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Lehigh Valley praised by national development group

By Rosa Duarte, Reporter, RDuarte@wfmz.com
Published On: May 29 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: May 29 2013 10:41:34 PM CDT

A leading national development magazine has named three Lehigh Valley development projects among the top ten projects in the state.

A leading national development magazine has named three Lehigh Valley development projects among the top ten projects in the state.

The three are Ocean Spray, Westport Axle and Bimbo bakeries, all to be located in Upper Macungie Township in Lehigh County.

The projects have all been awarded the 'Silver Shovel' award which distinguishes the most successful projects as far as job growth and investments are concerned.

The three companies will bring close to 800 jobs to our area as well as $215 million in investment.

Matthew Tuerk, director of Research and Innovation with the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation says location is key.

"Particularly with food and beverage manufacturing, the proximity to markets is significant we are a great location to access the New York and Philadelphia markets to serve those consumers," he said.

Tuerk says within a 100 mile radius of the Lehigh Valley, there are close to 30 million people which translates into a lot of customers, but consumers aren't the only thing these companies are looking for.

"We as a region have a talent for making things and that's what companies come here to find. In the case of West Point Axle I think they're trading on the expertise in the region in auto manufacturing," he said.

Tuerk adds the LVEDC works closely with the state to do outreach to other countries, in April, Governor Corbett visited South America to open potential doors to business.

"He was in Chile to talk firms there about trade opportunities with Pennsylvania companies but he also wanted to talk to Chilean firms about investment opportunities in Pennsylvania," Tuerk said.