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By: Kathy Henderson, Director of Economic Development, CCEDC

Looking at our evolution as a society we have gone from hunters and gatherers to an agrarian society to an industrial society and now our latest iteration of technology.  What’s next? Alexander Graham Bell would not recognize the wireless communication technology of today. Nor could Charles Babbage, an English mechanical engineer who originated the concept of a programmable computer in the early 19th century have foretold the power of the internet that we hold in our hands today.   

Will we continue on the technology path or is there something out there that we have yet to discover or develop further such as artificial intelligence? Perhaps it will be colonizing other planets or something that none of us can even fathom.   

One thing I do know; Carbon County is on the cusp of some pretty amazing things.  The projects that we are working on here at the CCEDC are very exciting and will help to positively transform our county and more importantly create more jobs.   

We may think that tourism is always getting the spotlight, but manufacturing in Carbon is very much alive and well.  Our Leadership Carbon class had the opportunity to see that in person when we toured three of our local manufacturers:  Architectural Polymers in Aquashicola and Sharps Compliance and Hydra-Tech Pumps in Nesquehoning. Architectural Polymers is a local home-grown business started in a garage that has grown into a company that ships its products internationally.  It’s the same story for Hydra-Tech; that of a small company started in the founder’s garage that also ships world-wide. 

The Main Street and Trail Towns initiatives are also an important component to a robust economy.  It may not seem like much to some people, but a lot of ancillary businesses prosper when there are amazing outdoor attractions such as the D&L Trail, the Appalachian Trail or the Lehigh River in the mix.  Carbon County offers 4 seasons of outdoor fun and adventure. 

Successful economic development means having a good cross representation of many different types of business from tourism to manufacturing to healthcare and hospitality.  They all work hand-in-hand to create a healthy and robust economy. 

Perhaps there is someone out there that is already working on the next greatest invention that will take us to the next level.  One of our projects at CCEDC that I am hopeful will become a reality in 2019 is the creation of an incubator space to assist up-and-coming entrepreneurs to mentor them in being a successful business owner and provide services for them that they may not be able to afford on their own.   

Who knows what we can accomplish unless we take that first step and make it happen. I am looking forward to what is next for us in Carbon County.