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Magazine Article Highlights Lehigh Valley’s Workforce, Diversity

By Colin McEvoy on July 18, 2022

The Lehigh Valley and its workforce are getting younger, more diverse, and more vibrant.

That was among the messages the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) is sharing in an article it has penned for the newest issue of Network Magazine, a high-end business publication connecting leaders and business-to-business opportunities in the Lehigh Valley.

The article discusses the Lehigh Valley’s growing population, particularly among those between ages 18 and 34. It also highlights the region’s growing diversity, noting that every minority group  in the Lehigh Valley grew by double digit percentages the last decade, accompanied by a decrease of about 10% in white population.

The cover of the Network Magazine.

The growth is primarily because of people moving here. The region added about 25,000 people from international migration the last decade, with Lehigh County being ranked by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s SelectUSA program as in the top one percent of all U.S. counties for international migration.

“The Lehigh Valley was among the top five regions in the Northeast for net population growth due to in-migration from other metro regions between 2015 and 2019,” the story states. “… It is the population growth, particularly of young workers, that is driving the region’s economic growth, which continued during the pandemic.”

The story also highlights the importance of the Lehigh Valley’s premier role as a manufacturer, producer, and distributor of goods during the pandemic, and how economic growth has translated to higher wages and growing income in the Lehigh Valley. The region’s median household income is nearly $67,000, compared to $62,000 in Pennsylvania and $63,000 in the U.S.

The story will run in the Summer edition of Network Magazine, being released this month. Visit here to view digital versions of the magazine.

Network Magazine’s goal is to provide readers with the latest topics from some of the area’s leaders in accounting, banking & finance, insurance, legal, medical, political, real estate, international, leadership, entrepreneurship, and technology, while providing a way to connect these industries with each other.

A brief excerpt of the article can be found below. The full article can be read here in Network Magazine or on their website.

 

In May, a group of 150 students from career and technical schools across the greater Lehigh Valley gathered for District 11 Signing Day, an annual event hosted by the SkillsUSA Council.

Wearing red suits and ties, they were each called to a table before a full crowd at DeSales University and signed papers to signify the next steps in their careers or life paths. The event, stylized after similar signing days for student athletes, celebrated these students as they prepare to enter the workforce, military, or post-secondary institutes related to their trades.

It was an appropriate moment, because in many ways, the Lehigh Valley as a region and its workforce are getting younger. The Lehigh Valley is more vibrant, more diverse, growing in population and economic output. It’s home to new business, new arts, and culture, growing downtowns, and increasing family income.

Since 2010, Lehigh Valley’s population rose by more than six percent to about 690,000 people making it one of Pennsylvania’s fastest growing regions and in the top 25 percent of growing regions in the U.S.

More importantly, the population between the ages 18 to 34 years old grew by 10.7 percent during that time – making the Lehigh Valley the fastest growing region in the state for young people, who now are the largest generation in our workforce.

This is evident in the development of new, modern apartment buildings, particularly in the downtowns of Easton, Allentown, and the south side of Bethlehem, which are being leased as quickly as they are being built.

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Lehigh ValleyQuick Facts

By the Numbers
$43.3 Billion

2020 Gross Domestic Product

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City Center Lehigh Valley
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10.6% of Labor Force
Employed in Manufacturing

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Lehigh Valley Health Network
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$3.8 Billion

Exports in 2019

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$66,865

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676,700

Population

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347,612

Labor Force

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26.6% of Labor Force
Employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

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5,073

Technology Patents

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UGI
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Magestic Realty Co
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NFI
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14% of the total community college degrees awarded in PA

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$7.1 Billion

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69th largest metropolitan area in the U.S. by population

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10,754 degrees awarded by Lehigh Valley colleges (2017-18 academic year)

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82,270 employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

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149,000

Population between ages 18 and 34

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FirstEnergy