Lehigh County recognized as tops in nation in attracting new economic growth

Published: Dec 17 2012 10:58:46 AM EST
ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

Lehigh County gets high marks in economic development from a national firm.

The county is ranked as one of the top 10 counties in the country to attract future growth and investment by Fourth Economy, a national economic development firm.

Lehigh County comes in seventh in the 'large-sized counties' with populations between 150,000 and 499,999 based on investment, talent, sustainability, place and diversity.

“We are honored to see Lehigh County recognized by Fourth Economy as one of the leading economic growth counties in the United States, said LVEDC president and CEO Don Cunningham. “It is always good to see national entities discover what we know is happening here in the Lehigh Valley. It confirms what we continually are seeing that businesses want to start here, grow here and come here, on both sides of the Lehigh Valley.”

Lehigh County has attracted international companies in recent months.

In November, Ice River Springs Water announced plans to locate its new bottling and manufacturing facility in Hanover Township, creating more than 49 new jobs in the process.

Quality Packaging Specialists International will create 280 new jobs when they decided to move their pharmaceutical packaging operations to Lower Macungie Township in August.

In April, Ocean Spray formally announced its move to Upper Macungie Township to open a bottling facility that will employ 165 people.

Announcing planned moves to Lehigh County include Avantor Performance Materials in Upper Saucon Township, which is targeted to create 200 jobs and United Bank Card in Hanover Township which is expected to create 150 jobs.

At the center of Lehigh County is Allentown, the third largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which is rebounding from a downward trend and has begun an economic renaissance.

“The ongoing revitalization of our city is realized in part by providing resources to assist and empower existing businesses to thrive while also attracting new companies through economic development programs,” said Mayor Ed Pawlowski.

Fourth Economy Consulting, based in Pittsburgh, is a national economic development consulting firm specializing in market analytics, strategic planning, community assessments and organization building.