Merchants Bank Hosts Program about Preparing Tomorrow’s Workforce for Technical and Skilled Jobs

Last evening at the Hotel Bethlehem, community leaders and business owners learned how local organizations are preparing tomorrow’s workforce. While there is currently a greater hiring demand in the Lehigh Valley for individuals that have learned a trade or have other technical skills, the future demand will be much greater. Area companies are challenged to find the talent that they need in order to grow their businesses and our local economy.

The event, hosted by Merchants Bank, featured Dr. Mark Erickson from Northampton Community College and Jack Pfunder from Manufacturers Resource Center. Erickson and Pfunder spoke about their organization’s efforts to develop a better-prepared individual for the workforce. They both agreed that it all begins with engaging young people early on, as well as their parents, in the many possibilities of working in industries like manufacturing and the skilled trades.

Tying it all together, Senior Economic Analyst, Elif Sen, from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia also spoke covering the outlook for the national and local economy. Chief Executive Officer of Merchants Bank, Anthony Biondi, was excited about the interactive discussions during the program, “I have a passion for helping businesses and revitalizing the local economy. Getting students excited about technical jobs and the skilled trades is paramount. It’s easier to attract new businesses to the area, when we have the kind of talent that they need. Having support from local companies who can help educate students and offer internships and apprenticeships is a vital key to the much needed skilled workforce that we need.”

Attendees included individuals from the educational sector, business leaders from various companies in the Lehigh Valley and local dignitaries.

Established in 1890, Merchants Bank is a locally owned and operated community bank.  Headquartered in Bangor, PA, Merchants has two branch offices in Bangor and additional offices throughout the Lehigh Valley, including Mount Bethel, Wind Gap, Nazareth, Forks Township, Martins Creek, Easton and Bethlehem, PA. In 2013 the Bank was recognized for its community involvement and volunteerism through two awards: Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce’s The Spirit of Forks Award as well as The Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley’s Spirit of Volunteerism Award. MNB Investment Services is a division of the bank and offers investment and wealth management financial services. For more information, please visit