Industry Clusters

An Industry Cluster is “a geographically proximate group of interconnected companies and associated institutions in a particular field, linked by commonalities and complementarities.” (Michael Porter)

Throughout history, certain industries have concentrated in various geographical areas because there are advantages to their being together. They may share a skilled workforce. They may need to access raw materials that are nearby. They may want to be close to a common marketplace to sell their goods and services. Often an infrastructure of government and non-profit organization springs up in the area to serve the industry.

As we see it, clusters include the supply chain and distribution chain of the core industry as well as all of the organizations in the support network.

In Lancaster County, we have monitored 20 industry clusters since 2002. They account for over 98% of all jobs in the area. Our Clusters in Lancaster County reports that are below offer a view of the strengths and weaknesses of all of the clusters.



Local Industry Clusters




Our Priorities

From the 20 industry clusters that we monitor, we have chosen seven as our priority industry clusters based on their growth, their competitiveness, and their ability to grow family-sustaining jobs.

7 Priority Clusters

  1. Agriculture and Food Processing
  2. Automotive Services
  3. Biotechnology
  4. Communications and Printing
  5. Construction
  6. Health Care
  7. Metals and Metal Fabricating

In the PDFs above, you will find more information about the characteristics of the cluster, the occupations that are associated with it, and the array of industries that comprise it.