AEDC discusses manufacturing and retail job outlook with state elected officials and regional economic developers

Entitled “Where are the jobs?” it featured representatives from regional economic development, municipal, and union organizations who shared their expertise on how things like automation in manufacturing and the growth of online sales are impacting the job market landscape in the region. The goal was to offer information and direction to the legislators in attendance on how they might enact policies to encourage growth and ensure job creation and retention.

The sentiment across the panel was that changes were happening in the manufacturing and retail sectors that can’t be stopped, so the best that can be done is to learn to adapt and embrace them.

Allentown Metal Works another step closer to redevelopment

The Southside brownfield site continues to make progress as AEDC prepares it for a future tenant. Over the past year, selective demolition has been completed on 58,000 square feet of buildings that were determined to be functionally obsolete. That leaves three buildings on the site, which total more than 200,000 square feet to be renovated in several phases.

The second round of environmental remediation was also completed to address areas of lead-based paint and asbestos. An environmental covenant was executed and recorded with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, which is the culmination of the Act 2 Land Recycling Program. Site development specialists Pennoni of Philadelphia have begun working on a development plan for the reuse of the site, as well as renovations for the first of the three buildings. They expect to have the first building ready for tenant fit-out in 2019.

A $500,000 Commonwealth of Pennsylvanian Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant will be used for the installation of wall and ceiling insulation, and roof, door, and window replacement in a 52,000 square foot building at the site. Of the three buildings remaining on the site, this building has been deemed a priority due to its potential to house a heavy steel fabricator or similar manufacturer, support a 25-ton overhead crane, and employ up to 75 skilled laborers. Together the three remaining buildings total more than 200,000 square feet on 17 acres, with renovations planned to take place in phases. The entire site’s rehabilitation is estimated at $22 million, including infrastructure improvements such as new utility laterals for the entire complex.

PPL Provides Foundation Grant to Support Economic Development

AEDC received a $5,000 contribution to support its economic development programs from the PPL Foundation. The funds will be used toward the nonprofit organization’s mission, which is divided into three primary activities: industrial property redevelopment and management, business incubation, and business retention and expansion. AEDC has returned more than 30 acres of vacant or underutilized properties back onto the tax rolls of the city, reducing blight and creating local manufacturing jobs. Currently, AEDC owns, operates, or manages 62 acres of property with over 1.7 million square feet of building space.

AEDC Launches Sponsorship Drive

The Bridgeworks Sponsorship Drive will help raise some of the funds needed to supplement AEDC’s annual capital improvement budget. This includes maintenance of the former Mack Trucks assembly plant that houses its Bridgeworks Enterprise Center business incubation program, and periodic improvements to the infrastructure, such as energy efficiency upgrades and replacing the building’s fire alarm and access systems.

Sponsorship levels include:

  • Office Sponsor – $1,250 (18 available)
  • Conference Room Sponsor – $3,500 (1 available)
  • Manufacturing Suite Sponsor – $5,000 (15 available)
  • Incubator Sponsor – $10,000 or more

Each sponsorship level comes with its own series of benefits.

To learn more about the AEDC Bridgeworks Sponsorship Drive, contact Scott Unger – or 610-435-8890.