid change and development.
This was among the messages in the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) 2021 Annual Report, which highlights economic data and trends, major business projects, target sectors like manufacturing and life sciences, and significant LVEDC initiatives from the past year.
“At the conclusion of each year, LVEDC looks back at what has occurred in our economy and our community over the past 12 months; how we fared and where we’re headed,” LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham wrote in the report. “The prospects for the Lehigh Valley’s post-COVID economic future are looking very bright.”
The 40-page annual report was released on March 22, simultaneously with the broadcast of the LVEDC Annual Meeting virtual program. The 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 International Economic Development Council Excellence in Economic Development award for Best Annual Report from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).
This year’s report spotlights such topics as the growth of the Lehigh Valley’s life sciences sector, its thriving medical device industry, and how the coalition supporting LVEDC strengthened during the COVID-19 crisis. The organization reached a record-high of $756,000 in investment and sponsorships in 2021.
The report discusses the Lehigh Valley’s $42.9 billion gross domestic product, its placement as a Top 50 manufacturing market in the United States, and its ranking as a Top 10 region nationwide of its population size for economic development projects, as well as a Top 10 region in the Northeast of any population size.
Major LVEDC initiatives are included in the report, such as its nationally-recognized talent strategies development initiative, its life sciences target sector marketing campaign, the Made Possible in Lehigh Valley marketing campaign, and LVEDC’s executive video interview series featuring new leaders at some of the largest employers in the Lehigh Valley.
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.
Each quarter, LVEDC prepares and distributes a Lehigh Valley Commercial Real Estate Report, which provides information about the region’s office, industrial, and flex markets. In lieu of a Q4 2021 report, the annual report includes a year-end outlook of the Lehigh Valley real estate climate.
The report also includes other important economic data, such as demographic information and population growth. The Lehigh Valley’s population grew by 6.2% over a 10-year period from 2010 and 2020, making it one of Pennsylvania’s fastest-growing regions, with particularly high growth in the 18 and 34 age group.
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