As a follow-up to last week’s meeting with local government leaders, Envision Lehigh Valley is hosting a virtual town hall meeting at 8 tonight for members of the general public. The topic: economic development.
Envision Lehigh Valley is a public outreach effort designed to engage the citizens of Northampton and Lehigh counties to create a sustainable Lehigh Valley. Among its partners are the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. and the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Since this meeting is online, Holly Edinger, director of Envision, said it will be easy for members of the general public to participate by logging in from their home computer.
The point of the meeting is to "get everyone in the community on the same page" when it comes to economic development.
Jay Garner of Garner Economics, a consultant studying the Lehigh Valley's economic development needs, will be sharing an outside perspective of the Lehigh Valley as a place to locate businesses, from the businesses that may be looking to locate here.
By holding a virtual town hall, it removes all obstacles for interested parties who cannot make their way to a brick-and-mortar meeting location, Edinger said.
Edinger said it was important to make the meeting easily accessible to any member of the public who wanted to learn more.
"Many people are unemployed, so they're very interested in economic development. It's an opportunity for us to expand the dialogue," she said.
Edinger said the ultimate goal of the effort is to work together across the region to make the Lehigh Valley a more attractive place for corporations to choose for new operations.
"We need to take a hard look at ourselves in comparison to other regions and understand our strengths, weaknesses and opportunities and to develop our plans and strategies from an informed and realistic perspective," said Don Cunningham, president and CEO of LVEDC, which is leading the Envision study.
Attendees can log in and make their way to a YouTube video presentation at http://www.youtube.com/user/EnvisionLehighValley. The program is set up to allow input from viewers.