Allentown Economic Development Corporation Recognizes National Economic Development Week Celebration

AEDC joins cities nationwide to increase awareness of the positive economic work economic developers do to enhance local economic impact

 

Allentown, PA (May 5, 2020) – Allentown Economic Development Corporation, is one of many Economic Development Organizations marking National Economic Development Week from May 4-9, 2020 to celebrate the contributions of positive economic development. The week brings awareness to the policies, programs, and activities that support job creation and retention, a stable tax base and a community’s quality of life.   AEDC celebrates over 40 years of development success, which has occurred through its three core programs- Bridgeworks Enterprise Center, Urban Made and Urban Sites. Marketing and Communications Specialist, Erin Hudson, will be sharing information about economic development and AEDC’s history through an educational social media campaign.

“Economic Development is an essential component of a community’s success and quality of life,” said Scott Unger, Executive Director of AEDC. “In addition to supporting local business growth and redevelopment, our goal is also to provide an understanding of the fundamentals that guide the organization.”

The Bridgeworks Enterprise Center is the Lehigh Valley’s only business incubator dedicated primarily to manufacturing start-ups. Housed in the former Mack Truck Plant 4A, the incubation program has launched a total of 64 companies since 1989; 34 graduates, 28 that are currently operating and 6 that have exited successfully through mergers with other companies. The incubation companies have led to the creation of 626 jobs. During the 2018 calendar year, Bridgeworks’ business incubation companies generated $6.99 million in revenue, employed 52 full-time employees, paid out $2.62 million in wages and developed 15 new intellectual property assets. 2019 data is currently being compiled.

The Urban Made program is an initiative of AEDC, which currently administers $3.2 million in loans and committed funds to 28 unique borrowers while having access to additional funding for business owners and entrepreneurs. AEDC often serves as a gap lender for economically viable projects when the borrower is unable to fully fund the project with conventional financing. AEDC manages a total of four economic programs development on behalf of AEDC and the City of Allentown.

The Urban Sites initiative dedicates AEDC resources to the redevelopment and rehabilitation of underutilized or vacant urban properties, often referred to as brownfields. This redevelopment work provides neighborhood access to job opportunities and reuse of existing infrastructure without additional public roads or utilities. AEDC’s redevelopment work has returned over 45 acres of land within the City of Allentown back to productive use or back to the tax rolls. Examples of former brownfields that are now completed projects include Bridgeworks Enterprise Center, Bridgeworks by the Creek, AEDC’s Plant No. 1, PPL Center, and the Trifecta Building. AEDC is currently redeveloping the Allentown Metal Works property, which spans 22 acres. Remediation and demolition are complete, and funding is underway to renovate the first of three buildings on site. The completed multi-phase project is projected to cost $22 million and is expected to create 300 jobs

Now in its fifth year, National Economic Development Week was created by the International Economic Development Council, the largest professional membership organization for economic developers, in 2016 to recognize the unique role that economic development has in creating vibrant communities with strong economies. Over the span of four years, more than 450 campaigns have been created throughout the United States and Canada, creating millions of impressions, hundreds of news stories, blog entries, videos, events and other activities. Cities, counties and states recognized the week in past years through official proclamations, local community events, and informational campaigns online and through social media. The United States Economic Development Administration (EDA) has also issued a statement commemorating Economic Development Week in past years. To learn more about Economic Development Week, visit IEDC online at iedconline.org/edw.

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About Allentown Economic Development Corporation Allentown Economic Development Corporation  is an independent nonprofit organization, founded in 1979, whose mission is to improve vacant and underutilized properties within the City of Allentown by assisting manufacturers, business owners and entrepreneurs in obtaining the resources and opportunities they require for success.

AEDC is committed to advancing the economic vitality of Allentown and the Lehigh Valley through its three core initiatives; Bridgeworks Enterprise Center, Urban Made and Urban Sites, programs focused on helping businesses grow, receive the support they need and find a home in Allentown. For more information, please visit our website: http://allentownedc.com/

About the International Economic Development Council  The International Economic Development Council is the leading international association for professional economic developers. IEDC supports the work of more than 5,000 economic developers to create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities, and improve the quality of life in their regions. Our members are employed in a wide variety of settings including local, state, provincial, and federal governments, public-private partnerships, universities and a variety of other institutions.

 

 

Contact: Erin M. Hudson
Marketing and Communications Specialist
Allentown Economic Development Corp.
610-435-8890
Ehudson@AllentownEDC.com