When the nonprofit Allentown Economic Development Corporation based its manufacturing-focused business incubator in a former Mack Trucks assembly plant nearly 30 years ago, it brought back to life a 62,501 sq. ft. vacant building that might have otherwise gone unused for decades. Since then, the business incubator has graduated 33 companies that have created more than 600 jobs.

Today this historic building hums with life from the startup manufacturers working in it as part of the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center, as well as professionals in the Flex Office & Coworking space. But caring for such a large building that dates back to the early 1920s means a steady stream of maintenance and periodic upgrades to infrastructure.

AEDC has launched a Bridgeworks Sponsorship Drive to help raise some of the funds needed to supplement its annual capital improvement budget.

“In addition to the regular maintenance projects that we budget for like replacing HVAC systems and roof maintenance, there are several projects on our wish list that we’d like help raising the funds to cover,” said Scott Unger, AEDC Executive Director. “The most critical of these projects is to replace the building’s fire alarm and access systems which are projected to cost in excess of $70,000.”

Other projects include energy efficiency upgrades which would ultimately lead to lower operating costs. “We are also pursuing grant opportunities that will allow us to cover the cost of some of the larger projects,” Unger said.

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.

An early sponsor supporting the drive is King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul LLC in Bethlehem. The law firm has donated $3,500 to help AEDC furnish a new six-person conference room, which includes the conference table, chairs, an LED display and conference phone. KingSpry had previously donated in support of a large conference room that was built in 2013.

“I have been an advocate and supporter of AEDC since its inception,” explained Jerome B. Frank, Esq., a senior member of KingSpry, who has served as an AEDC Board Member, volunteer President, acting President, acting Executive Director, Secretary, volunteer committee member, and general counsel.

“As a Founding member of the Bridgeworks Advisory Board, it is clear that the incubator is a vital source for startup businesses emerging from a person’s garage to a true business setting,” Frank continued. “Allowing businesses to function and grow, and then graduate to a facility within the city helps Allentown and its residents. It is good business for any business to assist others to grow, and KingSpry is proud to help AEDC promote business interests in the City of Allentown.”

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