Report: Ben Franklin Tech Partners created hundreds of jobs in our region

by Justin Backover for WFMZ-TV 69 News

Updated May 5, 2022

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BETHLEHEM, Pa. - After 31 years in business, Ben Franklin Tech Partners is showing it's still making quite an impact in Pennsylvania with its 2021 economic impact report.


It's one of the nation's longest running tech-based economic development programs with one of the largest incubator networks.


"We do that by investing and supporting early-stage organizations. Secondly, we do that by supporting new technology initiatives from an established manufacturer's perspective, and then the third thing is being a community advocate," said Angelo Valletta, President and CEO of Ben Franklin Tech Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

The company is based in Bethlehem on South Mountain.


Valletta, says statewide, the network created nearly 2,500 new jobs in 2021, and retained nearly 13,000 more, amounting to about $2 billion in revenue.


"Hundreds of new products and businesses, and hundreds of services. So, that's why we're here," Valletta said.


Locally, Northeastern Pa. alone created 952 jobs in 2021 and retained nearly 6,500, started four new companies, and developed 160 new products and processes. It often helped businesses in the very early stages.


"They're not bankable yet, typically. Plus, bank dollars are very expensive. So we're able to support them not only from an investment perspective, but from an ecosystem standpoint," Valletta said.

As well as help existing companies reinvest and hire more.


It works with companies large and small, from B. Braun, to LifeAire Systems, to American Paper Bag.


And it shows no sign of slowing down. Interest in the program has never been higher.


"Our problem in some cases is that we don't have enough money to invest," Valletta said.