LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa. – The Lehigh Valley was not chosen to be a Technology and Innovation Hub by the federal government, according to a news release from the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation.
The U.S. Economic Development Administration announced Monday its selection of regions across the country for designation as Technology and Innovation Hubs as part of the federal CHIPS and Science Act.
The Lehigh Valley’s application centered on innovation in semiconductor design and production, a sector the LVEDC says has roots in the Lehigh Valley going back more than 70 years to Bell Labs and Western Electric’s production of the first transistors in Allentown.
Under the Technology and Innovation Hubs portion of the federal CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, regions could seek designation as a hub of innovation in nearly a dozen technology sectors, according to the news release.
Philadelphia was awarded Tech Hub status in advanced biotechnology, the LVEDC said. Philadelphia was the only Pennsylvania region chosen among 31 designees. Philadelphia combined its application with parts of New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland, representing the only selection from those states, the LVEDC said.
“We’re disappointed that the Lehigh Valley was not selected, but we knew from the outset it would be a very competitive process and it was unlikely that more than one region would be chosen from any state,” said Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Don Cunningham. “We’ve learned so much more about our semiconductor sector and have developed a strong coalition to help it grow. This is just the beginning of a newfound focus for the Lehigh Valley.”
The LVEDC says Congresswoman Susan Wild of the Lehigh Valley was a leading proponent of the CHIPS Act and a catalyst behind the region’s application.
“Though this isn’t the outcome we hoped for, the Lehigh Valley’s semiconductor technology, economic development, manufacturing, labor and workforce, education, and business and nonprofit communities are stronger thanks to months of hard work and collaboration between our incredible industry leaders,” Wild said.
“I’m proud of these strong, lasting cross-sector partnerships we forged, and I’m proud to have advocated for our community at every turn. There remains enormous potential and opportunity for growing our semiconductor ecosystem here in the Lehigh Valley—and I’ll continue doing all I can to bring home investments supporting semiconductor production and technological growth, to create good-paying jobs and strengthen our local economy,” Wild said.
Cunningham said he looks forward to continuing to work with the regional technology partnerships the Tech Hub application process has helped foster and to future collaborations with tech companies, colleges, universities, community organizations, workforce development partners, and government partners.
“More opportunities will be available to us in the future,” Cunningham said. “The coalition that’s come together around the Tech Hub process puts the Lehigh Valley in a stronger position to take advantage of those opportunities.”
The U.S. Tech Hub designation process required that selected regions be spread equally across the country, the LVEDC said.