Allentown Residents Benefiting From Hockey Arena Area Job Growth

English: City of Allentown from east side

English: City of Allentown from east side (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Oliver Velasquez arrived for a job fair earlier this summer at the new Allentown hockey arena, he was shocked by the number of attendees.

“I didn’t expect to see that many people; there must have been thousands,” the 26-year-old Allentown resident said. “The line actually wrapped around the block a couple of times.”

Velasquez waited in that line, and it paid off for him. He is now the PPL Center’s new suites and catering manager, providing banquets for catered events and overseeing food in the arena’s private suites.

He is one of more than 300 city residents to find employment as part of an effort by community activists and city officials to ensure people living in Allentown get a fair shot at the jobs being created by downtown redevelopment.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/allentown/index.ssf/2014/09/allentown_residents_benefittin.html

U.S. Census Numbers: Allentown Economy Lagging

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) i...

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) is the tallest building in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Syreeta Redcross of Allentown takes care of her five children on her wages at a local logistics company.

The pay is relatively low, so the 28-year-old often has to scrape to afford the basics — like diapers for her kids. She relies on subsidized day care to be able to hold down a job at all.

Redcross stopped by the PA CareerLink Lehigh Valley job fair on Wednesday looking for a better-paying job.

“It’s very challenging,” she said. “It’s a struggle out there.”

Redcross’ struggles are far from unique, according to findings released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Read more:

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-census-poverty-20120919,0,1785692.story