LVEDC Seeks to Collaborate with Each of the Lehigh Valley’s Municipalities
By Colin McEvoy on June 18, 2018
This article was originally featured in the April 26, 2018 issue of “Quarterly Connections,” a new quarterly newsletter LVEDC is distributing to municipal officials in the Lehigh Valley.
The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) is engaged in a permanent and sustained campaign of visitation, connection, and conversation with all 62 of the sovereign municipalities in Lehigh and Northampton counties.
This ongoing effort has always been an important initiative for LVEDC, but the organization further reaffirmed its importance when it made it one of the key initiatives in the 2017-2020 LVEDC Strategic Plan, which was adopted late last year.
“We don’t want to work solely with the larger governments in the Lehigh Valley, because we understand that much of the regional development occurs in some of our smaller municipalities,” LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham said. “It’s critical that we be engaged with the policy-makers and administrators in all the municipalities across the Lehigh Valley.”
In the new strategic plan, LVEDC vows 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.”
To that end, LVEDC is undertaking a continuous series of visits to the region’s various municipalities to learn about their individual development priorities, long-term economic goals, and specific economic needs.
“We want to meet with municipal managers, mayors, planners, zoners, commissioners, supervisors, and other municipal staff to hear about what has been going on in their backyard,” said Andrew Kleiner, LVEDC Director of Redevelopment and External Affairs. “That level of close collaboration with our municipal partners is very important to us as an organization.”
As part of this initiative, LVEDC engaged in visits to several municipalities in 2017, and will attempt to visit as many Lehigh Valley municipalities as possible over the next year, Kleiner said.
“I want to hear their stories,” Kleiner said. “We’re 62 municipalities, but we’re also one region. I want to understand the needs of each and every one of these municipalities so we can learn how to make every one of them the best they can be and move the Lehigh Valley forward from an economic development perspective over the next few years, because by helping tell their stories, it will help tell ours.”
LVEDC hopes this initiative will be particularly beneficial to townships and boroughs that cannot afford to establish full-time, in-house communication and economic development departments similar to those the region’s cities have in place.
In addition to gaining knowledge about each given municipality, LVEDC want to ensure that municipal leaders are informed about the resource and programs offered by LVEDC.
This includes the LVEDC Finance Department, which provides much-needed capital for companies seeking to start or grow in the Lehigh Valley, and the Business Outreach Program (BOP), which links regional businesses to resources throughout the community and helps LVEDC gain information about the challenges and opportunities they face.
Click here to read more about how those programs can be beneficial to the region’s municipalities.
For more information about LVEDC’s external affairs program and its ongoing outreach efforts with Lehigh Valley municipalities, contact Kleiner at (610) 266-7619 or [email protected].
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