Just like in real estate, "location, location, location" is one of the main reasons that manufacturing is thriving in this area. Production sites within the Greater Lehigh Valley can reach over 100 million consumers in an overnight delivery; this is nearly one-third of the country.
Another crucial factor adding to the growth of manufacturing in this region, experience. The Lehigh Valley, home of Bethlehem Steel--which was once the most powerful symbol of American industry--was a a major center of manufacturing in the United States for almost 200 years..
In addition this area has seen significant investment into its manufacturing infrastructure, which is critical for expansion and development. For example, the Reading Economic Partnership, has worked on 15 manufacturing projects this year alone. Since 2005, the non-profit agency has assisted with over a 130 ventures and added more than 11,000 jobs to the region.
The increase in education, which is also a form of investment, has lead to many new manufacturer viewing the Lehigh Valley as a viable option for their smaller, faster, more agile operations. Local colleges often educated students in engineering, business, and specialized technical training; they then left the area looking for jobs. Now with most companies that have over $1 billion in sales, bringing manufacturing back from overseas; many residents stay put, giving the the Valley a highly educated workforce, which is necessary for the new smart manufacturing.