From about 1850 on, as iron and steel production, and the production of Portland cement, made Northampton County one of the most important industrial centers in America, the county, its two cities, and the rest of this beautiful part of eastern Pennsylvania flourished.
The legacies left behind by industrialists like Packer, Sayre, Fritz, Schwab, and Grace are evident in our colleges and universities, in the institutions, large and small, that they endowed, in the flourishing arts and cultural centers that have made Bethlehem and Easton particularly special places, and in our exceptional parks and recreational resources. Because of steel, Northampton County will always hold a key place in the history of industrial America.
But history, no matter how glorious, mostly creates libraries and museums; it rarely creates any new industrial jobs, and this community, especially with the decline and then the complete fall of Bethlehem Steel, needs new, exciting sectors of employment. Just because the Bethlehem area was once the home of some of the largest industrial buildings in North America means nothing at all for the future of our community. Now, successfully dealing with the remains of “The Steel” is a full-time job for economic development professionals; taking advantage of those “remains” to create a new prosperity for the entire community, young and old, is the challenge that Northampton County’s government leaders and its professional economic development staff are undertaking in the first decades of the 21st century.
The county government’s role in economic development is significant. Under the direction of the nine-member County Council and the County Executive, the staff of the county’s Department of Community and Economic Development is responsible for facilitating the strategic allocation of the county’s resources to encourage business growth, to create and retain employment opportunities, and to improve the quality of life in Northampton County through the support of affordable housing initiatives, the provision of community services, and investment in community and public facilities.
This department provides Northampton County business owners and managers, as well as businesses looking at the community as a place to invest, with significant services and resources, which include:
Legislative Liaison and Public RelationsNCDCED provides a full-range of community and business advocacy services. If you have a project, program, product, or service you want people to know about, NCDCED can help you promote that idea. The same goes for legislative issues with your local, state, or federal government. We can help you get the ear of your legislators!
FinancingThrough the Northampton County Industrial Development Authority, Northampton County General Purpose Authority, Northampton County Higher Education Authority, and Northampton County Hospital Authority, NCDCED’s Authority Administrator can arrange for various types of community and economic development financing, as well as providing counsel to local business owners and managers on how to best package available programs.
Project Planning and ConsultingNCDCED’s staff has years of experience in planning community and economic development projects. NCDCED’s experience and its multi-tiered referral network are always available to assist clients with every aspect of the development process.
The Lehigh Valley Land Recycling InitiativeLVLRI is focused on promoting economic development through the reuse of abandoned and underutilized commercial and industrial properties, also known as brownfields.
Partner OrganizationsThe Northampton County Department of Community and Economic Development works closely with a number of partner organizations in Northampton County and the Lehigh Valley. These partners include:
The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) serves as the regional, economic development agency. LVEDC provides demographic information, finance and business incentives, site and facility availability, and workforce services. The City of Bethlehem's Office of Economic Development encourages business location and expansion through technical and site selection assistance and financial programs. The Easton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC), in partnership with the City of Easton and the Downtown Manager, assists businesses that need access to financing programs, site selection, and coordination with city and outside agencies. The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission was formed by Lehigh and Northampton counties in 1961 to create a comprehensive plan to guide orderly growth in Lehigh and Northampton counties.
The Lehigh Valley Industrial Park (LVIP) is a community-owned, non-profit economic development corporation that was created in 1959 to take advantage of Northampton County’s exceptional geographic location, and to try to diversify the community’s economic base.
Please refer to the comprehensive listing of economic development organizations listed on the right for detailed contact information.
Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania116 Research DrivePlaza LevelBethlehem, PA 18015Phone: 610-758-5200 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
City of BethlehemDepartment Community & Economic Development10 East Church StreetBethlehem, PA 18018Phone: 610-865-7085
Fax: 610-865-7330Email: email@example.com
Easton Area Industrial Land Development Co., Inc. (EAILD)National Building400 Northampton StreetSuite 305Easton, PA 18042Phone: 610-258-5647
City of EastonDepartment of Community and Economic Development123 South Third StreetEaston, PA 18042Phone: 610-250-6719
The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce840 Hamilton St Suite 205Allentown, PA 18101Phone: 610-841-5800Web Site...
Discover Lehigh Valley840 Hamilton Street, Suite 200Allentown, PA 18101Phone: 610-882-9200 Check out our blog:Lehigh Valley InSite
Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation2158 Avenue C, Suite 200Bethlehem, PA 18017Phone: 610-266-6775
Lehigh Valley Industrial Park, Inc. (LVIP)1720 Spillman Drive, Suite 150Bethlehem, PA 18015Phone: 610-866-4600
Toll Free: 1-800-3600 LVIP (5847)Fax: 610-867-9154Web Site...
Lehigh Valley International Airport3311 Airport RoadAllentown, PA 18109Phone: 610-266-6001
Lehigh Valley Planning Commission961 Marcon Boulevard, Suite 310Allentown, PA 18103-9397Phone: 610-264-4544
Toll Free: 888-627-8808Fax: 610-264-2616
Manufacturers Resource CenterHanover Office Plaza961 Marcon Blvd., Suite 200Allentown, PA 18109Phone: 610-628-4640
Nazareth-Bath Regional Chamber of Commerce201 North Main StreetNazareth, PA 18064Phone: 610-759-9188Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgWeb Site...
Northampton Community CollegeCenter for Business & Industry3835 Green Pond RoadBethlehem, PA 18017Phone: 610-861-5580Web Site...
Northampton County Department of Community & Economic Development2801 Emrick Blvd., 1st FloorBethlehem, PA 18020Phone: 610-829-6306
Small Business Development Center of Lehigh University416 E. 5th StreetBethlehem, PA 18015Phone: 610-758-3980
TeamPA CareerLink Lehigh Valley Center555 Union Blvd.Allentown, PA 18109Phone: 610-437-5627 610-437-0741(TTY)Web Site...
NCDCED has access to numerous data-bases, archiving information on everything from available land, buildings, zoning, and infrastructure designations in the county, to general demographic information for the entire Lehigh Valley.
NCIDA/NCGPA are the main issuers for tax exempt financing in Northampton County.
The office can assist manufacturers, 501(c)3 organizations, and exempt facilities (solid waste disposal facilities, sewage treatment facilities, local furnishings of electricity, gas and water, hazardous waste disposal facilities, etc.). The NCIDA/NCGPA also issue taxable bond financing in the county. Taxable financing programs are available to any company qualified to do business in Pennsylvania. Eligible companies may use the proceeds to acquire land and buildings, acquire machinery or equipment, for refinancing, for working capital, and for closing costs.
The Department of Community and Economic Development also assists in managing the Northampton County Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ) sites. NCDCED will assist interested buyers or developers with questions regarding Northampton County’s KOZ properties and the tax benefits which are available through this program.
In addition to the key role that the Department of Community and Economic Development plays in the overall economic development strategy of Northampton County, NCDCED is also a cooperative partner in economic development in the greater Lehigh Valley.