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Lehigh Valley Celebrates 50 Years of Economic Development

Posted on May 21st, 2012 | Author: Scott B. Allinson

On Tuesday, May 15, 2012, the Lehigh Valley celebrated the 50 year anniversaries of two dynamic organizations that have served as funding agencies to foster economic development in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania: Lehigh’s Economic Advancement Project ( known as “LEAP) and Northampton County’s New Jobs Corp (know as “New Jobs Corp”). The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (known as the “LVEDC”) administers both of these organizations and others, including the Lehigh County Industrial Development Authority through its Senior VP of Finance, John Kingsley.

I, as a Member of the presenting sponsor Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, had the pleasure of introducing the featured guest, Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Corbett.  Governor Corbett had only recently returned to Pennsylvania from an economic development trip to Germany and France, where he touted the state’s international competitiveness for organizations interested in establishing or expanding their U.S. presence.  Governor Corbett lauded Porsche Automotive’s decision three years ago to build its North American regional headquarters for the Northeast and Canada in Northampton County, Pennsylvania. Through LVEDC’s leadership, a $1 million dollar infrastructure development grant was provided through New Jobs Corp to assist with the significant infrastructure expense of the private developer to assist Porsche. The private developer is Charles Chrin Companies; my colleague John Lushis and I assisted in the completion of the project and the long term lease with Porsche.

During the course of the program, Air Products, B. Braun medical (a German based company also located in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley), and Martin Guitar, all touted the success of early financings through these organizations that assisted their growth and significant job creation.  In turn, these companies have been substantial investor partners in the LVEDC.

Next month, we will highlight two Tax Incremental Financing projects that Graham Simmons, John, and I successfully secured … one in Northampton County that will fund a completely new interchange at Rt 33 and one to substantially enhance a current interchange in Lehigh County.