Allentown Economic Development Corporation says manufacturing is still strong in the Lehigh Valley

Written by on January 4, 2021

Allentown Economic Development Corporation says manufacturing is still strong in the Lehigh Valley

By Chloe Nouvelle

January 4, 2021

Scott Unger of AEDC presents to Allentown City Council’s committee members. Photo courtesy of the AEDC website.

A new snapshot of Allentown’s manufacturing sector finds that even in 2020  there’s still reason for hope.

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The Allentown Economic Development Corporation works with public and private partners to help strengthen the region’s urban manufacturing sector. The organization recently released its first annual report in more than a decade.  

Scott Unger, AEDC’s executive director, recalls the days when this region was a manufacturing hub.

But, he says, “Manufacturing’s footprint here, while different than it was 30 years ago, still has a significant influence.”

Unger credits part of that influence to a business incubator here in the Lehigh Valley. Over 30 years, it has helped launch more than 60 startups. Unger says many of those businesses end up staying local which creates jobs and  brings real money into the region.

“There are other incubators in the state and in the region, but very few are focused on manufacturing. Manufacturing also has one of the highest job multipliers. So for every manufacturing employee, there are other ancillary employees in the economy as a result of that,” he says.

As for how the pandemic has affected AEDC and the businesses it works with, Unger says generally manufacturing has weathered the pandemic better than other sectors in part due to  increased demand for some products. 

The annual report says new manufacturing in Allentown includes microencapsulated fragrances, like in laundry detergent, craft beer and spirits, and extremely low temperature refrigeration systems for medical use.


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