Gov. Wolf tours Lehigh Valley business incubator, says companies should encourage vaccines to employees

Written by on July 20, 2021

Gov. Wolf tours Lehigh Valley business incubator, says companies should encourage vaccines to employees

By Tyler Pratt

July 20, 2021

Governor Tom Wolf was in Bethlehem Monday, July 19 touring Favory LCC, a start-up incubator in the food and beverage industry. He promoted investing in small Commonwealth businesses but also said: to help fight COVID companies need make sure their employees get vaccinated. Photo | Tyler Pratt / WLVR

Governor Tom Wolf says businesses should encourage their employees to get vaccinated amid new delta variant concerns. He toured a small business incubator in the Lehigh Valley on Monday, July 19, 2021.

LIsten to the story.

Factory, LLC is a Bethlehem company that invests in start-ups in the food, beverage and pet supply industries. It’s home to businesses like Stuffed Puffs, Pipcorn, and Mikey’s gluten-free frozen foods. Wolf visited the facility to promote investing in Pennsylvania’s start-up companies. 

Keith Caldwell is one of Factory’s partners. He says the hip warehouse space had to reduce operations last year amid COVID-19 restrictions. It was a challenge to their business model, which thrives on person-to-person contact.

“You can see the environment around here really does feed off a lot of people passing each other in the hallways and a lot of in-person interaction,” Caldwell said. 

While COVID-19 cases aren’t currently as high in Pennsylvania as in some parts of the U.S., they are ticking up. Speaking after the Factory tour, Wolf said businesses can protect themselves. 

“Make sure their employees are vaccinated,” Wolf said. “Whatever the variant, get vaccinated. I think that’s what employers can do. Just encourage their employees to get vaccinated.” 

Wolf said while business leaders should talk to their employees about getting shots, he doesn’t think they should mandate vaccinations. 

“I think we’re at the stage where each of us needs to make up our own mind,” Wolf said.

Wolf touts recent state department of health findings that more than 61% of adult Pennsylvanians are fully vaccinated. Last week, the CDC found the commonwealth ranks 5th in the U.S for total doses administered.

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