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LVEDC Talent Supply Program Recognized as One of Best in Nation by IEDC Awards

By Colin McEvoy on October 5, 2021

The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation’s (LVEDC) talent supply initiative has been recognized as one of the best economic development programs in the nation, having received an award from the largest and most prestigious organization serving economic developers.

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) has presented LVEDC an Excellence in Economic Development award for best Talent Development and Retention initiative in the country, particularly recognizing LVEDC programs like its Hot Careers Guide and Internship Summit and Toolkit.

LVEDC competed in the largest population range for the IEDC awards (500,000 or greater), meaning the organization was selected ahead of much larger regions with far more resources available to them. IEDC’s recognition was a Gold Award, which is the highest distinction possible.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by our peers as being one of the best in the country but, even more importantly, it’s important that we serve the economic needs of our employers in the Lehigh Valley with the best possible effort to link people to skills development and employers to qualified workers,” said LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham.

LVEDC received a Gold Award from IEDC for the top Talent Development and Retention program.

This was one of two awards IEDC presented LVEDC on Oct. 5. The other was an Excellence in Economic Development Bronze Award for the organization’s 2020 Annual Report, marking the fourth consecutive year that LVEDC’s Annual Report has been awarded in this category.

IEDC presents awards in 25 categories, and while each category has various tiers, only one Gold Award is provided within each category. That makes LVEDC’s talent development and retention initiative one of the top 25 best economic development organization programs in the country recognized this year.

LVEDC’s talent supply initiative and the work of the LVEDC Education and Talent Supply Council is possible due to state grant funding secured through the leadership of Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Browne, Cunningham said.

The IEDC award for best Talent Development and Retention initiative distinguishes economic development efforts with strategic approaches and programs for retaining local workers, strengthening workforce skills, or developing strategic marketing initiatives to attract talent, according to 2021 IEDC Board Chair Tom Kucharski.

“The winners of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the best of economic development and exemplify the leadership that our profession strives for every day,” Kucharski said. “We’re honored to recognize the more than 100 communities whose marketing submissions, projects, and partnerships have improved regional quality of life.”

LVEDC accepted the two IEDC awards for best Talent Development and Retention initiative and best Annual Report during the IEDC Annual Conference on Oct. 5.

These are among several awards and recognitions the LVEDC Education and Talent Supply Council has received since its formation in 2015. The council is a coalition including LVEDC, the Workforce Board Lehigh Valley, Lehigh Valley employers, and the region’s colleges and universities, all working together to maintain a competitive workforce and talent supply for the Lehigh Valley.

The award particularly recognized LVEDC’s 12-page Hot Careers Guide, which provides essential information about major Lehigh Valley job sectors such as advanced manufacturing, business services, and health care. Additional information can be found at lehighvalley.org/hotcareers.

It also recognized the popular Lehigh Valley Internship Summit, which LVEDC has hosted annually for the past three years, providing businesses information about how to establish and expand successful internship programs. LVEDC also provides a 16-page internship toolkit for Lehigh Valley employers.

LVEDC has won the IEDC award for its Annual Report every year since 2018. The 2020 report highlighted major economic development news, the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the region, 41 major expansion or development projects from 2020, and more.

The digital version of the 36-page LVEDC 2020 Annual Report can be downloaded here or viewed below.

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