Purpose of the LVRC
The Lehigh Valley Research Consortium serves several critical purposes:
Data collection and analysis: One of the main goals of the LVRC is to create a web-based community information system that collects both quantitative and qualitative data on the Lehigh Valley accessible to the LV community. The integrated information system includes the following:
• Demographic information about residents in the LV community including socio-economic and political data broken out by different population aggregations;
• Public opinion data, studying quality of life issues;
• Governmental sector indicators for the two counties, 65 municipalities and 17 school districts in the Lehigh Valley;
• Not-for-profit sector indicators across all categories of services and activities including basic service provision information, personnel and financial data; and
• Indicators of the local economy and businesses.
Student and faculty development: The center provides undergraduate and graduate students the chance for hands-on research experience in ongoing empirical studies and enhances opportunities for both interdisciplinary and cross-institutional collaboration. LVRC serves as a connection point between faculty members of multiple institutions that may share similar research interests with no vehicle for collaboration on local projects. University participation in local issues also creates possibilities for community members to build relations with faculty and participate in LVRC events held on local college campuses.
Community outreach: Through the collection and analysis of data, the LVRC assists government officials, community businesses, and activists in their work and encourage community dialogue about our future. LVRC participants prepare regional reports and empirical research concerning challenges facing the LV as a way to encourage broader participation and dialogue about issues that affect us all.