Unlike many skilled craftsmen, Mike Scott, a carpenter from Slatington, has collected a steady paycheck for the past 25 years, regardless of the weather and economy.
Scott builds cabinets, countertops and other fixtures for Lehigh Valley Health Network, the Valley’s biggest employer. People are often surprised to learn where he works after hearing his profession.
“Ninety percent of people have no idea that a hospital has a full staff of all the different trades,” said Scott, standing in a large wood shop at the western edge of Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Salisbury Township.
For years, the nonprofit health network has been the Valley’s top employer. And now it has earned a distinction not seen since the heyday of Bethlehem Steel. The network became the first Valley employer in at least 30 years to surpass the 10,000-employee mark, with 10,207 workers in 2011.