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LVEDC Visits Lehigh Valley Councils to Discuss Videos, Economic Development

By Colin McEvoy on May 9, 2016

LVEDC President and CEO Don Cunningham speaking to Bethlehem City Council on May 3 about economic development and LVEDC's new sub-regional marketing campaign.

LVEDC President and CEO Don Cunningham speaking to Bethlehem City Council on May 3 about economic development and LVEDC’s new sub-regional marketing campaign.

The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) unveiled its new marketing campaign last month highlighting the specific economic assets of the region’s three cities, two counties, and the Slate Belt.

Now, LVEDC is visiting each of those communities to help spread the word.

LVEDC President and CEO Don Cunningham visited Bethlehem City Council and Northampton County Council last week to discuss the marketing campaign, provide an economic development update, and unveil videos LVEDC commissioned about each of those specific sub-regions.

“The mission of LVEDC is to market our economic assets and to serve as a shared regional service center for each of our cities and communities at a more effective cost,” Cunningham said before Bethlehem City Council on May 3. “Our mission is to do a lot of the marketing that the cities and counties can’t do for themselves.”

Cunningham will also be visiting Easton City Council on Wednesday, as well as Allentown City Council and Lehigh County Commissioners in June. An additional meeting in the Slate Belt is still being organized.

“The council was really impressed by what Don had to say and I think they were really excited about the news he brought about everything going on in the county,” said Seth Vaughn, vice president of Northampton County Council and a member of the LVEDC Board of Directors.

“It was particularly impressive to hear about the retention of jobs, the creation of new jobs, and also the international impact from overseas companies investing here in the Lehigh Valley,” Vaughn said. “It’s really encouraging to see that the investment the county has put into LVEDC is definitely paying off.”

New videos unveiled

Below are the videos Cunningham presented to the two councils, which are branded “Select Bethlehem” and “Select Northampton County.”

Each of the videos for all six subregions are available on the LVEDC YouTube channel. LVEDC encourages any individual or business to share them to embed them onto its website.

During his presentation, Cunningham explained that the Lehigh Valley’s $35.4 billion GDP is larger than that of the entire state of Vermont and 94 other countries in the world. He noted that Site Selection magazine has ranked the Lehigh Valley the top-performing region for economic development in the Northeastern United States.

Cunningham discussed various business recruitment and marketing outreach efforts LVEDC has made in recent years, and discussed the growing trend of international investment in the region. Nine out of 19 major business attraction/expansion projects in the Lehigh Valley in 2015  or 42 percent – were from overseas companies.

Cunningham also discussed major recent deliveries or new projects in each of the specific Lehigh Valley sub-regions. In Bethlehen, this included zulily, Primark, Reeb Millwork, and Curtiss-Wright. In Northampton County, this also included Safran, Tyber Medical, Flexicon, Guardian Life Insurance, and C&S Wholesale Grocers.

“Don’s presentation was very good and it shows a lot is happening in the Lehigh Valley and the city of Bethlehem,” Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez said. “Everyone was also impressed with the video, which shows that Bethlehem and the Lehigh Valley is a great place for businesses to locate.

Marketing campaigns detailed

LVEDC partnered with Digital Feast to develop videos, websites, high-quality photography, and printed brochures for the sub-regional marketing campaign. LVEDC and Digital Feast gathered input from elected officials and key stakeholders from each of the six sub-regions to ensure the key points were emphasized during the development of the marketing campaigns.

“These campaigns will target businesses and site selectors across the country, informing them as to why they should invest in each sub-sector,” Cunningham said. “The Lehigh Valley has always taken a regional approach to economic development, and that’s the right approach to take. But we’ve also heard the appeals from our local governments and counties to market specific assets and the uniqueness of various places in the Lehigh Valley.”

The sub-regional marketing campaign campaigns come in addition to another video marketing initiative LVEDC is undertaking to market the Lehigh Valley’s four target sectors, as well as the region’s entrepreneurial community and redevelopment projects.

Two of those videos have been released so far: one focused on the Lehigh Valley’s high performance manufacturing sector, and another on its life science research and manufacturing sector. Both videos are also available on the LVEDC YouTube channel to be viewed and shared.

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