Bridgeworks Enterprise Center Welcomes Congressman Charlie Dent

Allentown, Pennsylvania – The Allentown Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) hosted Congressman Charlie Dent (PA-15) on Tuesday, May 26th as he visited four early-stage manufacturing companies at the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center, the small business incubator located on Allentown’s south side.

Congressman Dent, working with the Lehigh University Small Business Development Center, has visits planned throughout the Lehigh Valley this week to get a first-hand look at the vibrant startup and small business community rooted here.

During his visit to the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center, Congressman Dent visited The Colony Meadery, County Seat Spirits, ColdEdge Technologies and Gonzo Pockets. These four companies are a part of the twelve client companies that AEDC current houses in its 26-year old small business incubator in the former Mack Trucks plant on Harrison Street.

“We take a very broad scope view of what manufacturing is,” said Anthony Durante, Program Manager for AEDC. “From alcoholic beverages, to cryogenics, to advanced plastics and sporting goods – there is no single definition of what a manufacturer can be.”

The Colony Meadery specializes in making mead; an ancient alcoholic beverage made from honey. The company recently completed an expansion that more than doubled the space of the meadery and will allow the startup to quadruple production over the next couple of years.

County Seat Spirits, another alcoholic beverage manufacturer, is the first distillery to be opened in Allentown since the Prohibition era. The company prides itself on being a grain-to-glass producer of fine spirits and uses several raw materials sourced from Pennsylvania suppliers. County Seat Spirits came on to the scene in early January with its Class 8 Vodka and Sand Island Rum. Over Memorial Day weekend, County Seat released its Lock Keeper Gin which has been very well received.

ColdEdge Technologies builds custom and OEM cryogenic cooling systems for advanced material studies. Their systems can be used in applications like electron microscopes in order to supercool materials, allowing scientists to analyze them at the atomic level more precisely.

Gonzo Pockets manufactures specialty mesh for lacrosse stick heads. Their proprietary rubberized mesh provides superior performance and ball control regardless of playing conditions on the field.

Congressman Dent extended his thanks to the owners and employees of the companies he visited and to AEDC for helping arrange the visits.

“It really is heartening to see these businesses settling in Allentown and growing,” Dent said. “Manufacturing businesses play a great role in providing jobs and improving our local, state and national economies. I wish them continued success,” Dent concluded.

About the Allentown Economic Development Corporation

AEDC is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to a mission of identifying, encouraging, developing and managing strategic business opportunities for the benefit of Allentown, its citizens, and the Lehigh Valley. Its goal is to improve vacant and underutilized properties by assisting manufacturers, business owners and entrepreneurs in obtaining the resources and opportunities they require for success in the City of Allentown. AEDC offers access to financing and incentives, assistance with brownfield remediation, and support for growing businesses within the City.

Over the course of its 26-year existence, the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center, founded in the refurbished Mack Trucks Plant 4A in 1989, has helped launch more than 50 companies in Allentown that have created more than 300 jobs. It is a member of the Ben Franklin Business Incubator Network. Today, the Center is home to Architrep, ColdEdge Technologies, The Colony Meadery, County Seat Spirits, Gonzo Pockets, HiJinx Brewing Company, JH Plastics, LightLab International Allentown, MTS Ventures, Netizen Corporation, Polymer Contours and Zzyzx Polymers.

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