Bedford County Ranks First Among Pennsylvania Counties in GDP Growth

The county’s top ranking is driven by its thriving manufacturing sector

Bedford, PA – A December report from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) found that Bedford County ranked first among Pennsylvania counties in its gross domestic product (GDP) growth from 2020-21. GDP measures economic production, the value of all finished goods and services. The county’s GDP grew 14.5 percentage points to $1.44 billion during the period, led by its thriving manufacturing sector, which increased the total GDP by 5.6 percent.

Bette Slayton, President and CEO of the Bedford County Development Association (BCDA) said, “Bedford County’s No. 1 statewide ranking in GDP growth in 2021 is a reflection on our diversified manufacturing base, the astute leadership teams, and talented, committed employees at our local companies.”

“As the world emerged from COVID-19 lockdowns, Bedford County companies were well-positioned to resume production because our county’s manufacturers deftly managed the challenges of rising costs, supply-chain shortages and labor-force issues,” Slayton noted.

Bedford County is home to more than 50 manufacturing companies that make and distribute products across the country and around the world, including:

  • National leaders in fiberglass reinforced products, Bedford Reinforced Plastics and Creative Composites.
  • CaptiveAire, the nation’s leading manufacturer of commercial kitchen ventilation.
  • World-class metal fabricators Kennametal, JLG, Mission Critical Solutions, Rockland, MEC, Corle Building Systems, and others.
  • Food processing manufacturers The Organic Snack Co., maker of Kate’s Real Food protein bars, and Bedford Candies.
  • Ag-biotech company, Lampire Biological Laboratories, supplying pharmaceutical companies and universities across the nation and the globe.

BCDA recently broke ground on a 24,000-square-foot multi-tenant building at the Bedford County Business Park I. Cell-Con, Inc., which makes battery packs and power systems, has committed to be an anchor tenant in the new building. Cell-Con serves the robotics, military and medical markets and has had a production facility in Bedford for 30 years.

“More and more businesses and entrepreneurs are expressing interest in Bedford County thanks to a host of factors including our ideal location, the strong support offered to businesses, and the exceptional quality of life offered by our small towns and abundant natural spaces,” Slayton said.

About Bedford County Development Association

Bedford County Development Association’s (BCDA) mission is to improve the quality of life in Bedford County through economic development while preserving our heritage and natural resources. BCDA promotes and encourages industry and commercial development of trade in the county; aids, assists, encourages, and promotes the location of industrial and commercial employers in the county; promotes and encourages the growth of industry and existing employers located in the county; coordinates and organizes the efforts of other organizations in aiding and assisting in carrying out the purpose of this corporation.