10 Reasons We Love the Lehigh Valley
At Factory we rave about the Lehigh Valley a lot. But if you’ve never been here, much less heard of it, you’re probably wondering why there’s so much hype about this pocket eastern Pennsylvania.
We didn’t just decide to build Factory here at random. In fact, we looked all over the country and decided Bethlehem, PA was the ideal spot for our unique company that’s part venture capital partner, part accelerator, part business operations team.
Want to know why? Read on!
1. The educational opportunities are phenomenal.
The Lehigh Valley is home to no less than 10 colleges and universities, and they’ve supplied us with a pipeline of bright students and recent grads to intern and work at Factory.
Lehigh Valley colleges and universities include:
- Penn State – Lehigh Valley
- Lehigh University
- Moravian College
- DeSales University
- Cedar Crest College
- Muhlenberg College
- Lafayette College
- Kutztown University
- Northampton Community College
- Lehigh Carbon Community College
2. It’s a bright spot for senior talent.
We’re in good company: The Lehigh Valley is home to two Fortune 500 companies—PPL Electric Utilities and Air Products—and the headquarters for household names like Crayola, Peeps and Olympus. This is a place that’s brimming with talented professionals.
3. It’s got a vibrant business community.
Factory is well connected within the local business community, including with the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation. We even started an event, called StartUp Lehigh Valley, to bring local business leaders and entrepreneurs together to network and innovate. You won’t find this level of camaraderie in the big cities.
4. Housing is affordable.
Looking for your dream home? You can buy it for a fraction of the price you’d pay in New York. We’ve also got brand new apartments popping up all over the place, including new luxury flats from City Center in downtown Allentown, to The Silk Factory Lofts in Easton, to the Five10 Flats in south Bethlehem, just a five-minute walk from Factory! Whether you want a country house, a townhouse, or a spacious apartment, you can find exactly what you’re looking for.
5. It’s a shipping and distribution hub.
National retailers with massive e-commerce businesses, including Amazon and Walmart, have fulfillment centers in the Lehigh Valley. In 2018, FedEx opened its largest distribution hub to date near in Northampton County on 253 acres. With New York City less than two hours to the north and Philadelphia and Harrisburg one-and-a-half hours to the south and west, respectively, the Lehigh Valley is perfectly positioned to move goods all over the country. In fact, that’s one of the reasons our brand partner Stuffed Puffs chose to build its new manufacturing facility in Bethlehem!
6. It’s got accessible airports.
The Lehigh Valley is good at moving people too. You can fly to major cities for business meetings, trade shows and production runs from the low-stress Lehigh Valley International Airport, or catch flights from Philadelphia, Newark and Trenton.
7. We have great school districts.
Looking for the perfect spot to raise a family? You can find top-rated public, charter, and private schools in the area. There are also dozens of fun family activities to do on the weekends, from visiting the Crayola Experience in Easton, to catching a baseball game at the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, to seeing the animals up close at the Lehigh Valley Zoo.
8. New York, Philadelphia, and the Jersey Shore are all an easy day-trip away.
Hop on 95 and you can be in Philadelphia within an hour and a half, or head northeast and you’ll be in Manhattan in under two hours. With the Jersey Shore within easy driving distance, you can easily explore Stone Harbor, Asbury Park, Avalon, Sea Isle City, Atlantic City, and Ocean City in the course of a summer. Oh, and don’t forget the Poconos and all the outdoor attractions they have to offer.
9. It’s the perfect combination of city and country.
You can live in the country and still drive to downtown Bethlehem in 30 minutes. We love that the area has a small-town feel with big-city benefits: there are green spaces and historic downtown districts; art galleries and award-winning restaurants; professional sports teams and music venues. For a breath of fresh air, you can visit local family farms for pick-your-own apples and pumpkins, go on a nature walk at the Wildlands Conservancy, or bike the D&L trail.
10. The sense of community is strong!
The Lehigh Valley is a growing, bustling, diverse community with a culture of hard work and innovation. We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t love it, and we tell everyone who will stop to listen! Don’t believe us? Watch the video!