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Optimal Target #2: High Value Business Services

By LVEDC Staff on May 13, 2014

LVEDC logo smallEDITOR’S NOTE: The optimal industry target selection is based on the site-specific characteristics of the Lehigh Valley economy. Using results from the previously completed Competitive Realities Report, the Assets and Challenges Assessment, focus groups, and field visits, four industry targets were chosen that best match the unique competitive advantages in the area to the needs of particular industry sectors. For each target, a bulleted list of rationales is presented and identified as appealing to the needs of prospects (P) or the community (C). This material can be used in marketing and community support efforts or to help economic development personnel prioritize targeting efforts.

The High Value Business Services target leverages Lehigh Valley’s unique asset mix with a select group of industries benefiting from the convergence of significant economic and technological forces. Subsector targets are responding to the demands of corporations that are seeking to adapt to rapid changes in customer expectations (increased online commercial operations, cloud computing, debit/credit card use, and smart phone transactions) while desiring to maintain focus on their core business activities.

The forces driving growth in the High Value Business Services target can be summarized into four major themes:

  • Cost reduction: increased demand by firms to lower in-house costs by outsourcing non-core services to firms that benefit from cost efficiencies by specializing in a specific back office service.
  • Specialized expertise: increased demand by firms to outsource non-core activities that are becoming increasingly complex and require specialized skills or training.
  • Technology: increased demand by firms to utilize third-party specialized-computing resources to meet requirements for greater speed or capacity.
  • Regulation: increased demand by firms to satisfy the changing regulatory environment by outsourcing non-core activities that have high compliance costs to third-party experts.

The Rationale

• Central location and well-developed transportation infrastructure. (P)

• High relative broadband rank, measuring access and capacity. (P)

• Availability of suitable office space. (P)

• Competitive earnings rate in Business & Financial Operations occupations. (P)

• Competitive earnings rate in Computer & Mathematical occupations. (P)

• Average target subsector 2012 national earnings of $73,588. (C)

• Average target subsector five-year forecasted growth of 11.2 percent. (C)

• Strong existing local pool of high-demand occupations. (P)

• 1,275 annual post-secondary completions in critical fields from area institutions. (P)

• Quality of place assets: ample opportunities for cultural activities, recreation, shopping, restaurants, and sporting events. Strong healthcare system. (P)

NEXT WEEK: We unveil optimal target #3 and reveal the rationale behind the selection.

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