The concrete foundation of Allentown‘s $272 million arena complex has begun to rise at Seventh and Hamilton streets, along with the number of yellow-vested construction workers.
It is a welcome sight to an army of local tradesmen whose livelihoods took a beating in the Great Recession.
For ironworker Carl Graves, 33, of Easton, the arena project didn’t just put him back to work in a tough construction market, it gave him his family back.
With construction in the Lehigh Valley at a near halt the past four years, Graves has had to accept jobs as far as 100 miles away. During his six months working on a job at New York University Medical Center last year, the four-hour round-trip commute left him little time to spend with his wife and sons, ages 5 and 1.