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Lehigh Valley recognized for economic development

Lehigh Valley has been named one of the top spots for economic development in the country.

With 46 projects, the Lehigh Valley ties for second place with Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for new and expanded corporate facilities in 2013 in areas with a population between 200,000 and one million people.

"This makes me feel good as a lifelong resident of the Lehigh Valley," said Don Cunningham, president and CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation.

"This is not some sort of subjective, who can market themselves better type of ranking, it's based on results," he said. "It's nice to see it occurring and the national market recognizing the significance of the Lehigh Valley."

The Omaha, Nebraska, area ranked number one with 48 projects. Some of the projects that helped land the Lehigh Valley on the list include Coca-Cola, Bimbo Bakeries and Kraft. While this is the sixth consecutive year this region has been in the top 10, the number two spot is its highest ranking yet.


Original source: WFMZ.com
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Owner of two Lehigh Valley restaurants preps a third

The man behind Blue and Melt will open a third restaurant in the Lehigh Valley.

Pacifico closed Thursday and George Paxos, the man behind Blue and Melt, intends to renovate the site and bring in a restaurant with "a completely new concept, according to his son and business associate, Dimitrios Paxos. George Paxos owns Blue, a grillhouse and event center in Bethlehem Township, Pa., and Melt, a grill and lounge that neighbors Pacifico at the Promenade Shops in Upper Saucon Township.

"He's actively working on it now that Pacifico has moved out. He will be spending a lot of time on it. It's something that will be happening not to far down the line," Dimitrios Paxos said. "He's definitely got a game plan, it's just a little too early to announce anything."


Original source: The Express-Times
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Lehigh Valley is among nation's regions most likely to adopt green transportation

ZDNet reports on a Pike Research study that rank Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton high on the list of metropolitan areas most likely to adopt alternative or green transportation like plug-in hybrids or electric cars.
 
Based on that criteria, Pike figures that sales of plug-in electric vehicles in the largest 102 cities in the United States will total 1.8 million from 2012 to 2020. 
 
Original source: ZDnet
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Lafayette hires first female president, who brings digital education chops

Alison R. Byerly has been named Lafayette's 17th president and first female leader, reports The New York Times.

Ms. Byerly is known as a leading national authority on education in the digital age, including the emergence of massively open online courses, or MOOCs. A Pennsylvania native, Ms. Byerly earned her bachelor’s degree with honors in English at Wellesley College in Massachusetts; she went on to earn her master’s degree and doctorate in English at the University of Pennsylvania.
 
Original source: The New York Times
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Lehigh students crash PennApps 2013 hackathon, create SparkTab

A team of Lehigh University students created SparkTab, a versatile browser add-on, at the PennApps 2013 hackathon last weekend, reports TechCrunch.
 
SparkTab is kind of like QuickSilver for your browser. Instead of setting your new tab page to, say, Google, you would add SparkTab. From the text entry bar, you can perform searches, send texts, and even post to Facebook and Twitter. Think of it as a quicker way to do lots of stuff online without having to enter a URL or click on search results.
 
Original source: TechCrunch
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Philly, Pittsburgh, New Hope make top arts destinations list

American Style's annual list of Top 25 Arts Destinations for large-, mid- and small-size cities inclues Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and New Hope, respectively.
 
New York City came in first (again) with 43.2 percent of the vote, with Washington, D.C. (No. 2, with 23.6 percent) and Chicago (No. 3, with 22.3 percent) trading places from last year’s standing to fill the remaining top two positions for the fifth year in a row. Out-of-the-blue write-in candidate Dayton, Ohio, vaulted to the No. 2 spot in the Mid-Size Cities list, and eight cities across all three categories were located in Florida.
 
Original source: American Style
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How the Cook siblings built one of America's most-trafficked websites out of New Hope

Siblings Geoff and Catherine Cook reveal how they built teen social networking site myYearbook in New Hope over the last seven years in an interview with Inc. magazine.
 
Last year, myYearbook, one of the nation's 25 most-trafficked websites, merged with Quepasa, a publicly traded company that runs social networking sites aimed at Latinos, in a $100 million deal. The Cooks still run the show and are focused on graduating to a global market. As told to Liz Welch.
 
In 2010, we had $23 million in revenue, but 85 percent of our users were in North America. Winners tend to be global brands, so we started looking for ways that myYearbook could span the world. 
 
Original source: Inc.
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How the magic happens inside a Bethlehem home brewing lab

Gizmodo drinks in the HammerSmith Ale House and Brewery, a shed in Bethlehem belonging to beer enthusiast and home brewer Chris Bowen.
 
Bowen was fermenting and bottling in his basement before he decided to purchase an acre of land in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, which contained an old 22 x 14-foot Amish-built shed. He remodeled the structure, which now houses his yeast laboratory, four refrigerators, two sinks, and a sophisticated microbrewery system he designed and built from scratch. With this setup, he can replicate water from almost anywhere in the world to churn out 10-gallon batches of specific styles of beer. That's right: Bowen can reproduce the world's water, matching the mineral content on tap in over 70 countries. 
 
Original source: Gizmodo
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A look at how Just Born, maker of Peeps, nurtures fans of its brightly-colored marshmallow treats

BusinessNewsDaily explores how the Bethlehem company that makes Peeps capitalizes on its retail outlets and fans' interest in recipes and diorama contests starring the marshmallow candy.

Integrating its corporate brand with organic product-based contests and pop culture mediums is part of the Peeps marketing plan.

"We work hard to make sure our fans and media are always stimulated with lots of great products and information," (companyy representative Aubrecia) Cooper said. "However, once an idea or product is out there, our strong fan base certainly has a way of making sure our efforts take on a life of their own."

The company has also embraced social media -- its Facebook fan page has 221,000 "likes" and it has become a Pinterest staple with users sharing their favorite Peeps recipes and creations. It also has some lower tech promotions, too. Its Peeps chick car is currently touring the South and Midwest.


Original source: BusinessNewsDaily
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Lehigh Valley company collects used cooking oil from around the country, sells it around the globe

The Morning Call profiles Greenworks, a Lehigh Valley company that makes biofuel out of used cooking oil from 15,000 restaurants and institutions nationwide.

Greenworks, through its subsidiary the Association of Restaurant Owners for a Sustainable Earth, pays restaurants about 50 cents per gallon for their used cooking oil, refines it and sells the biofuel for a price that tracks diesel.

"It's something people don't think much about, but you have a lot of cooking oil coming through restaurants," said Robert Hiller, marketing and communications manager for Greenworks. "I've been in the food service business for 20 years now. I never knew this existed and it's really competitive out there."

It's not a small operation run out of someone's garage. Greenworks collects 40 million gallons of used cooking oil a year. It employs about 150 people, including 100 in the Lehigh Valley. It has processing plants in Allentown, Wind Gap, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. The company also has an ownership stake in a plant in San Francisco.


Original source: The Morning Call
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Cutting-edge equipment speeds innovation at Lehigh Valley manufacturer

American Machinist visits Victaulic, a Lehigh Valley manufacturer of pipe products, to learn how it uses advanced software and equipment to develop new products.

Cast prototypes are manufactured in the production area. Jerry Miley, Tech Center CNC programmer said, “We’re prototyping with a product that is actually coming out of our production process. This gets us to the closest representation of the real deal for the engineers, providing credible testing results. When it comes time to make tooling, these designs are production-ready.”

In spite of the heavy workload, CAM is allowing the prototypers to keep pace with an aggressive R&D schedule, and it is allowing the patternmakers to keep pace producing tools that support a vast range of part numbers. There are just four machinists in this shop, and they are making production tooling for Victaulic casting plants in North America, Europe, and Asia.


Original source: American Machinist
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PA is one of country's top states for green jobs

The Atlantic reports on a government study showing that Pennsylvania is the state with the fourth-highest number of green jobs, and about 3 percent of all jobs in the commonwealth can be considered green.

The report defines green jobs across five categories: production of energy from renewable sources; energy efficiency; pollution reduction and removal, greenhouse gas reduction, and recycling and reuse; natural resources conservation; and environmental compliance, education and training, and public awareness.

The majority of these green jobs (2.3 million) come from the private sector. The public sector employed about 860,000 people. The largest sector of employment was manufacturing, with more than 450,000 green jobs.

This squares with a July 2011 Brooking Institution study of clean economy jobs, which identified 2.7 million clean economy jobs across the United States. The report found that median wages for clean economy jobs are 13 percent higher than median U.S. wages, and that a disproportionate share of clean economy jobs are staffed by workers with relatively little formal education. This has created a sizable group of "moderately well-paying green collar occupations," according to the report.


Original source: The Atlantic
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Web design entrepreneur in Poconos developing plan to serve more local small businesses

Portfolio.com interviews Dennis Jeter, head of A Sound Strategy, a Strousdburg software and website development business with about $1 million in annual revenue.

Though his business has customers in such places as New York City, Jeter is for now focused not just on small businesses, but small towns -- and he’s borrowed a strategy used by the largest tech company in the largest cities -- to hammer home his marketing work.
 
As Apple has done in major markets, Jeter is opening a brick-and-mortar store of his own, YourWebsite2Go, in his company’s headquarters of Stroudsburg, rather than relying on the virtual sales tactics that are common in the world of business-to-business software.
 
“From a branding perspective, it’s really, really working out well,” he said. “We’re constantly being branded in the community.”


Original source: Portfolio.com
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New WikiLeaks-style website created as outlet for whistleblowers in Appalachia

The Associated Press reports on Honest Appalachia, a newly launched website set up to accept leaked government and corporate documents from several states, including Pennsylvania.

The region also was selected, (co-founder Jim) Tobias said, because of its relatively rural area, believing there was less media scrutiny in the region and that a resource like Honest Appalachia would be particularly valuable.

Many newsrooms have shut down and many journalists have lost their jobs, Tobias says, increasing the chances that corruption and misconduct will go unchecked. And many whistleblowers are skeptical of sharing their information with mainstream media.

"We believe our country desperately needs watchdogs at the local, state and regional level," Tobias said.


Original source: Associated Press
Read the full story here.

East Stroudsburg entrepreneur calls Venture Idol a game-changer

East Stroudsburg tech entrepreneur Dennis Jeter talks about his experience at the Ben Franklin Venture Idol pitch event with Reuters.

"Halfway through my two-minute pitch my first year, the VC was like, wait a minute, you're a software company," said Jeter, who had previously promoted his venture, A Sound Strategy, as a website development firm. "It was a game changer for me." After the light went on, he went back to the drawing board to reposition.

Today the five-year-old business books about $1 million in annual revenue, has a staff of 10, and counts marquee customers such as drug maker Sanofi-Aventis in its roster. "You learn so much," Jeter said. "If you're paying attention, it could transform your business and it has in my case."


Original source: Reuters
Read the full story here.

124 Bethlehem Articles | Page: | Show All
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