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BETHLEHEM, PA-The state has provided $18 million from its Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program for five projects in Northampton County. All are targeted toward the revitalization of Bethlehem’s economy, and Gov. Ed Rendell says the combined projects would create 3,100 jobs and provide training to meet the demand for more than 20,000 additional ones over the next decade.

Two planned projects received $5 million each. They are for development of the Fowler Center at Northampton Community College and SteelStax. The latter is an arts and education center at the former Bethlehem Steel plant site, which will include a café, broadcast center and performing arts venue.

Historic Bethlehem Partnership’s “Seeking Excellence” capital campaign received $2.5 million. The nonprofit organization is devoted to preserving the city’s historic places and improving area museums.

The first phase of St. Luke’s Hospital and Health Network expansion obtained nearly $4.1 million. The project calls for construction of a freestanding facility aimed specifically at cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Another $1.5 million was granted for construction of a fourth tech center at the Lehigh Valley Industrial Park. The $7-million, 42,500-sf facility is designed to accommodate graduates of the Lehigh Incubator and will contain a spec wet lab for lease to the area’s emerging bioscience companies.

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