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Lehigh Valley nationally recognized for economic development

By Meghan Packer, Reporter, MPacker@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 04 2014 05:06:00 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 05 2014 04:57:26 AM CST

A national publication named the Lehigh Valley one of the top spots for economic development in the country.

A national publication has named the Lehigh Valley one of the top spots for economic development in the country.

Site Selection magazine released the rankings.

With 46 projects, the Lehigh Valley ties for second place with Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for new and expanded corporate facilities in 2013 in areas with a population between 200,000 and one million people.

"This makes me feel good as a lifelong resident of the Lehigh Valley," said Don Cunningham, president and CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation.

"This is not some sort of subjective, who can market themselves better type of ranking, it's based on results," he said. "It's nice to see it occurring and the national market recognizing the significance of the Lehigh Valley."

The Omaha, Nebraska, area ranked number one with 48 projects.

Some of the projects that helped land the Lehigh Valley on the list include Coca-Cola, Bimbo Bakeries and Kraft. While this is the sixth consecutive year this region has been in the top 10, the number two spot is its highest ranking yet.

"The more companies that come here or grow here, the more opportunities for people to work here and realize a better quality of life and really that's the whole goal behind economic development," said Cunningham.

He added, "What's significant about this for the people of the Lehigh Valley, we tend sometimes to not look at ourselves as successful and as significant of a region as we are. The outside world is saying, 'Hey, Lehigh Valley, you're doing some amazing things there.'"