Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett began a visit to the Lehigh Valley on Tuesday with a look at some German engineering.

Corbett toured Porsche's Northeast Regional Support Center in Palmer Twp., Northampton Co.

"It helped send out the word that Pennsylvania, Lehigh Valley, Palmer Township we're open for business, and a good place for other business to locate," Corbett told employees at the plant.

The center, which opened in the summer of 2009 and employs 50 people, was a fitting course for Corbett. He recently returned from a French-German trade mission, which included a tour of the Porsche museum.

It's part of Corbett's push to include Pennsylvania in the global marketplace.

Robert Nemchik, the building's general manager, showed the governor why Porsche parked in Pennsylvania.

"Great highway system, airport system, general overall condition conducive," said Nemchik, who added that Pennsylvania's tax rate also helped to put Palmer Township in the driver's seat.

The governor's conversation on the economy continued later at the Hotel Bethlehem. He addressed dozens of local business owners about the need to create jobs.

Corbett's tour was part of the 50th anniversaries of Lehigh's Economic Advancement Project and the Northampton County New Jobs Corp., both precursors to the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation.

"Current atmosphere for creating jobs is very good actually," said Pete Reinke, LVEDC. "We have seen a lot of new companies coming from out of the area. The concern has been we've seen a number of layoffs and closings not seen in the past."

At 7.9%, the Lehigh Valley's unemployment rate is below the national average of 8.1%, but higher than the state's, which is 7.5%.

Lehigh Valley economist Kamran Afshar predicts by January the Lehigh Valley will be back to pre-recession employment numbers.

Not great, he said, but compared to where it could be, Afshar said the Lehigh Valley is on the right track.