Allentown Economic Development Corporation

Monthly Archives: December 2017

AEDC 2017 Year in Review

It’s been an exciting year of change and development for Allentown Economic Development Corporation in 2017. A new staff member joined the team and new leadership is guiding our Board of Directors. A startup joined our Bridgeworks Enterprise Center as a new client in our business incubation program, while an existing company graduated from it, transitioning to become an anchor tenant. Read highlights of these items and others below:

ColdEdge Technologies Celebrates Graduation from Allentown Business Incubator

It also became the second anchor tenant in the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center. ColdEdge was accepted into the business incubation program in July 2008 and has moved three times since launching in the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center in order to accommodate growth. It recently moved into a 6,200 square foot unit that gives the customized cryogenics system design and manufacturing company the space to grow over the next several years.

David V. Dunn Joins AEDC to Lead Economic Development Programs

Dunn joined the organization as Program Manager, Economic Development Programs. He is the lead on Allentown’s Enterprise Zone program, which consists of three parts: a business outreach program, a revolving loan fund, and an incentive program that provides tax credits to private companies investing in rehabilitating, expanding or improving buildings or land within the Zone. He’s also in charge of the Pennsylvania Minority Business Development Authority loan fund. These loan programs encourage business growth throughout the city by providing capital to invest in and develop properties, purchase equipment, and in some cases, provide working capital.

We also welcomed Devon Gyecsek to the AEDC staff as a Maintenance Technician.

Economic Impact of Bridgeworks Enterprise Center Continues to Reach New Heights in 2016

In 2016, the 10 Bridgeworks client companies earned over $4.7 million in revenue. This is a nearly 15 percent increase over 2015 and a 150 percent increase over revenues that the companies earned in 2012. The results from the 2016 survey are the best that AEDC has seen since it started gathering this data in 2012.

Amorphic Tech Ltd. Joins Allentown Business Incubator

The company was launched in 2013 by Andrew Schevets and focuses on providing a full range of engineering, manufacturing, and prototyping services to the fluid dynamics industry, along with other key related industries. Amorphic Tech provides a comprehensive technical solution, from ideation and CAD design through to producing functional electro-mechanical systems.

Former Allentown Metal Works Site Rehabilitation Project Receives Private Funding

AEDC received $250,000 from the BB&T Economic Growth Fund that will allow for the completion of critical engineering design work for the former Allentown Metal Works’ first building.

New Chairperson to Lead AEDC Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of AEDC elected Don Bernhard as its new Chairperson. Vincent Tallarico of Lehigh Valley Health Network was appointed as Vice Chairperson, Matthew Green of PPL Corporation was appointed as Treasurer, and John Englesson of Integrity SBS was appointed as Secretary.

PEDA Conference showcases AEDC’s role in the city’s resurgence

During the week of October 25, the Pennsylvania Economic Development Association held its Fall Conference in Allentown. Several staff members participated in conference sessions, and Executive Director Scott Unger was a member of the planning committee.

It included tours of several key sites across Allentown, and featured a walk-through of the manufacturing business incubator at the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center. Attendees got a firsthand look at how AEDC is supporting entrepreneurs in the manufacturing sector through its programming. They also received a quick view of the former Allentown Metal Works property highlighting AEDC’s efforts to remediate industrial brownfield sites across the city.

Businesses receive state help to train next generation thru new apprenticeship program

Helping companies train the next generation of workers is the goal of a new initiative announced last month by Governor Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

Photo courtesy of Pennsylvania DCED

A new state apprenticeship program, which is ideal for manufacturers in the Lehigh Valley, is helping to close the skills gap by providing grant funds for the training of students and adults thru the type of hands-on training that only apprenticeships can provide.

Employers with an apprenticeship program registered through the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Apprenticeship and Training Office can apply for grant funds to be put toward salaries of in-house instructors, books and training materials, and other related services.

“Many small businesses have immediate staffing needs, especially as the baby boomer generation leaves the workforce and skill requirements for jobs become increasingly complex and technical, explained Karianne Gelinas, Director of Talent Supply at Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation. “However, these businesses often lack the funds or ability to provide training for prospective employees to fill the skills gap. Apprenticeship programs can provide those training opportunities to companies that would not otherwise have access to them without that grant support.”

Manufacturers Resource Center President Jack Pfunder said, “We always support more talent entering the manufacturing sector in the Lehigh Valley. The talent supply remains the single biggest issue in manufacturing today. Apprenticeship programs help to fill the voids that exist within the talent pool. With the Baby Boomers retiring at a rapid rate over the next several years, we need to get the next generation trained, and apprenticeships help to do that. They allow the new employee to work hand-in-hand with the experiences employee. And apprenticeship programs also help to keep knowledge within the company and get more people involved with manufacturing.”

The new program was created using grant funds that were awarded to businesses in the Commonwealth who did not fulfill the terms of their grants in some capacity, so partial funds were returned to the state. Apprenticeship grant funds are disbursed on a rolling basis as eligible proposals are accepted.

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