Advancing Manufacturing in Massachusetts

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Greenfield CC_Workforce Development Pic

 

Massachusetts, renowned as America’s manufacturing epicenter in the mid-19th century, is rapidly regaining its spot as a leading manufacturing center, but with a 21st century twist.  The state’s robust innovation economy has stimulated a new era of advanced manufacturing that relies on high-tech, precision machinery to produce a range of products including medical devices, robots, military equipment, green-energy technology and video games.

Governor Deval Patrick recognizes the potential of advanced manufacturing to create jobs and move the economy forward.  In his recent State of the Commonwealth address, Governor Patrick emphasized  the strength of advanced manufacturing in our innovation economy.

A few days after the address, Governor Patrick traveled to western Massachusetts to tour Advanced Manufacturing Co, Inc of Westfield, a family-owned business that makes precision parts for submarines, jets, helicopters and the International Space Station.  Founded in 1962, the company has 200 workers.

The governor’s commitment to advanced manufacturing is longstanding.  In 2011 he launched the Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative (AMC), a group of leaders from industry, academia and government formed to map out a strategy for this emerging sector.  The group created a five-point agenda to Promote Manufacturing, Educate the Workforce, Provide Technical Assistance, Ease the Cost of Doing Business and Gain Access to Capital Resources.

See Governor Patrick on the Today Show talking about manufacturing.

In its economic development plan, Choosing to Compete in the 21st century, the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development has identified Building Talent as one of five key initiatives.  Indeed, one of our biggest challenges over the next decade is to train up to 100,000 skilled workers to enter the advanced manufacturing industry.  AMC is working with high schools, vocational schools, community colleges and universities to provide training in computer and engineering courses to meet this demand.

In a recent visit to Springfield Technical Community College, EOHED Secretary Greg Bialecki praised western Massachusetts for “deliberately seizing the opportunity” to bring precision manufacturing back. “You’ve got businesses, government, academic and community working together, saying let’s do it.”

One program that is creating a buzz about advanced manufacturing is AMP iT UP!, a statewide promotional campaign educating students about manufacturing careers in Massachusetts.   In December 2013, Mass Development announced nearly $110,000 in AMP it UP! matching grants to eleven programs across the Commonwealth that promote manufacturing as a career.

This spring, the Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative is holding its 2nd annual Advanced Manufacturing Summit on April 29, 2014 at the DCU Center in Worcester.   The summit brings together hundreds of executives and managers to share industry best practices and to discuss challenges and opportunities facing the advanced manufacturing industry.

Here is a list of manufacturers in Massachusetts