LVEDC Releases New Three-Year Strategic Plan

By Colin McEvoy on December 5, 2017

Don Cunningham, President & CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation, speaking at the 2017 LVEDC Fall Signature Event in November 2017.

The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) has completed a new three-year strategic plan to establish the organization’s priorities and initiatives as it continues its work to advance the region’s economic growth and job creation through 2020.

The new plan, which received its final approval from the LVEDC Board of Directors last month, is the result of a comprehensive process that has included outside consultants, key stakeholder organizations in the Lehigh Valley, and the LVEDC staff and board.

“We have gotten great national and local insight from consultants and a multitude of people here in the Lehigh Valley to help us evaluate desired approaches and outcomes as we continue our work to keep our economy growing and to create jobs of value for the residents of the Lehigh Valley,” said Don Cunningham, LVEDC President and CEO.

Click here to download the LVEDC Strategic Plan 2017-2020.

Click here to download the LVEDC Strategic Plan 2017-2020.

“The Lehigh Valley competes every day with the rest of the nation and the world for economic growth and jobs,” Cunningham said. “We need to know where we stand against our competition and to have a plan built upon our assets, competitive advantages and opportunities.”

The LVEDC 2017-2020 Strategic Plan includes an updated mission, vision, values, principles, priorities, and four sets of initiatives in the areas of recruitment; marketing & communications; advocacy & leadership; and retention, resources, & regional strategies.

A condensed version of the strategic plan is available for download here. A series of stories on the LVEDC blog over the next four weeks will outline each set of initiatives in greater detail.

Earlier this year, Cunningham and the LVEDC Board of Directors commissioned several consultant studies, surveys, and reviews of the strengths, weakness, and opportunities of the region. The objective was to ensure LVEDC’s external marketing and in-market strategies are focused on the highest-quality growth and job creation possible for the Lehigh Valley.

“This strategic plan presents a clear vision for continued economic growth and opportunity in the Lehigh Valley, and puts LVEDC in the best possible position to continue building on the excellent work its staff and partners have done over the past three years,” said Jane Long, chair of the LVEDC Board of Directors.

LVEDC once again engaged Garner Economics, an Atlanta-based economic development firm, to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the Lehigh Valley and recommend economic development marketing and operational strategies for the future.

LVEDC previously retained Garner Economics in 2013 to conduct an analysis of the region and produce a roadmap to help strengthen the region’s global competitiveness. That final report informed the creation of the organization’s 2014-2017 strategic report.

LVEDC’s new strategic plan was also informed by the results of separate studies by Development Counsellors International (DCI), a New York-based economic development and tourism marketing firm, and Investment Consulting Associates (ICA), a global management advisory firm based in Amsterdam and Boston.

DCI conducted a perception study that provided an external view of the Lehigh Valley. The December 2016 study gathered 149 responses from 85 site selectors and 64 corporate executives from the mid-Atlantic region. It gauged their familiarity with the Lehigh Valley and their perceptions of the state and region, both positive and negative.

ICA attended a two-day familiarization tour of the Lehigh Valley late last year and assessed a mock Request for Information (RFI) that LVEDC prepared, then provided feedback to the organization’s responsiveness and readiness in responding to such site selection requests.

Read below to see LVEDC’s mission, vision, values, principles, and priorities as defined by the new 2017-2020 Strategic Plan.

Our Mission:

The mission of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation is to market the economic assets of the Lehigh Valley and to create partnerships to lead the recruitment, growth and retention of employers.

Our Vision:

Our vision is of a diverse Lehigh Valley economy that provides economic growth and opportunity for people of all skills and education and strengthens all our cities, boroughs and townships.

Our Values:

  • Find a Way: We do what it takes to solve the problem or find the answer
  • Build the Team: We work with each other and all partners to find solutions
  • Collaborate: We are the region’s economic connector
  • Inspire Trust: Treat all equally and fairly and focus on the big picture
  • Focus on Results: Focus our work and efforts on outcomes, not on process

Our Principles:

  • To Create Value and Use What We’re Given: We will serve the people, the employers and the governments of the Lehigh Valley by maximizing the financial resources and partnerships that are available to us in an efficient, professional and value-added manner.
  • To Know Thyself: We will be the leading source of economic data and market intelligence on the Lehigh Valley economy, its assets and resources to drive economic strategies, marketing efforts and the needs of our stakeholders.
  • To Tell Our Story: We will tell our economic story to increase awareness both inside and outside our region and across the world of the economic assets, advantages and strengths of the Lehigh Valley to attract and support the growth of employers.
  • To Always Get Better: We will form partnerships, be a resource and a connector for all stakeholders that have a role in making it easier for businesses to come here and grow here by creating access to capital, making the complex simple and identifying the challenges and creating strategies to improve economic growth.
  • To Advocate and Coordinate: We will advocate for the improvement of economic assets and policies to strengthen the Lehigh Valley’s ability to attract new employers, better prepare our workforce, serve our existing employers, large and small, and grow our entrepreneurs.

Our Priorities:

  • Market the economic assets of the Lehigh Valley
  • Recruit companies in targeted economic sectors
  • Support the growth and retention of new and existing employers
  • Promote and coordinate a skilled and prepared workforce
  • Provide intelligence and data on the Lehigh Valley economy
  • Expand public and private LVEDC investment and build partnerships for economic growth
UPDATED: LVEDC Conversation & Cocktails Event Has Been Postponed

UPDATED: The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) Conversation and Cocktails event featuring U.S. Reps. Charlie Dent and Matthew Cartwright, originally s[...]

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