Lehigh Valley

Lehigh Valley ranks top five in U.S. for economic growth in 2018

LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa. - The Lehigh Valley is booming with opportunity, according to Site Selection magazine, which lists the area in the top five of the fastest-growing regions with less than 1 million people in the United States.

"The nice thing is it's been very balanced growth across the Lehigh Valley, our downtowns have been growing, our manufacturing base has been growing and we've been creating jobs across all different skill levels," said Don Cunningham, president of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation.

Cunningham calls the ranking a huge victory and credits the growth of the region's professional office sector and thriving manufacturing market.

"ADP has consolidated here in downtown Allentown with over 1,000 jobs, Air Products decided to remain, Air Liquide has 275 new manufacturing jobs in the upper part of Northampton County," he said.

He also says he expects more companies and people to plant roots in the Lehigh Valley.

"Employers want to be where there's growth, success begets success, the more activity the more young people that are coming into the area, the more companies that want to be here so we kind of suspected something really great was happening but this is nice to see it confirmed," said Cunningham. 

J.B. Reilly, president of City Center Allentown, echoed those sentiments. The Lehigh Valley native says he's proud of downtown Allentown's revitalization and says the best is yet to come.

"It's very exciting and I think it bodes well for our future," said Reilly.

It's a future people in downtown Allentown say they look forward to.

"It's basically starting to feel like that city that will grow," said Allentown resident Brandon Ramos.

"Allentown has obviously come a long way," said Marc Gravez from Bethlehem. 

"If you consider where we were just 20 years ago as a region and now being a top five growth region in the country it's a great story of economic turn around and revitalization and success," said Cunningham.

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