As part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s “Open…
Governor Baker & Mayor Walsh Announce Joint Community Redevelopment Venture in Boston
As part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s “Open for Business” Real Estate Asset Leveraging (REAL) Strategy, state and city officials announced a joint venture with Veolia North America to explore the strategic redevelopment of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s (MassDOT) District 6 Headquarters and Veolia facility in downtown Boston. The 5.5 acre parcel at 185 Kneeland Street, bordered by Chinatown, the Leather District and South Station with the Ink Block developments nearby, offers the potential for up to 1.5 to 2 million square feet of redevelopment. MassDOT’s District 6 Headquarters will be relocated or replaced and a scaled-down version of Veolia North America’s steam plant will be included as part of the redevelopment. Governor Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh each spoke about the importance of this collaboration as a way of stimulating economic growth and development, job creation and the addition of more open space and affordable, workforce and transit-oriented housing. Here is a video of the announcement. Governor Baker said the project “is a valuable avenue to building stronger communities and opportunities for the people of Massachusetts. We look forward to working together with Mayor Walsh, Veolia, the City of Boston and its residents to optimize this land’s impact and contribution to the neighborhood and city at large.” Mayor Walsh thanked Governor Baker “for his willingness to assess the inventory of State-owned land in the City of Boston and identify parcels that, if developed, could help the City achieve its long-term housing and planning goals.” MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack said the project “will enhance the vitality of the surrounding neighborhood and spur economic growth in the adjacent business district while generating own-source revenue that MassDOT can reinvest in our transportation system.” First announced in October, 2015, the “Open for Business” Real Estate Asset Leveraging (REAL) Strategy identifies unused or underutilized Commonwealth properties for redevelopment for affordable or market-rate housing, job creation, reduction in government expenses, increased revenue for the Commonwealth as well as local communities, capital investment in state properties, and open recreational space. Over 40 near-term opportunities throughout Massachusetts and across state agencies and authorities were first highlighted for public-private partnerships, of which seven are currently under agreement. The first public input session for the MassDOT District 6 Headquarters project is being held at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2 in the 1st Floor Conference Room at 185 Kneeland Street. Comments can also be submitted by email to James.A.Kersten@state.ma.us.
Massachusetts Files Economic Development Legislation Providing “Opportunities for All”
The Baker-Polito Administration filed legislation this week entitled An Act to Provide Opportunities for All. The bill outlines investments of up to $918 million in capital funding for local infrastructure, Brownfields site cleanup, Gateway Cities development, development site assembly and site readiness, smart growth housing, workforce development, emerging technologies, and community-based innovation. In broad terms, the legislation seeks to advance job creation and economic growth by empowering communities and regions to reach their potential, expanding workforce development efforts to close the skills gap and connect residents with economic opportunities, and investing in emerging technologies to set the stage for future job growth across the Commonwealth. Read the press release here. Governor Charlie Baker called the legislation “a platform for growth and prosperity across the Commonwealth,” and said, “Strong communities, a highly-trained workforce, and our commitment to welcoming emerging technologies will ensure Massachusetts’ continues to have a pro-growth business environment providing economic opportunities for all.” Lieutenant Governor Polito said, “Community development and revitalization have been priorities of ours since day one, and this bill will provide new investments and tools to enable and leverage private development toward that goal.” Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, said, “Massachusetts’ greatest asset is its brainpower, and this legislation provides the state’s innovators with the tools they need to create the next generation of jobs in technology and in advanced manufacturing.” An Act to Provide Opportunities for All is organized around four foundational themes: preparing communities for success, a new Massachusetts Innovation Initiative, workforce development, and economic competitiveness.
Governor Baker Announces $83.5 Million for Career Vocational Technical Education
The Baker-Polito Administration is ramping up its support of career vocational technical education, with $83.5 million worth of new initiatives being proposed between the Governor’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget recommendation and new capital grant funding. “With too many good-paying jobs going unfilled, we are pleased to announce this critical investment in our career and technical schools,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our proposal will make it possible for more students to explore a pathway to success through stronger partnerships with our schools and local businesses in the Commonwealth.” The funding in the FY17 budget will be coupled with a substantial capital grant program for vocational equipment that further aligns the administration’s investments with local economic and workforce development needs and employment partnerships: 1.$75 million over five years: new capital authorization to fund grants for equipment to expand and improve career technical education programs, building on a $9.2 million Skills Capital grant program announced this year. 2.$7.5 million: work-based learning grants, including nearly doubling support for school-to-career connecting activities to $5.5 million, and doubling support for Dual Enrollment to $2 million, to expand and replicate STEM-focused early college career pathways, including middle school curriculum and workplace experience and learning. 3.$1 million: new Career Technical Partnership Grants, funded through federal Perkins Act grant funding, to strengthen relationships between vocational schools, comprehensive high schools, and employers. The initiatives have come from the Governor’s Workforce Skills Cabinet, which was created by executive order on February 25, 2015 to align education, workforce and economic development strategies across the state. Governor Baker tapped Education Secretary James Peyser, Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald Walker, II, and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash, who have been engaging with business leaders and educators around the state to find ways to create partnerships between the employer community, the state workforce system and education in order to open up more job opportunities around the Commonwealth. Governor Baker said the Skills Cabinet is working together “to create an approach and a strategy to skill building and skill development, recognizing that this has an enormous role not just in economic development but human capital development,” adding that this approach provides “a path for people to find a career that works for them.”
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker Delivers State of the Commonwealth Address, January 21, 2016
Governor Charlie Baker gave his first State of the Commonwealth Address on Thursday, January 21, 2016 from the House Chamber of the Massachusetts State House. Here is a written version of Governor’s Baker’s address.
Massachusetts Launches Comprehensive Digital Health Initiative
(Governor Baker at Children’s Hospital. Photo & video courtesy of State House News Service) Last week, Governor Charlie Baker joined public officials and business leaders from the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership (MACP) at Boston Children’s Hospital to announce a comprehensive public- private partnership designed to accelerate the competitiveness of the Commonwealth’s digital healthcare industry. Governor Baker said the Baker-Polito Administration “is committed to making Massachusetts a national leader in digital health by partnering with private industry, convening key stakeholders and addressing market gaps. This emerging industry cluster has the potential to become a powerful driver of job creation across the Commonwealth, while also unlocking new advances in improving patient care and lowering health care costs.” Digital health is an emerging industry cluster identified by the Commonwealth’s economic development plan signed by Governor Baker on December 23, 2015. The digital health market is emerging rapidly, and has potential to create multiple positive effects on the state’s economic bottom line by creating jobs, attracting investment, and developing solutions, which improve healthcare delivery and ultimately can help contain healthcare costs. Known as digital health, or eHealth, the sector spans a variety of technologies such as electronic health records, consumer wearable devices, care systems, payment management, Big Data analytics and telemedicine. The fast-growing sector represents about a $32 billion market opportunity over the next decade, according to Goldman Sachs. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said, “Strong public-private partnerships are what make our City, and our region, more competitive in the global economy. We know that the digital healthcare industry is Boston’s future, and I thank our state and private sector partners for their support.” To support digital health startups, the City of Boston, Massachusetts eHealth Institute at MassTech (MeHI), and MACP announced the establishment of a digital health innovation hub. The initiative will provide space, programming and strong industry network for digital health startups and will serve as a Boston “hub” for the industry. Programming through the hub will be managed and operated by MassChallenge. House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo said Massachusetts is in a unique position “to become global leaders in the digital healthcare sector. I am proud that the House’s past two economic development bills have supported eHealth programs because I believe this industry presents rich opportunities for Massachusetts.” Dr. Jeffrey Leiden, who led MACP’s Digital Health Initiative, said that Massachusetts, “With the strengths of our universities, academic medical centers, and life sciences companies, is uniquely positioned to succeed in digital healthcare and I’m thrilled to be part of the team that will make it happen.” Governor Baker and Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development, have designated the Massachusetts eHealth Institute at MassTech (MeHI) as the state’s implementing agency. Established in 2008 by the Legislature as a division of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, an economic development agency, MeHI works to promote and accelerate the use of digital healthcare, such as electronic health records and health information exchange. Governor Baker announced today that he will file legislation to expand MeHI’s efforts to include digital healthcare cluster development activities. “This initiative begins in Boston, but it’s a statewide effort, and we see real opportunities for growth in communities across the Commonwealth, including Springfield and Worcester, Lowell and other places,” Governor Baker said at the press conference.
Massachusetts Farms Receive Grants to Strengthen Infrastructure
Five Massachusetts farms have been awarded $400,000 in total grant funding for infrastructure improvements through the state’s Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) Program. Established in 2009, the APR Improvement Program (AIP) is funded by the federal Farm and Lands Protection Program and is administered by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR). The program also provides recipients with technical and business planning assistance to identify the best use of funds to improve farm infrastructure and productivity. The five farms include: Burnetts Farm in Adams, receiving $50,000 for barn expansion Luther Belden Farm in Hatfield, receiving $100,000 for dairy infrastructure improvements Nourse Family Farm in Westborough, receiving $75,000 for farmstand renovation and plantings The Kitchen Garden in Sutherland, receiving $75,000 for produce packing and storage building Westport Rivers in Westport, receiving $100,000 for grapevine propagation facility Governor Charlie Baker praised Massachusetts’ “vibrant agriculture industry, which provides fresh, healthy food for the Commonwealth’s residents. These agricultural investments help create jobs and make Massachusetts’ farms more competitive in the national and global marketplace.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said that grants “will ensure that land protected for agriculture continues to support commercially viable farm businesses for current and future generations of Massachusetts farmers.” Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton thanked the Baker-Polito Administration for supporting “the valuable economic and dietary contributions of commercial farmers who are committed to keeping their land in agriculture.” Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux said, “Reinvesting in these farms has enabled these businesses to keep up with the changing dynamics of modern agriculture and demands of today’s consumers.” Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst) said, “Investments in our farms help meet the demands of consumers for fresh local food while also supporting our growing agricultural industry and tourism.” Since 2009, AIP has provided more than $3.5 million in total grants (average $66,509 per farm) and $330,150 in technical assistance (average $6,229 per farm) to Massachusetts APR farms that own a combined total of more than 7,000 acres of protected farmland. Here is more information about AIP. For more about the state’s culinary destinations, visit the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism‘s Culinary Tourism page.
Massachusetts’ Economic Development Plan Offers Opportunities for All
Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito endorsed and signed the Commonwealth’s economic development plan, a strategic policy document to guide the administration’s economic development strategy. Read an online copy of the economic development plan here. Governor Baker called the plan “an important statement of our administration’s priorities and values. It creates a framework for connecting residents across the state to economic opportunity, and for unlocking new business growth by pressing Massachusetts’ competitive advantage on a number of fronts.” Lieutenant Governor Polito said, “Our administration has prioritized community development across the Commonwealth. This economic development plan reflects our commitment to promoting vibrant communities, and spurring new growth, from Cape Cod to the Berkshires.” The plan is the result of one year of robust public engagement. The Baker-Polito administration hosted fourteen public listening sessions across the state, and engaged in thousands of conversations with residents, business owners, municipal officials, state legislators, academic experts, and industry officials. The Governor’s Economic Development Planning Council unanimously endorsed the plan on December 9. The key priorities of the plan include: • supporting workforce development strategies that close the skills gap, and connect citizens to economic opportunity; • promoting vibrant communities and regions; • advancing the development of key industry clusters, and harnessing cluster development to drive job growth in the Commonwealth’s regions; and • sharpening the Commonwealth’s competitive position through regulatory reform, and efforts to lower key business costs, such as energy costs. Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash said, “Over the past year, I have met with residents, business owners and local officials, in communities from Williamstown to Provincetown. I am proud that their priorities and aspirations are reflected in this economic development plan, which will advance prosperity for citizens, growth for businesses, and vitality for communities.” Massachusetts law requires that each new gubernatorial administration publishes an economic development strategy within a year of taking office. The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development will use the policy framework set by this plan to develop and shape specific initiatives that will respond to issues, themes, and priorities highlighted in this plan.
Massachusetts Approves 17 projects to increase job growth and business expansion
(Caption: OYO Sportstoys, Inc. has created a series of New England sports figures) Last week the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) approved 17 projects for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP). These projects are expected to create 1,008 new jobs and retain 1,291 jobs throughout Massachusetts, while leveraging approximately $487.1 million in private investment. Governor Charlie Baker called the funding “a tool for companies across Massachusetts to realize growth and expansion opportunities. Expansion and hiring incentives are cost-effective investments for the Commonwealth to expand a business friendly climate, and to catalyze significant, sustained economic growth.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said the program “strengthens our businesses and communities and helps sustain growth from Boston to the Berkshires.” Since January 2015, the EACC has approved 60 economic development projects that in total will create 3,329 jobs, retain 4,707 existing jobs, and leverage more than $1 billion in private investment. This year, the EACC has assisted 31 manufacturing companies and 27 companies in Gateway Cities. Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash said the Baker-Polito Administration “remains dedicated to supporting communities and businesses across Massachusetts as they grow and prosper.” Assistant Secretary for Business Development Nam Pham the EDIP ensures that “Massachusetts has a wide range of competitive sectors – from distribution to manufacturing and high-tech. This broad business base lays a foundation for sustained economic growth and prosperity.” The EDIP is the Commonwealth’s investment tax credit program for businesses, and is one of the most effective tools helping businesses to grow in Massachusetts. EDIP tax credits and other incentives are available to companies that make qualifying investments in new facilities and create new jobs. The EACC meets on a quarterly basis to review applications. More information about the EDIP is available on the Massachusetts Office of Business Development. Approved Projects Expansion Projects: Associated Environmental Systems Inc. (Acton) — Since 1959, Associated Environmental Systems has designed and manufactured test chambers that range in size from small bench top chambers to large environmental rooms. AES has developed a loyal customer base from the fields of aerospace, pharmacology, electronics, automotive, semiconductors, and computers. AES plans to invest more than $3.1 million in a new facility in Acton, which will double the company’s manufacturing, administrative office, and R&D showcasing space, while allowing it to create 65 new jobs and retain 47 jobs. The Town of Acton approved a 5-year Special Tax Assessment (STA), valued at $126,750. The EACC Board approved $236,500 in investment tax credits. KROHNE, Inc. (Beverly) — KROHNE is a worldwide supplier of innovative measurement solutions for the process industry. Since its founding in 1921, KROHNE has opened 17 production facilities in 12 countries, with 3,500 employees. The company primarily serves the chemical and petrochemical, food and beverage, water and wastewater, oil and gas, marine, power, paper, metal, and pharmaceutical industries. Some of KROHNE’s customers are Dow Chemical, BASF, Foxboro, Honeywell, Coca-Cola, Siemens, and Solvay. KHRONE is making a $20 million investment to purchase a 95,000 square foot facility, which will create 54 jobs and retain 45 jobs, and allow for onshoring of 3 manufacturing lines currently located overseas. The City of Beverly approved a 10-year Tax Incentive Financing (TIF) agreement valued at $111,615. The EACC Board awarded $320,000 in investment tax credits. Webco Chemical Corporation (Dudley) — Since its founding in 1956, Webco has produced cleaners and specialty chemicals for a wide variety of manufacturers and distributors. Currently, Webco blends and packages over 2,000 different liquid and powder cleaners and specialty products, which are then sold to buyers in an array of industries. The company plans to add 30,000-45,000 square feet to its existing building to increase its manufacturing space. Webco will invest $6.9 million, create 15 new jobs and retain 53 employees. The Town of Dudley has approved a 10-year TIF, valued at $80,388.The EACC awarded the company with $136,000 in investment tax credits. Cold Chain Technologies, Inc. (Franklin) — Cold Chain Technologies manufactures thermal packaging solutions. CCT originally made thermal packaging solely for seafood shipment, but has since evolved to create highly engineered products for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Currently, CCT operates in three different buildings, located in Holliston. In order to support the company’s robust growth and make its current operations more efficient, CCT plans to consolidate and expand to a new site in Franklin, and create 55 jobs. The company plans to spend $12.5 million on this project and will be retaining 135 jobs. The Town of Franklin has approved an 11-year TIF, valued at $149,087. The EACC Board awarded CCT with $550,000 in investment tax credits. International Container Company, LLC (Holyoke) — International Container Company has served the solid waste industry in New England and the Mid-Atlantic region with high quality products for nearly 20 years. The company specializes in roll-off, hook-lift, and front and rear load containers, as well as a variety of special application containers including rolling roofs, square and octagon style breakaway boxes, self-contained and stationary compactors, recycling containers, flat beds, and custom containers. ICC plans to construct a 10,400 square foot addition to its existing building in Holyoke to increase its manufacturing space. In addition, the company intends to purchase approximately $300,000 to $500,000 of equipment to support the increase rate of output that the new addition will provide. The City of Holyoke approved a 5-year TIF, valued at $30,546. The company, which is expected to create 5 new jobs and retain 45 jobs, was awarded $62,500 in investment tax credits by the EACC. OYO Sportstoys, Inc. (Marlborough) — OYO Sportstoys, Inc. is a local manufacturing company that produces mini-figure toys that resemble famous athletes. The company has agreements with the MLB, NFL, NCAA, and NHL and their players associations to produce toys featuring their star players. OYO plans to expand to include soccer, basketball, and other sports. The company currently leases a 30,000square foot facility in Acton. Due to increased demand, OYO plans to invest $8,000,000 and relocate to a 65,000square foot facility in Marlborough. This leased space will serve as a manufacturing facility and corporate headquarters. The company, which expects to create 100 jobs and retain 95 jobs was awarded $480,000 in investment tax credits. Additionally, the company received a 10-year TIF from the City of Marlborough, valued at $140,853. New England Ice Cream Corporation (NEICC)/Ginsberg Taunton Properties, LLC (Norton) — NEICC is a full-service ice cream distributor, specializing in ice cream, slush, beverages, fresh dairy, and snacks. NEICC serves a wide range of customers, including retail chains, ice cream shops, restaurants, hotels, casinos, recreational organizations, hospitals, and educational institutions. The company’s portfolio was enhanced when it was selected as the exclusive distributor in Southern New England for the Unilever ice cream portfolio, which includes Ben & Jerry’s, Bliss Bros., Gifford’s, Breyers, Popsicle, Good Humor, Klondike, and Hood. Due to increased demand, NEICC plans to invest $10 million to relocate and consolidate its Taunton and Avon operations into a new 65,000 square foot facility in Norton. The new building will serve as the corporate headquarters, warehouse and distribution center. This project is expected to create 20 new jobs and retain 85 jobs. The Town of Norton approved a 15- year TIF with a 15-year personal property tax exemption, valued at $1,041,980. The EACC board awarded $100,000 in investment tax credits. Falvey Linen Supply, Inc. (Springfield) — Falvey Linen Supply is a family-owned and operated commercial laundry business headquartered in Cranston, RI. The company, founded in 1929, currently employs more than 280 people. Falvey Linen Supply plans to spend $8.6 million to purchase and renovate an abandoned building in Springfield, in order to open a second laundry production facility and create 125 jobs. The City of Springfield approved a 5-year TIF, valued at $139,572. The EACC board awarded $625,000 in investment tax credits. Boise Cascade Company dba Boise Cascade Building Materials Distribution, LLC (Westfield) — Boise Cascade Company distributes building materials, such as lumber, studs, and plywood, composite decking, trim, engineered lumber, roofing materials, and siding, on a wholesale basis to lumberyards, home centers, industrial accounts, and other retail businesses across the country. The company’s Westfield branch, which opened in 1999, primarily serves customers in Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York. The company, headquartered in Boise, ID, plans to develop 7.5 acres in Westfield, and build an 85,000 square foot warehouse storage facility and a 12,000 square foot sales office. The company will invest $7,955,000, create 9 new jobs, and retain 79 jobs. The City of Westfield approved a 5-year TIF, valued at $226,057. The EACC board awarded Boise Cascade Company $67,500 in investment tax credits Local Incentive Only Projects: Commercial Yard, LLC / D.W. Clark, Inc. (Brockton) — Commercial Yard, LLC is the land owner and affiliate of D.W. Clark, Inc., a metals manufacturing business with facilities in East Bridgewater and Taunton. D.W. Clark, Inc. was founded in 1902 as a foundry business. Over the years, it has grown into a specialty metals manufacturing business and has successfully updated its operations to meet the standards of the defense, aerospace, power generation, power transmission, extractive, manufacturing, communications, and shipping sectors of the global economy. The company is expanding its capacity in several segments of the metals manufacturing business and will entirely gut and renovate the former LeBaron Foundry site in Brockton. The company will invest $6,000,000 and create 25 new jobs. The City of Brockton approved a 15-year TIF, valued at $1,152,318. EMD Millipore Corporation (Burlington) — EMD Millipore Corporation, the global life sciences business of Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany, offers solutions and services for research, development, and production of biotechnology and pharmaceutical drug therapies. EMD Millipore serves as a strategic partner for scientists, engineers, and researchers around the world and has a portfolio of more than 60,000 products. The company currently leases and maintains its life science business office in Billerica, MA and occupies other locations in Bedford and Danvers. Due to increased customer demand, EMD Millipore needs to relocate and consolidate its Billerica operation and portions of its other Massachusetts locations in a new facility, located in Burlington. The company is investing $165 million in this project and will be retaining 400 employees in the Commonwealth. The Town of Burlington approved a three phase, 15-year TIF, valued at $3,112,032. Demoulas Super Markets, Inc. / 40 Federal Street Realty Holdings (Lynn) — Demoulas Super Markets, Inc. (DSM) operates 75 supermarkets and 3 distribution centers across Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine, employing approximately 25,000 people. DSM provides high quality groceries at the best prices, while serving as an anchor to other retail development in various communities. The company plans to redevelop a vacant and contaminated 16.3 acre parcel in downtown Lynn. The project, which is expected to cost $22 million, will include the renovation of an existing abandoned factory building to accommodate a Market Basket supermarket, development of additional retail and/or office space, and infrastructure upgrades to improve traffic congestion in the area. The project will create 75 jobs. The City of Lynn approved a 20-year TIF and a 5-year personal property tax exemption, valued at $3,699,300. Shuster Corporation (New Bedford) — Shuster Corporation, founded in 1916, is a New Bedford-based multi-national supplier of industrial bearings and power transmission products. Shuster also offers supply chain management solutions. The company was purchased in 2007 by Motion Industries. Shuster Corporation plans to spend $140,000 to renovate and move to a new 65,000 square foot space in New Bedford, in order to expand its product lines and customer base. By leasing this property, the company will double its current warehousing and office space. The company plans to hire 4 new employees and retain 35 existing positions. The City of New Bedford approved a 5-year STA, valued at $169,914 Alnylam U.S., Inc. (Norton) — Alnylam is a biopharmaceutical company that develops novel therapeutics based on RNA interference, or RNAi. Alnylam focuses on genetic medicines, cardio-metabolic disease treatments, and hepatic infection disease treatments. Several therapeutics are now in late stages of development and Alnylam is preparing for commercial production and launch. The company plans to spend $100 million on a new facility in Norton, machinery, and equipment, in order to control a significant portion of its production capacity. The company plans to create 220 new jobs. The Town of Norton approved a 13-year TIF, valued at $7,055,246. Horner Millwork, North Atlantic Corp. (Somerset) — Horner Millwork is a distributor and manufacturer of windows, doors, kitchens, stairs, millwork, and commercial building products. The company plans to purchase new machinery, including a Woodworking CNC, a CNC Door Manufacturing Machine, and reaching and ancillary supporting equipment. Horner Millwork will also expand its current facility by 20,000 square feet and create 2 floors of new manufacturing and warehouse space. Lastly, the company plans to install a 1 megawatt solar energy facility in order to reduce its carbon footprint. The company, which is expected to spend $7 million and create 15 jobs, while retaining 272 existing positions, received a 12-year TIF, valued at $647,568 from the Town of Somerset. CNR MA Corporation and CNR Springfield LLC (Springfield) — CNR MA Corporation and CNR Springfield LLC are affiliates of China CNR Corporation, a leading company that manufactures and refurbishes rolling stock. Its products include high-speed multiple units, locomotives, passenger coaches, and other rail transportation vehicles, machinery, and equipment. CNR MA Corporation was recently awarded a major contract to provide new Red and Orange Line trains for the MBTA. They will spend $107 million to develop a 213,000square foot facility in East Springfield, which will include an assembly plant and associated track, parking areas, office space, and other accessory and ancillary uses. The company, which is expected to create 150 jobs, will receive a 10-year TIF from the City of Springfield, valued at $9,847,580. G & G Medical Products, LLC (Ware) — G&G Medical manufactures and distributes disposable incontinent products. Currently, the company’s products are manufactured in China. G&G plans to spend $1.5 million to purchase American Disposables and move its manufacturing operations from China to Ware. This project is expected to create 71 jobs. The town of Ware approved a 10-year STA, valued at $42,106.
Boston’s Haymarket is a Massachusetts Treasure
(Caption: Vendor at Haymarket in Boston, photo courtesy of Trip Advisor) by Nam Pham Having lived in Boston area for 30 plus years, I have often served as unofficial tour guide for friends and family members from all across the US and from overseas. I am often asked “what is your personal favorite place in Massachusetts?” It used to be a difficult question to answer because Massachusetts is blessed with so many great places. You want to stroll on beautiful beaches to wash away the stress of life, or watch gorgeous sunsets and sunrises? We have them, just a few minutes away, at Castle Island in South Boston, Squantum Point in Quincy, or anywhere up and down the coast. You want to hike over hills and mountains? From Blue Hill Reservation to Mount Monnadock, you can stroll leisurely in the woods or give yourself a real workout. And check out the Mohawk Trail to see the amazing fall foliage. You want to explore arts & culture? Visit any of our world class museums, from Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and Worcester’s Art Museum to the Clark Museum and Mass MoCA in Western Massachusetts. You want chic shopping and international brands? Just check out Newbury Street and Copley Place in Boston’s Back Bay, or head down to Wrentham Outlet Village for real bargains. Sports? We are the State of Champions. Basketball and volley ball were invented here. Yet despite these wonderful attractions, I have to say my favorite destination is the Haymarket in Boston, the oldest open air market in the country. Situated between the North End or Little Italy and Faneuil Hall, the Cradle of Liberty, Haymarket is a living museum of America, where hard work and diversity, two bedrocks of American life, still intertwine and matter. It is as thriving and bustling as the early days of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, a few hundred years ago. Have I told you that you can also get fresh fruits and vegetables for a fraction of supermarket prices? Haymarket goes back to the early 1700s, notes local historian Nancy V. Weare, when “salt hay from Cape Cod and North Shore farms was being sold at Haymarket Square in Boston. In fact, that is how Haymarket Square got its name. By the 1820s, Haymarket had become the central place in Boston for local farmers and fishermen to sell their products to the hungry and bustling ethnic population that flooded the city in the 19th and 20th centuries. I first discovered Haymarket in 1981 when my graduate school classmate took me there. As a poor and hungry grad student, any time someone told me about a bargain I would jump right on the opportunity. When I got to Haymarket, I felt like I was back in a village market in Vietnam right in the middle of downtown Boston. I was surrounded with colors, yellow oranges, red tomatoes, green lettuce, white onions, and purple plums. I was consumed by the sounds of sellers and the fragrance of flowers and foods. People were literally sucking fresh oysters and clams for a buck. And even with the budget of poor students, we walked back to the T with two backpacks and four shopping bags filled with goodies that would feed a dozen hungry students for a week. Many visitors have likened Haymarket to the old-fashioned open air markets of Europe and Asia, where each week brings different surprises and there is always a bargain to be had. New waves of immigrants sell products that often seemed exotic and especially delicious. Over the years, the hawkers have slowly become more Asian and less Irish or Italian, though you can still get a tasty slice of pizza for $2 at Haymarket Pizza. These days you can also find Middle Easter and African spices and specialties for sale there. Even today, I can still travel back in time and feel a part of a community. Many Fridays, I like to walk up and down the stalls of Haymarket, just take in the sights, sounds, and smells. The Haymarket is open every Friday and Saturday year-round from dawn to dusk. It remains a throwback to earlier times, with vendors hawking their wares, making bargains with local buyers, and posing for pictures with tourists. Run by the Haymarket Pushcart Association, it is a place where small businesses thrive while contributing to the local economy. Massachusetts produces a bounty of fruits and vegetables, meat and fish and dairy products that are readily available at local farmers markets, agricultural fairs and town squares. Our farmland accounts for over 523,000 acres of open space. Here is a map of all farmers markets, fairs, and agricultural events in Massachusetts. In addition to farmers markets, the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) has compiled a Culinary Calendar for visitors and residents wishing to savor local food and beverages.
Massachusetts Holds annual Export Expo in Boston
(Caption: Kevin J. Wolf speaking at the Export Expo in Boston on December 11, 2015) Over 250 participants attended the Massachusetts Export Center annual Export Expo last week in Boston. Business owners, investors and regulatory officials came to learn the latest news on export control policy trends, recent sanction developments, and views on free trade expansion. Keynote speaker Kevin J. Wolf, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration, spoke about recent regulatory developments and the outlook for export regulatory policy in the near future. Paula Murphy, director of the Mass Export Center, presented Wolf with a Citation from Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, in recognition of Wolf’s “leadership of the Export Control Reform Initiative and dedication to enhancing the competitiveness of the Massachusetts export community.” Ambassador Robert Holleyman, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, spoke about the recent landmark passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and the outlook for free trade. Other speakers at the Export Expo included Frank Boudra, Sanctions Compliance Officer at the U.S. Department of the Treasury; Gregory Smith, Regional Director of the Export-Import Bank of the U.S.; Kristen Rupert, Executive Director of the AIM International Business Council; and Omari Wooden, Assistant Division Chief, Trade Regulations, at the U.S. Census Bureau. The Expo also featured expert speakers from private industry, including representatives from Massachusetts exporting firms such as Teradyne, Vicor Corporation, H.C. Starck, Avid Technology and Ocean Spray. Participants also learned details about the STEP (State Trade & Export Promotion) grant, which provides reimbursements to eligible businesses for export-promotion expenses up to $8,500 through a grant provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The STEP grant is administered in Massachusetts by the Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment and the Massachusetts Export Center. The Massachusetts Export Center’s mission is to help companies throughout the Commonwealth achieve success in global markets, thereby contributing to economic growth in the state. It provides a variety of targeted, high-impact services throughout the year.
Massachusetts Awards $1.5 Million for Advanced Manufacturing Training
(Caption: On December 3, 2015, Governor Charlie Baker announced training program grants at Lynn Vocational Technical Institute.) Photo by Joanne DeCaro Last week, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $1.5 million in Advanced Manufacturing Training Program Workforce Development Grants, aimed to train Massachusetts residents looking for work and connect them with manufacturing companies seeking skilled workers. Governor Charlie Baker made the announcement at the Lynn Vocational Technical Institute, where he was joined by members of his administration’s Workforce Skills Cabinet, along with manufacturing leaders, training specialists and educational organizations. These grants, awarded to 10 workforce development teams across the Commonwealth, provide precision manufacturing training to unemployed and underemployed Massachusetts residents. The training grants target demographic groups that experience chronically higher rates of unemployment, and groups that are historically underrepresented in the manufacturing sector, including veterans, African Americans, Hispanic or Latino Americans, and women. Governor Baker said that Massachusetts “continues to be a national leader in advanced manufacturing, and the sector is an important component of the state’s overall economic health.” He said the grants will “help connect residents to good-paying jobs, while meeting the increasing demand for a skilled manufacturing workforce.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said, “Partnerships between educational institutions and the business community are important for successful workforce training programs. The partnerships demonstrated by these grants will ensure the needs of those looking for work and the manufacturing community are aligned.” The Baker-Polito Administration’s Workforce Skills Cabinet, convened in February 2015, aims to close the skills gap and connect citizens to jobs by making workforce development efforts more employer-centric, and by identifying and bringing to scale successful training and education models. The Workforce Skills Cabinet is coordinating the implementation of the precision manufacturing training grants. The Cabinet is chaired by the Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, Ronald L. Walker II, and comprised of the Secretary of Education, Jim Peyser, and the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, Jay Ash. 2015 Advanced Manufacturing Training Program Workforce Development Grant Award Winners Berkshire County Regional Employment Board, Pittsfield Center for Manufacturing Technology, Woburn City of Somerville E-Team Machinist Training Program, Lynn Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board, Greenfield Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board, New Bedford Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Worcester Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, Lawrence Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, Springfield Tech Foundry, Springfield
Massachusetts Honors Companies for Jobs, Facility Growth and Investments
Congratulations to the winners of MassEcon’s 12th annual Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards, which recognized 18 companies for their contributions to the state’s economy. Over 400 business leaders attended the awards ceremony in Boston. Keynote speaker Governor Charlie Baker said the winning companies “demonstrated a shared vision of economic prosperity by expanding better jobs and building stronger communities across all regions and industries of the Commonwealth.” (Governor Charlie Baker addresses the audience at Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards ceremony) Since January 2014, the winning companies from across the state, ranging in size and industry, including manufacturing, life sciences, information technology, and travel, have added 2,700 jobs to the Commonwealth, invested over $346 million, and expanded their facilities by nearly 1.7 million square feet, according to MassEcon. Susan Houston, Executive Director of MassEcon praised the companies “for staying and growing here, and for their confidence in the long-term future of the Commonwealth.” Among the winners was Massport, which won the Global Leader Award for its success in expanding commerce connections with the rest of the world. Through its airport and seaport facilities, Massport has helped to generate trade, tourism and travel, which accounted for $15.1 billion in total economic impact this year. Here is a list of 2015 MassEcon Economic Impact Award winners in alphabetical order. Find out more about MassEcon here. For more information about Massachusetts’ economic development plans, visit Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development.
Shop Local in Massachusetts This Holiday Season
(Caption: A Child’s Garden, Northampton. Photo by Lynne Graves) by Nam Pham This holiday season, I am heading down to Quincy Center to do my gift shopping, then over to Fields Corner in Dorchester. And I may even talk a trip to Boston’s Downtown Crossing and Chinatown. My plan is to buy my holiday gifts locally, as a way of supporting the businesses who keep our Main Streets, Gateway Cities and neighborhoods vibrant and strong throughout the year. Earlier this week, Governor Charlie Baker joined the Retailers Association of Massachusetts (RAM) and business leaders at Faneuil Hall to kick off the #BuyinMA campaign, a concerted effort to get Massachusetts residents to buy local this season. “Our local retailers play a big part in making our cities and towns great,” Governor Baker said. “Let’s keep it that way by doing as much of our holiday shopping here in Massachusetts over the next month.” With over 600,000 retailers in Massachusetts, accounting for one in five jobs, there is no shortage of places to go in the 351 cities and towns of the Commonwealth. Many of these are small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy. Jon Hurst, president of Retailers Association of Massachusetts, said, “When you buy in Massachusetts, you are supporting local employers, their employees, local tax revenue and local investments in communities and the economy.” The holiday season represents 20% of annual retail sales, and that is why December is an important month for stores and small businesses. Massachusetts retailers posted a 3.4 percent increase in holiday sales last year, and there have been five consecutive year-over-year gains during the period, according to RAM. We hope we can make it six consecutive years in 2015. Buying local does not mean you cannot find international or exotic items. Massachusetts local businesses come from all over the world and have products from all corners of the globe. You can easily get exquisite silk scarfs from India or Vietnam, or intricate wood carving from Africa or Central America or warm lamb wool sweaters from Ireland or Australia, to name a few. Just visit your Main Street stores in places like Abington, Burlington, Cambridge, Chinatown, Fields Corner, Lowell, Somerville, Northampton or Worcester – you will find everything you need. US Congressman Tip O’Neill of Cambridge famously said that ‘All Politics Is Local.’ This season, let’s make sure that all shopping stays local too.
Seaport Economic Council Announces $6.6 Million in Grants to Support Massachusetts Coastal Communities
(Port of New Bedford) The Baker-Polito Administration’s Seaport Economic Council has announced $6.6 million in economic development and infrastructure grants funding to Chatham, Gosnold, Marshfield, New Bedford, Quincy, Salem, Saugus, Salisbury, Winthrop, and the Marine Renewable Energy Collaborative. The grants will support pier, port, and boardwalk improvements focused on long term economic and physical resilience, and a tidal energy testing initiative in the Cape Cod Canal, while advancing the maritime economy in a diverse set of coastal communities. Here are details on the grant awards, which were announced on November 20, 2015. Governor Charlie Baker said the grants “showcase our Administration’s commitment to advancing sustainable growth in communities of all sizes. We will continue to partner with coastal communities to support blue jobs, partnerships with public education, maritime planning efforts, and coastal infrastructure projects that meet standards of resilience and sustainability, and to ensure they are able to play a robust role in the Commonwealth’s economic future.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Chairwoman of the Seaport Economic Council, said that enhanced waterfronts “will create jobs and drive growth for residents” while helping to “prepare communities for growth, support resilient infrastructure and local economies, and unlock further job creation.” Carolyn Kirk, Deputy Secretary of Housing and Economic Development and Vice Chair of the Seaport Economic Council, said, “The maritime economy has driven job creation, and economic development in Massachusetts’ for centuries. The investments we are making will continue Massachusetts’ national leadership of this important sector of the economy.” Kirk is former Mayor of the port city of Gloucester. The Seaport Economic Council was re-launched in August, with a mission to deepen the maritime economy, promote economic development, and support resilient infrastructure in all 78 of Massachusetts’ coastal communities while preparing them to engage with the challenges posed by sea level rise and increasingly powerful coastal storms. The council’s capital grant program supports working waterfronts, local tourism, coastal resiliency, and maritime innovation, from the North Shore to Cape Cod and the South Coast.
International Diplomats and Trade Officials Tour Western Mass to Explore Partnership Opportunities
(Tour of the Green High Performance Computing Center in Holyoke) This week, the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI) led a bus tour of international diplomats and trade officials from 12 countries and regions to explore economic development and entrepreneurship initiatives in Western Massachusetts. The tour took place on Tuesday, November 17, and included stops at Valley Venture Mentors in Springfield, the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) in Holyoke and Yankee Candle Company in South Deerfield. Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development, and Katie Stebbins, Assistant Secretary of Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship, led the tour and discussed the Baker-Polito Administration’s initiatives to support job growth, workforce development, and entrepreneurship in Gateway Cities and throughout Western Massachusetts. “It is essential that the benefits of international investment and trade extend across the Commonwealth, and this trip makes the consular corps aware of the great opportunities and workforce readily available in Western Massachusetts,” said Pham. “Massachusetts is a hub of international business and commerce and the entire state has something to offer to the global economy.” “Entrepreneurship does not just exist in Cambridge or Boston, but across the entire Commonwealth,” said Stebbins. “Valley Venture Mentors in Springfield is quickly becoming a regional hub for start-up companies, and this tour is one way to ensure that international entrepreneurs look beyond route 128 when deciding where to launch their business.” “Western Massachusetts holds many opportunities for international firms and investors,” said Rick Sullivan, Executive Director of the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council, which supported Tuesday’s tour. “We look forward to working with the consular community to welcome more business leaders to the region.” The Consular Corps of Massachusetts consists of 60 career and honorary diplomats who represent their respective countries in the New England region and promote cultural and economic ties. “This tour was a great chance to learn about the region and about economic development and partnership opportunities beyond Boston,” said Ambassador Songjun Ohm, Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Boston. “Our job is to facilitate relations between Massachusetts and our home countries, and this tour was a great chance to expand our network and explore new areas for collaboration,” said Fionnuala Quinlan, Consul General of Ireland in Boston. “This initiative is a helpful way to promote and expand access to the vibrant consular community in Massachusetts and increase international partnerships,” said Hunter Richard, Senior Manager of Business Development at MOITI.
46 Massachusetts Communities Receive $85.6 Million in MassWorks Awards To Build Infrastructure
On Wednesday, November 4th, Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joined local officials at a MassWorks grants announcement for the City of Lowell. (Photo by Joanne Decaro) The Baker-Polito administration has announced $85.6 million in MassWorks Infrastructure Awards for 46 communities across the Commonwealth. These awards support infrastructure investments that drive economic development and job creation, including downtown revitalization, helping to create more than 1200 units of multi-family housing across the state. Here is a list of the 46 communities receiving 2015 MassWorks Awards. Governor Charlie Baker described MassWorks as “proably the most flexible and powerful tool that state government has to partner with local communities – around both economic development and downtown development.” Governor Baker said, “Targeted infrastructure investment helps leverage community and businesses assets to create jobs and grow regional economies,” adding that MassWorks, along with Community Compacts and the Urban Agenda, “are a vital part of our economic development plan.” By targeting investments in infrastructure such as roadways, streetscapes, and water systems, MassWorks helps to advance and prepare communities for new housing and economic development opportunities. Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said, “MassWorks infrastructure funding catalyzes growth in our cities and towns by building a foundation for sustainable development. This foundation, combined with a focus on leveraging existing assets, allows communities to aggressively pursue economic opportunities” Kristen Lepore, Secretary for Administration and Finance said that the 40% increase in MassWorks funding allows the program to make “critical investments across the Commonwealth, including many important local projects orchestrated by the Community Compact Program.” Jay Ash, Secretary for Housing and Economic Development, said, “Targeted investments in infrastructure, local capacity, and community partnerships are the core of our economic agenda – and will help our communities succeed regionally and globally.” Juan Vega, Assistant Secretary for Communities and Programs, said “Our economic development plan will support closely-tailored development projects funded through the Urban Agenda grant program and MassWorks to support locally-directed, effective, development.” The MassWorks Infrastructure Program provides a one stop shop for municipalities and other eligible public entities seeking public infrastructure funding to support housing production, economic development, and job creation through strategic investments in public infrastructure. The 2015 grant round generated 101 applications for more than $245 million in infrastructure requests. The Baker-Polito Administration’s 2016 capital budget increases funding for the MassWorks Infrastructure Program by $20 million. Each year, the program allocates 10 percent of the awarded funds to assist municipalities with populations of 7,000 or less in completing roadway safety and transportation improvement projects. The MassWorks Program has invested over $357 million across the Commonwealth since the first competitive grant round was held in September 2011. More information is available at the MassWorks website.
Massachusetts STEP Grant Applications for Exporters
(Photo Courtesy of MassPort) Local companies looking to increase export sales of their goods and services may be eligible to apply for a Massachusetts State Trade & Export Promotion (STEP) grant through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Applications are being accepted for consideration from November 2, 2015 to January 4, 2016. The grants are being administered by the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (“MOITI”), in collaboration with the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network (“MSBDC”) and the Massachusetts Export Center. State officials suggest that interested companies take a free, 90 minute webinar about the STEP grant program, scheduled from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, November 20 and Thursday, December 17. Register for webinar here. Here is information on the STEP grant announcement made in September 2015.
Congratulations MassChallenge Class of 2015
(Caption: Pianist Brockett Parsons Performs at the 2015 MassChallenge Awards. Photo by Joanne Decaro.) Over 1,500 entrepreneurs, philanthropists, corporate executives and public officials attended the 6th annual 2015 MassChallenge Awards, held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in South Boston. It was a banner night for the Commonwealth’s innovation and entrepreneurial community, as 128 finalists vied for $1.5 million in non-diluted grants. Governor Charlie Baker praised the competitors for creating “a bigger, better and different way of thinking about what is possible.” MassChallenge Boston Managing Director Scott Bailey said, “Tonight is what it’s all about – great startups and a room full of people who helped get them there.” In the end, four companies were named $100K Diamond Winners, and 12 were $50K Gold Winners. An additional 10 startups were named In-Kind Silver Winners, and two companies were selected to receive the CASIS-Boeing Prize for Technology in Space. Here is a list of the 2015 MassChallenge winners. The competition was as competitive as ever in 2015, noted MassChallenge officials, with over 2,250 startups applying to join MassChallenge accelerators in Boston and London. A highlight of the evening was a live performance by musician Brockett Parsons, who played a circular keyboard assembled by MC Finalist PianoArc. The winners join an esteemed group of alumni, which includes 835 companies from around the world. Since 2010, startups accelerated by MasChallenge have raised $1.1 billion in funding, generated $520 million in revenues and created 6,500 jobs.
Massachusetts Is Hosting Supplier Diversity Series To Engage Small Businesses
(Caption: In February 2015, Governor Charlie Baker signed an executive order to bolster diversity in state government. He is joined by the Black & Latino Legislative Caucus.) The Baker-Polito Administration is hosting five Supplier Diversity Regional Series events across the Commonwealth to engage small and diverse business enterprises with private buyers, educational institutions, medical facilities and state agency and municipal procurement officials. The series is being coordinated by the Governor’s Office of Access and Opportunity (OAO) along with the Massachusetts Office of Business Development (MOBD) and Operational Services Division (OSD). “Increasing the Commonwealth’s supplier diversity starts with opportunities like these to strengthen our partnership and engagement with small and diverse businesses in their communities throughout Massachusetts,” said Governor Baker. “We encourage anyone interested in the Supplier Diversity Series to join our administration in the coming weeks to learn more about the state and local business opportunities available for small and diverse enterprises.” The series is slated to take place each spring and fall. They will offer networking opportunities for buyers to meet small and diverse business owners, as well as capacity-building workshops designed to aid in awareness and competitiveness to win procurement opportunities. “Our goal in convening major private and municipal buyers (with) small and diverse businesses is to become a leader in supplier diversity,” said Jabes Rojas, Deputy Chief of Staff for the Office of Access and Opportunity. “We look forward to the opportunities and discussions this bi-annual series will offer.” In February, Governor Baker signed Executive Order No. 559, elevating the Office of Access and Opportunity to the Governor’s Office under the direction of a Deputy Chief of Staff to further the administration’s priority of increasing diversity and inclusion within state government employment and procurement. The Executive Order also established a cross-administration Steering Committee for Access and Opportunity to coordinate best practices. The first Supplier Diversity Series took place October 27th in Lawrence, and the next four events are coming up in November. Over 700 exhibitors and attendees have registered to date. November 3, 2015 Worcester Supplier Diversity Series College of Holy Cross Details and Registration November 5, 2015 Roxbury Supplier Diversity Series Reggie Lewis Center Details and Registration November 13, 2015 New Bedford Supplier Diversity Series Fort Taber Community Center Details and Registration November 18, 2015 Springfield Supplier Diversity Series UMASS Center at Springfield Details and Registration The mission of the Office of Access and Opportunity is to foster non-discrimination and equal opportunity irrespective of race, color, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or express, religion, creed, ancestry, national origin, disability, veteran’s status or socio-economic background. The Office of Access and Opportunity was first created by Executive Order 519 in January 2010 and was further modified by Executive Order 527 in February of 2011.
Massachusetts Celebrates Lobster Day at the State House on October 8
(Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism — Lobsters & Seafood Flickr Page) By Phyllis M. Cahaly Have you ever seen a 175 year-old lobster that weighs 39.5 lbs.? If not, then stop by the Massachusetts State House on Thursday, October 8, 2015, which Governor Charlie Baker has officially proclaimed as National Lobster Day in Massachusetts. Sponsored by the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, Lobster Day takes place at the Grand Staircase from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.. In addition to promoting the lobster industry, the event also connects local fishermen with their legislators to discuss important issues on regulations and topics both on- and off-the water. Each year, lobstering in Massachusetts yields an average of $70 million dollars in economic impact to the Bay State. The average landings in Massachusetts over the last 3 years is 15 million pounds of lobster per year. Plus, lobstering touches a variety of support service industries, including marinas, mechanics, bait dealers, marine supply stores, lobster dealers, processors, restaurants and trap purveyors. Lobstering in Massachusetts accounts for more than 3,000 fishing jobs with at least 1,100 active lobstering permits at any given time. Many of today’s lobstermen are proud to be part of a family tradition that goes back five or six generations. The seafood industry is an integral part of the Massachusetts economy. The Massachusetts Export Center reports that lobsters accounted for over $192 million in exports, while total seafood exports topped $478 million in 2014. In August, the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development (EOHED) revitalized the Seaport Economic Council to propel economic development in the state’s 78 coastal communities, from Fall River and New Bedford up to Gloucester and Salisbury Beach. The Council will focus on strengthening the state’s maritime economy through fishing, tourism, shipping, clean energy and marine science. On Lobster Day at the State House, officials are handing out free lobster literature on how to eat a “Homarus Americanus”, (The American Lobster) and their nutritional value. The Silent Chef Company of Scituate is serving up free lobster bisque samples, while the New England Aquarium its featuring its multi-colored live lobster displays. Fishermen and dealers from the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association dealers and fishermen are holding a free raffle to win live lobsters. When the Pilgrims and Puritans first arrived in the Bay State in the early 17th century, lobsters were so plentiful that Native Americans used them as fertilizer in the fields and as bait for fishing. Today, you can find lobsters all around Massachusetts at your favorite restaurants and local distributors. Make today a Lobster Day! For information on visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com. (Phyllis M. Cahaly, CMD, is Director of Specialized Marketing at Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism.)
MASSACHUSETTS PROMOTES MANUFACTURING SECTOR IN OCTOBER
Massachusetts celebrates its manufacturing industry throughout October with a series of events and initiatives to support the Commonwealth’s 7,000 manufacturing companies and their 250,000 workers. You can find a full schedule of activities, which includes tours, seminars and open houses, by visiting Amp it up!, the state’s advanced manufacturing program. Among the highlights of Manufacturing Month in Massachusetts. The Baker-Polito Administration proclaimed October 2015 as Manufacturers Month, stating that “Manufacturing is important not only as an economic driver of our state, but also as a key generator of innovation, product development and employment potential.” On Friday, October 2, National Manufacturing Day, the Baker-Polito opened the application process for the Advanced Manufacturing Training Program’s Workforce Development Grants. These grants will fund programs that provide training to unemployed and underemployed individuals, including veterans, minorities and women, for precision manufacturing programs. Here is more information about applying. Governor Charlie Baker said it is important to recognize “the contributions that manufacturing companies and workers make to the well-being, health, safety and prosperity of the Commonwealth and to support the continued growth of this sector by helping to train new workers for available positions.” Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development, said, “Employers frequently tell us that a shortage of skilled workers keeps them from hiring and growing. These training grants will help us connect citizens across the Commonwealth to good-paying jobs, while enabling economic growth.” On Monday, October 5, MassChallenge hosts a MADE@MassChallenge Hardware Startup Showcase which will introduce the manufacturing community to the 2015 MassChallenge hardware startups as well as up-and-coming companies from the Wentworth Institute of Technology. On Friday, October 16, the Massachusetts Export Center holds a briefing on Best Practices for Export Compliance Program Development and Management. It is a must-attend for any manufacturers interested in exporting its products. On Monday, October 26, the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative and the Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium hold a forum to discuss manufacturing issues such as innovation, workforce training and funding. On Wednesday, October 28, the Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE) hosts the New England Manufacturing Showcase to present the unique products and capabilities of its members. In August 2015, the Baker-Polito administration made two announcements to underscore its ongoing commitment to advancing manufacturing in Massachusetts. The first was a partnership between MIT, Quinsigamond Community College, and the Commonwealth in support of the Integrated Photonics Institute in Manufacturing Innovation. The second was that Massachusetts would be a partner in the nation’s Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Flexible Hybrid Electronics. The partnership includes UMass/Amherst, MIT, UMass/Lowell, Harvard and Northeastern, along with private sector companies. The Manufacturing Innovation Institute is part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), a federal competition sponsored by the US Department of Defense that seeks to advance manufacturing by connecting academic researchers with private firms. Here is more information about Massachusetts’ Advanced Manufacturing Program (AMP it up!).
Massachusetts Supports 13 Companies in Job Growth & Business Expansion
(Caption: Sid Wainer & Son, Specialty Food Distributors, New Bedford) The Massachusetts Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) recently approved 13 projects for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP), the state’s investment tax credit program for businesses. These projects range from manufacturing plants and distribution centers to high tech and bio products and are expected to create 717 new jobs and retain 935 jobs throughout Massachusetts, while leveraging approximately $172.6 million in private investment. Governor Charlie Baker called the incentives “a cost-effective part of our push to make Massachusetts business friendly, and to catalyze significant, sustained economic growth across the Commonwealth.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said the EDIP program “strengthens our businesses and communities, and helps sustain growth from Boston to the Berkshires.” The 42 economic development projects EACC has approved since January are expected to create 2321 jobs, retain 3416 existing jobs, and leverage $548 million in private investment. Of these projects, 22 are manufacturing companies and 19 are companies located in Gateway Cities. Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash said these types of investments help “create job opportunities for hardworking residents while growing the state economy.” Assistant Secretary for Business Development Nam Pham said the broad business base of the companies “lays a foundation for sustained economic growth and prosperity.” See list of projects below, and read fuller details here. Expansion Projects (EP): DesignWerkes, Inc. (Amesbury) Somerset Industries Inc. (Lowell) Friendly Fruit, Inc. dba Sid Wainer & Son (New Bedford) Enhanced Expansion Projects (EEP): International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) (Cambridge) Manufacturing Retention Projects (MRP): Jessica’s Brick Oven, Inc. (Methuen) Parallel Products of New England, Inc. (New Bedford) Local Incentive Only Projects: Mortillaro Lobster, Inc. (Gloucester) JimBob Realty LLC / Carmart LLC / Two Fathers LLC (Greenfield) LFB USA, Inc. (Marlborough) Globus Medical, Inc. (Methuen) New England Die Cutting, Inc. (Methuen) Darn It!, Inc. / 88-90 Hatch Street (New Bedford) 150 Blackstone River Road LLC (Worcester) The EDIP is one of the most effective tools for helping businesses to grow in Massachusetts. EDIP tax credits and other incentives are available to companies that make qualifying investments in new facilities and create new jobs. The EACC meets on a quarterly basis to review applications. More information about the EDIP is available from the Massachusetts Office of Business Development.
Massachusetts Officials Hear from Local Communities on Economic Development
(l-r: Richard Dalton, Jay Ash and Nam Pham at Roxbury Community College Forum. Photo Courtesy of Pamela Green) The Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development has been holding listening sessions in cities and towns across Massachusetts, seeking input from small businesses, municipal officials, community leaders and other stakeholders about the state’s economic development strategy. At a recent a forum at Roxbury Community College in Boston, over 60 business owners, community advocates, educators and residents attended the two hour session. They shared their suggestions, critiques and questions with Jay Ash,Secretary of EOHED, Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development, Juan R. Vega, Assistant Secretary for Communities & Programs and Dick Dalton, Boston Regional Director of Business Development. A number of public officials attended and spoke at Roxbury Community College, including Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, Representative Liz Malia, Representative Jeffrey Sanchez and Representative Russell E. Holmes. Others included former Senator Diane Wilkerson, former Representative Richard Rouse, Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson, and staff from the office of Mayor Marty Walsh. When the sessions were launched in June, Secretary Ash said, “Addressing business and community needs directly requires a significant continued engagement, and a concerted effort to understand concerns and craft effective solutions. I look forward to continued partnerships with local officials, businesses, and non-profits as we work together to grow our economy and provide every resident with the opportunity for training and employment.” Assistant Secretary Pham said the listening sessions offered “the opportunity to talk through complex issues and look at potential solutions with a wide range of well-informed stakeholders. The ideas we heard will help us grow the Massachusetts economy.” Massachusetts law requires the secretary of Housing and Economic Development to draft a comprehensive economic development plan within the first year of a new gubernatorial administration. Secretary Ash has committed to grounding the Baker-Polito Administration’s economic development strategy in public dialogue, and in regional opportunities. These regional listening sessions are part of a six-month economic development planning process, and serve as a first step in drafting the statutorily-required plan. Upcoming listening sessions are schedule to take place on Thursday, September 24, 2015 at Bay State College in Middleboro at 8:00 a.m., and at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield at 1:30 p.m. Contact Maria Marasco at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on the Middleboro event, and Debra Boronski at email@example.com for details on the Pittsfield event.
September is Massachusetts Apple Month, Proclaims Governor Baker
(Apple picking, Belkin Family Lookout Farm in Natick. Photo by C. Holland) Governor Charlie Baker today declared September to be “Massachusetts Apple Month.” Today’s announcement coincides with New England Apple Day and is an effort to support the Commonwealth’s many apple growers. “We are proud to recognize Massachusetts as a regional leader in apple processing and distribution and that our agricultural partners are working together to strengthen and expand the apple industry,” said Governor Baker. “By declaring this month ‘Massachusetts Apple Month,’ we encourage everyone to support our vibrant agricultural industry in order to strengthen consumers’ awareness of Massachusetts grown produce.” “Apples are an important part of our local food system, and we are thankful to have a strong industry here in Massachusetts, with producers and processors who are forward thinkers, using advanced environmental technology and conservation practices,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “I urge everyone to support Massachusetts’ apple growers this month by purchasing apples and other produce grown locally.” Massachusetts boasts more than 140 varieties of apples grown in the state, including local favorites such as McIntosh, Cortland, Macoun, Gala and Honeycrisp. According to the United States Apple Association, apples contain no fat, cholesterol or sodium and are excellent sources of fiber, natural plant-based anti-oxidants and the mineral boron – which promotes healthy bones. “We are honored to recognize Massachusetts apple growers who work hard to produce this nutritious and delicious. Our apple growers are committed to caring for the land, preserving open space, and implementing best management practices,” said Commissioner John Lebeaux, Department of Agricultural Resources. “I encourage residents to take advantage of the many great local varieties apple growers produce by visiting Massachusetts orchards, farm stands and farmers’ markets across the Commonwealth.” With approximately 340 apple orchards in Massachusetts on over 4,000 acres of land, the Commonwealth yielded over 28 million pounds of apples worth $20 million in 2012. Visit DAR’s farm finder to find information on Massachusetts apple orchards, pick-your-own apple farms, farmers’ markets, and roadside produce stands. The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism recently issued a blog on upcoming food festivals, farmers markets and agricultural fairs in Massachusetts. You can also find a year round round culinary calendar on MassVacation.com.
Massachusetts Receives $500,000 to Support International Trade
The Massachusetts export community got good news this week with the announcement of a $500,000 State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) federal grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development, joined SBA officials, business leaders and export companies at the Massachusetts State House to make the announcement. The grant will increase the Commonwealth’s international presence by helping to fund small business export activities such as trade show participation, overseas marketing and localization services, and subscription services from the U.S. Department of Commerce. “Partnering with the SBA to increase exports and access to international markets will bring prosperity home for workers and employers, while increasing the worldwide availability of our state’s cutting-edge products,” Ash said. SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet said in a statement, “SBA’s STEP program ensures local resources are available to help small businesses tap global markets. By funding states and their export development partners, the SBA is delivering the tools and resources required for small businesses to launch their services and products abroad. With 95% of the world’s consumers living outside of the United States, SBA’s STEP program ensures that America’s small businesses can succeed in the 21st century global economy.” The grant is being administered by the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI) in collaboration with the Massachusetts Export Center (MEC), a specialty center of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network (MSBDC). Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development, said, “Supporting new-to-export and export-expanding businesses is part of our dedication to growing Massachusetts’ businesses nationally, and internationally.” U.S. Congressman Seth Moulton said, “Expanding markets for American-made products abroad boosts paychecks and grows our economy here in Massachusetts. As a member of the Small Business Committee, I’ll continue working to give our small business owners the tools to do what they do best: create quality products and services and good jobs in our communities.” Kristen Rupert, Executive Director of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts International Business Council, said, “For many Massachusetts companies, especially manufacturers, future growth will come from international markets. The STEP grant will be critical to removing export barriers for local firms.” Paula Murphy, Director of the Massachusetts Export Center, said, “We are delighted to be part of the Massachusetts STEP team and look forward to helping many small businesses accelerate their export growth through the STEP program.” Hunter Richard, Manager of Business Development at MOITI, said, “The STEP grant is another great resource for new-to-export small businesses to expand their footprint in the global marketplace.” In previous years, Massachusetts small businesses offset the costs of export promotion activities through the STEP program and received an average rate of return of $12 for every $1 of grant funding. An Amesbury-based science company used part of its $10,000 STEP grant in 2012 to participate in ARABlab, a science trade show in Dubai. As a result, the company secured $100,000 worth of business within two months after attending ARABlab. A manufacturer in North Attleborough was able to increase its presence in Brazil in Brazil by funding three Gold Key missions with the US Department of Commerce in 2011 as well as translating its sales and marketing materials to Portuguese. Massachusetts will contribute $166,667 in matching funds to the program, and receiving firms will be required to leverage private money together with the grant funds to ensure that taxpayer money is spent efficiently and effectively. In October, MOITI and MEC will begin soliciting applications to participate in the STEP program. For more details, contact Hunter Richard at 617-973-8532 or hunter.richard@MassMail.State.MA.US
Mass Export Center Staff Awarded Industry Certificates for Export Knowledge
Photo: Nam Pham, Julia Dvorko, Paula Murphy and Kathleen Kinahan-Newell Three senior staff members at the Massachusetts Export Center recently earned their Certified U.S. Export Compliance Officer (CUSECO) designation, the industry standard for professionals working as export compliance practitioners in the private sector. The Center is part of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC)Network . Paula Murphy, Director of the Mass Export Center, Kathleen Kinahan-Newell, Trade Compliance Manager and Julia Dvorko, Central MA Regional Director, were awarded their credentials this summer from the International Import Export Institute (IIEI). To receive the certification, they each took a rigorous four-hour 200 question exam to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the U.S. Commerce Department’s Export Administration Regulations (EAR), the U.S. State Department’s International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), and, to some extent, the U.S. Census Bureau’s Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR). “It is a great advantage for Massachusetts companies to have such experienced and knowledgeable staff to guide them in the highly competitive export industry,” said Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development. “I congratulate Paula, Kathleen and Julia for their professional dedication, which is good for the export community and for the Massachusetts economy.” “It is a nation-wide first for a team of professionals working for a small business development center or state government international trade entity to achieve this level of proficiency and demonstrated export regulatory competence,” said Murphy. “We look forward to putting these skills to good use and helping even more Massachusetts businesses to enhance their export compliance and competitiveness.” Here is more information about the Massachusetts Export Center.
MassEcon Announces 21 Finalists for Annual Economic Impact Awards
MassEcon, the state’s private sector partner in promoting business growth in Massachusetts, has announced the 21 finalists for its 2015 Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards. This year’s finalists represent a diverse set of companies all across the Commonwealth. They range in size and are drawn from industries such as manufacturing, life sciences, hospitality, technology, and food and beverage. Together this year’s finalists have added over 1,500 jobs to the Commonwealth, invested over $394 million, and expanded their facilities by nearly 2 million square feet since January 2014, according to MassEcon. Each of the finalists will present a one-minute elevator pitch to a panel of judges on September 16, 2015 at Nutter McLennen & Fish LLP in Boston. Katie Stebbins, Assistant Secretary for Technology and Innovation at Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development, is the featured guest at the event. Now in its 12th year, the Impact Awards are based on the job growth, investment and facility expansion of Massachusetts companies. Winners from each of the five regions will be announced in October and recognized at an awards luncheon on November 24 in Boston. Susan Houston, Executive Director of MassEcon, said “We are delighted to recognize the businesses in Massachusetts that contribute so much to our state’s success. The diverse set of industries and regions represented by this impressive group of companies demonstrates the overall strength of our Commonwealth.” Here is the list of finalists for the 12th Annual Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards: WEST Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing – Lee Kennametal – Greenfield Mohawk Fine Papers – South Hadley SOUTHEAST Joseph Abboud Manufacturing – New Bedford LaFrance Hospitality Company- Wareham South Shore Millwork, Inc. – Norton NORTHEAST Aspen Technology – Bedford Bake’n Joy Foods – Ayer Energi – Peabody Jabra – Lowell Southwick – Haverhill CENTRAL GE Healthcare – Marlborough Great Wolf Lodge – Fitchburg Jack’s Abby – Framingham SanDisk – Marlborough Simplivity – Westborough GREATER BOSTON Baxalta – Cambridge Carbonite – Boston CarGurus – Cambridge LogMeIn – Boston Trip Advisor – Needham Read more about MassEcon here.
Massachusetts Officials Increase Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to Help Working Families
Over 400,000 working individuals and their families in the Bay State got welcome news this week, when Governor Charlie Baker enacted a 50% increase in the Massachusetts Earned Tax Credit (EITC). The Governor was joined by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Senate President Stan Rosenberg and other stakeholders at the signing ceremony at the Massachusetts State House. Governor Baker said, “Since day one, Lt. Governor Polito and I have been clear about our priorities to make Massachusetts great and extend the benefits of a growing economy to more individuals across the Commonwealth. I’m grateful for the leadership of Senate President Rosenberg and Speaker DeLeo who along with their colleagues, worked with us to increase a tool as effective as the Earned Income Tax Credit in support of our families who need it most.” The bill increases the Massachusetts Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from 15% to 23% of the federal EITC, extending the maximum state credit from $951 to $1,459 and meaning as much as $500 in additional support for those who are eligible. Lt. Governor Polito called the increase “an important step toward economic growth and building stronger communities in Massachusetts.” Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst) said the measure “gives a tax break to those who need it the most while helping us address the growing problem of income inequality.” Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop) said the increase “will reinvigorate our work to achieve economic equality.”
MassWorks Program Helps Communities Invest in Infrastructure and Economic Development
This week the Baker-Polito administration highlighted its ongoing commitment to MassWorks, a state program that helps Massachusetts municipalities improve local infrastructure in order to create jobs and spur local development. Governor Charlie Baker praised MassWorks for “the vital role it serves in our communities. Investments in local infrastructure and community-based economic development efforts are key to the continued growth of the Commonwealth.” In its 2016 capital budget, the Baker-Polito administration has increased funding for the MassWorks Infrastructure Program to $75 million, a $20 million increase from the previous capital budget. Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said MassWorks is a key part of “deepening partnerships between the Commonwealth and its municipalities. By partnering with cities and towns to make strategic infrastructure investments, we will ensure the strength of all our communities.” The MassWorks Infrastructure Program provides a one stop shop for municipalities and other eligible public entities seeking public infrastructure funding to support economic development and job creation. MassWorks makes strategic investments in public infrastructure that leverages private investment in jobs and smart growth housing. Since 2011, MassWorks has awarded over $287 million for public infrastructure projects in 102 communities across the Commonwealth. Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development, called MassWorks “an important tool to help us prepare our communities for success. We will continue to leverage MassWorks to help municipalities create jobs, meet local housing needs, and unlock smart economic development projects.” On Wednesday, August 5, Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito and Secretary Ash toured CitySquare, an ambitious redevelopment of Worcester’s downtown core that was unlocked by MassWorks infrastructure funds. The MassWorks Infrastructure Program is administered by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, in cooperation with the Department of Transportation and Executive Office for Administration and Finance. Applications for the 2015 MassWorks Infrastructure Program are being accepted between Monday, August 24 and Friday, September 4, 2015. Here is information on how to apply.
Governor Baker Announces $26 Million in Community Development Block Grants
Governor Charlie Baker Announced the CDBG Awards at the Massachusetts State House on July 15. The Baker-Polito Administration recently awarded 33 Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) totaling $26 million to 65 communities in Massachusetts. These funds help municipalities provide housing, infrastructure improvements, childcare vouchers, and other services to residents. Here are details of the winning projects. Governor Charlie Baker said the grants, along with increased local aid, represent “an investment in our cities and towns that will reap benefits across the Commonwealth. Helping municipalities identify and solve local problems with local solutions ensures that funding is spent efficiently and effectively.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito noted that the grants are “an incredibly effective vehicle for improving communities for those who live and work in them.” The CDBG awards distributed in this round will fund housing rehabilitation for more than 300 units, as well as infrastructure improvements from Truro to West Springfield. They will also support a community center in North Adams, a domestic violence prevention task force in Russell, Chester, Huntington, and Middlefield, and childcare vouchers in Dennis, among other projects. Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash said, “Improving our workforce through increased mobility and training will help grow and sustain our economy in a targeted, effective manner through programs like the Community Development Block Grants.” Undersecretary for Housing and Community Development Chrystal Kornegay called the CDBG program an “opportunity to address housing needs through coordinated local action.” The CDBG program is a federally funded, competitive grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). It is designed to help small cities and towns meet a broad range of community development needs. Qualifying cities and towns use the grants for housing, community, and economic development projects that assist low and moderate-income residents, or by revitalizing areas of slum or blight. In Massachusetts, the state CDBG program has distributed $237 million through more than 300 grants in the last seven years.
Baker Administration Cabinet secretaries look to replicate job training model
(Caption: John S. LaFrancis, professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology at Springfield Technical Community College, discusses precision manufacturing with Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Education Secretary James Peyser.) Photo by Colleen Quinn. It is nearly impossible to talk about manufacturing without the topic very quickly turning to workforce development, and the difficulty manufacturers have finding skilled workers. A group of manufacturers in the Pioneer Valley this week described to Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, and three Baker administration Cabinet secretaries who are focused on workforce development, the problems they face attracting, recruiting and training competent workers. Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald Walker, II, Education Secretary James Peyser, and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash toured the Smith & Wesson Technology Applications Center to learn how business leaders, regional employment board officials and educators are working together to create a talent pool for local manufacturers. They are boosting employment, and growing their companies. Facing an aging workforce, manufacturers said they realized they need to create their own pipeline of skilled workers. Nationally, half of the workforce in manufacturing is 55-years-old or older, and 38 percent of those workers say they plan to retire in the next 10 years. Millennial-generation workers have shied away from the manufacturing industry because of outdated misconceptions that manufacturing jobs are dirty and dingy, company owners said. Advanced manufacturing in the aerospace, defense, and biotechnology industries are booming in the region. Many large companies no longer offer apprenticeship and internship programs that were once the source for talented workers. Lt. Gov. Polito said manufacturers, educators and workforce officials in western Massachusetts are “connecting the dots.” Steve Grande, president of Meridian Industrial Group Inc. – a precision machining company – said local manufacturers realized they could not grow if they did not find an innovative way to fill jobs. Educators and regional workforce boards started by asking local employers what skills they want graduates to have to fill the needs of their business today and in the future. With the help of state grants, they then developed technical training curriculum at the Smith & Wesson Technology Applications Center at the Springfield Technology Park. “Gov. Baker often reminds us, when you find something that’s working, do a whole lot more of it,” Lt. Gov. Polito said. Baker administration officials toured the training center to see if the model could be replicated around the state. Since February, Secretaries Walker, Peyser and Ash have worked together on the Workforce Skills Cabinet to find ways to bridge the gap between companies looking for skilled workers and people who need a job. Secretary Ash said the Baker administration is identifying ways to have an impact on job creation and workforce development around the state. Secretary Walker said the collaboration between manufacturers, educators and the regional employment board is the type of demand-driven model the Workforce Skills Cabinet hopes to replicate statewide. Secretary Peyser asked if there was a “secret sauce” to the success in the Pioneer Valley. David Cruise, president and CEO of the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, said the key for them was to stay focused on the end goal. “The bottom line is job creation and economic development,” Cruise said during a roundtable discussion with Lt. Gov. Polito and the three Cabinet secretaries. “And it’s getting folks that are not in the labor market with the skills they need to get working, to earn a living wage, buy a home, send their kids to school, be good citizens; do the things we need to build-out the middle class.” - Colleen Quinn, Communications Director, Labor & Workforce Development
Massachusetts Listening Sessions on Economic Development Draw over 700 Residents
Lively Discussion at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester Over 700 business leaders, elected officials and community representatives from across Massachusetts came out in full force recently for a series of six listening sessions conducted by the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development. The half day sessions were simultaneously conducted in Lowell, Lynn, Quincy, Springfield, West Barnstable and Worcester on June 25, 2015. Topics included talent retention and workforce development, competitiveness and regulation, and zoning and infrastructure. Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, said that “Addressing business and community needs directly requires significant, continued engagement, and a concerted effort to understand concerns and craft effective solutions. I look forward to continued partnerships with local officials, businesses, and non-profits as we work together to grow our economy and provide every resident with the opportunity for training and employment.” Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development, called the listening sessions “thoughtful and useful,” adding, “It was a rare opportunity to talk through complex issues and look at potential solutions with a wide range of well-informed stakeholders. The ideas we heard will help us grow the Massachusetts economy.” The purpose of the sessions was to get business and community input for a comprehensive economic development plan EOHED will begin drafting in the coming months. Carolyn Kirk, Deputy Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, called the discussions “lively and thought-provoking,” adding that they “will prove to be invaluable in shaping the Commonwealth’s economic development plan.” Massachusetts law requires the secretary of Housing and Economic Development to draft a comprehensive economic development plan within the first year of a new gubernatorial administration. Secretary Ash has committed to grounding the Baker-Polito Administration’s economic development strategy in public dialogue, and in regional opportunities. These regional listening sessions began a six-month economic development planning process, and serve as a first step in drafting the statutorily-required plan. Regional Directors from the Massachusetts Office of Business Development include Jon Golnik (Central Mass); Peter Milano (MetroWest and Merrimack Valley); Debra Boronski (Western Mass); Dick Dalton (Greater Boston), Maria DiStefano (Northeastern Mass) and Maria Marasco (Southeastern Mass).
Massachusetts Helps Local Companies Expand Workforce and Physical Plant
Jack’s Abby Brewing is expanding in downtown Framingham Massachusetts’ Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) recently approved 16 projects for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP). These projects are expected to create 606 new jobs and retain 879 jobs throughout Massachusetts, while leveraging approximately $197.8 million in private investment. Among the approved projects are eight manufacturing companies and two projects located in Gateway Cities. The EACC also approved seven locally-directed economic development projects, showcasing municipalities’ efforts to control their own economic growth. Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, said the projects in the EDIP program “help build a framework for future growth and development across the Commonwealth. Effective, targeted investments cultivate local companies, create new jobs for our residents, and grow our economy.” Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary for Business Development, said, “Massachusetts is committed to supporting entrepreneurs and expanding businesses. These incentives are an investment in job opportunities for our residents, and long-term sustainable growth in our future.” Expansion Projects (EP) Jack’s Abby Brewing LLC (Framingham) Advanced Cable Ties, Inc. (Gardner) New England Peptide, Inc. (Gardner) Markley Boston LLC and Markley Management, Inc. (Lowell) Future Foam, Inc. (Mansfield) D.C. Bates Equipment Co. Inc. (Mendon) Consigli Construction Co. Inc. (Milford) 1A Auto Inc. (Pepperell) Capstan Atlantic (Wrentham) Local Incentive Only Projects New England Natural Bakers, Inc. (Deerfield) Elm Development LLC (Dracut) H-Donuts Dracut, Inc. d/b/a Heav’nly Donuts (Dracut) Globe Composite Solutions, Ltd. (East Bridgewater) Berkshire Innovation Center (Pittsfield) Lamson and Goodnow, LLC (Westfield) Brandywine Farms, Inc. (Winchendon) Art Robert, Director of Economic Development for the Town of Framingham, said, “The Jack’s Abby expansion does more than drive more manufacturing into our Downtown. The company’s long-term commitment returns an idle manufacturing building to productive use and boosts Downtown’s attractiveness to visitors and investors.” Read more about the projects. In partnership with local towns and cities, the EDIP is the Commonwealth’s investment tax credit program for businesses, and is one of the most effective tools in helping businesses grow in Massachusetts. EDIP tax credits and other incentives are available to companies that make qualifying investments in new facilities and create new jobs. The EACC has approved 29 economic development projects since January, 2015. These projects will create 1604 jobs, retain 2481 existing jobs, and leverage $375.8 million in private investment. The EACC has assisted 16 manufacturing projects, and 10 projects in Gateway Cities this year. The EACC meets on a quarterly basis to review applications. Learn more about the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP).
Massachusetts Cabinet Secretaries Discuss Economic Development at MassEcon Conference
(L-R: Stephanie Neal-Johnson, Stephanie Pollack, Matthew Beaton, Jay Ash, Geri Denterlein and Susan Houston). Photo courtesy of MassEcon. Recently over 200 business leaders, academic executives, and public officials from across the Commonwealth gathered at the MassEcon annual conference in Newton to engage with cabinet secretaries on housing, economic development, energy, environmental affairs, transportation, labor, and workforce development. The centerpiece of the conference was a panel of the four economic development secretariats from Governor Charlie Baker’s Administration. Panelists included Secretary Jay Ash, Housing & Economic Development; Secretary Matthew Beaton, Energy and Environmental Affairs; Secretary Stephanie Pollack, Transportation; and Undersecretary Stephanie Neal-Johnson, Labor and Workforce Development. Susan Houston, Executive Director of MassEcon, said her group was “honored to convene the key players who will influence the Commonwealth’s economic future. Promoting economic development requires the commitment of a full team that spans agencies and offices, and this cabinet clearly demonstrates a collaborative ethic.” Geri Denterlein, President of Denterlein, served as moderator. For ongoing details on Massachusetts’ economic development activities,visit the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development.
MassVentures Wins National Tibbetts Award for Driving Innovation in Massachusetts
PHOTO: Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration; Jerry Bird, President of MassVentures; Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Massachusetts Office of Business Development; and Javier Saade, SBA’s Associate Administrator for Investment and Innovation. Congratulations to Boston-based MassVentures, one of just three organizations across the United States to receive the 2015 Tibbetts Award for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR). MassVentures was recognized for its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Targeted Technologies (START) program, which has awarded $6 million to 27 Massachusetts technology companies over the past three years. Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development and Chair of the MassVentures board, praised START for providing “a diverse group of high-tech companies with the resources and guidance they need to reach their potential and enjoy sustained growth. START is catalyst for our innovation economy and sends a resounding message to high-tech businesses around the world that we are creating a supportive and productive environment in which these companies can thrive.” Jerry Bird, President of MassVentures, said, “By helping companies utilize their SBIR/STTR Phase II funding to grow employment and stimulate innovation, the START program shows that the Commonwealth will not sit idly by while high-tech companies wait for capital to help commercialize their technologies. It is critical that we continue to work with entrepreneurs and actively demonstrate the state’s commitment to these industries.” Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development, said, “The emphasis that MassVentures has placed on small business development has been vital to making Massachusetts a world leader in innovation. This administration is privileged to have such an adept investment team working to assist these developing companies.” Bird and Pham attended the awards ceremony at the White House. The award is named for Roland Tibbetts, acknowledged as the father of the SBIR program, and is presented to companies, supporting organizations, and individuals which have leveraged, or helped others leverage, SBIR/STTR investment to generate measurable value to their firm or the nation. In addition to the three organization winners, the SBA also recognized six individuals and 23 small businesses, including Aspen Aerogels Inc. of Northborough. The keynote address at the awards ceremony was delivered by Massachusetts resident and NASA flight engineer Catherine “Cady” Coleman, an accomplished scientist and astronaut noted for her six month expedition to the International Space Station. In addition to helping high growth companies increase employment opportunities, promote manufacturing and commercialization, and stimulate innovation across Massachusetts, START brings together an ecosystem of companies, expert reviewers, service providers and company advisers. Companies receiving START awards during the first two years of the program have grown revenues by 20%, and have used, or will use, their START grants to secure an additional $24,000,000 in funding.
Massachusetts Welcomes Aeromexico direct air service between Boston and Mexico City
This week Massachusetts officials welcomed Aeromexico’s new direct air service between Boston and Mexico City, citing enhanced opportunities in business, tourism and educational exchange between the two places. The new service launched on Monday, June 1, 2015 between Boston’s Logan International Airport and Mexico City’s Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juarez. Governor Charlie Baker said the new route opens up connections to 16 major cities in Latin America including Buenos Aires, Lima and Bogota, adding “it not only opens doors for business, but it lets our diverse residents and visiting students easily connect to their families.’’ With daily service every day (except Tuesday), Aeromexico flight 699 leaves Boston at 4:20 p.m. and arrives in Mexico City at 8:42 p.m. Flight 698 leaves Mexico City at 9 a.m. and arrives in Boston at 3:05 p.m. The Boeing 737-700 airplanes have 124 seats, including 12 seats in the Aeromexico Clase Premier Business Class cabin. Anko van der Werff, Aeromexico Chief Revenue Officer, called Boston “a city of great importance for Mexico and Latin America because of its global economic potential and extensive academic offerings that draw many students from Mexico and Latin America every year.” Officials said the market between Boston and Mexico City, combined with the airlines’ other 45 destinations in Mexico and Central America, represents over 492,000 passengers and $134M in ticket revenue annually. As a member of the SkyTeam Airline Alliance, Aeromexico partners with Delta and other partner airlines to use Boston Logan International Airport as a gateway to Europe. Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn said the two cities have much in common. “Like Boston, Mexico City is a place that honors its significant history, it is a cultural and political hub for its people, has a large concentration of universities, and it is a city that celebrates its diversity.” Last year, more than 40,000 Mexicans traveled from Mexico to Massachusetts, according to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries. Patrick Moscaritolo, President and CEO of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the new service “will mean more visitors and significantly more spending from Mexico and Latin America for our city and for our hotels, restaurant, attractions and retailers.” The local visitor industry could see as much as $54 million in new spending thanks to Aeromexico’s new service. Paula Murphy, Director of the Massachusetts Export Center, says Mexico is currently the Commonwealth’s third largest export partner. In 2014, Massachusetts exported $2.3 billion worth of goods and services to Mexico, while importing $3.6 billion from Mexico. For more information about visiting Massachusetts, go MassVacation.com.
Federal Small Business Recovery Loans are Available in Massachusetts, Says Governor Baker
Massachusetts small businesses and non-profit groups hurt by the harsh winter can apply for low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs), thanks to an appeal Governor Charlie Baker made to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) this month. “The impact of unprecedented temperatures and snowfall is still being felt on main streets throughout the Commonwealth where extreme weather and crippled public transportation hindered day-to-day operations and the ability of customers and employees to get to work, frequent their local businesses or provide critical services,” said Governor Baker. “As we continue to work with state and federal disaster officials and pursue public transit reforms, these low-interest loans are key to providing economic recovery assistance to Massachusetts’ small businesses and non-profits.” Up to $2 million in low-interest loans for working capital needs are available to qualifying entities impacted by winter weather conditions between January 26, 2015 and February 22, 2015 in Barnstable, Bristol, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk and Worcester counties, at rates of 4.00% for small businesses and 2.625% for non-profit organizations with terms up to 30 years. “After an especially trying winter with record snowfall and freezing temperatures, many of our small businesses and non-profits are still struggling to make up for the lost opportunities and activity,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We encourage those who are eligible to pursue the resources being made available by the Small Business Administration to aid in the recovery of the economic vitality of our cities and towns across the Commonwealth.” Eligible organizations or businesses are encouraged to visit the SBA’s secure Electronic Loan Application (ELA) website, to apply, or to download an application from SBA.gov. Completed applications should be submitted no later than February 15, 2016 to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. Further information and assistance is available from the SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling 1-800-659-2955 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
MassEcon & Governor Baker Welcome New Companies to Massachusetts
(Photo by Janet Stearns, courtesy of MassEcon) Massachusetts continues to attract new companies from around the world, as demonstrated by MassEcon’s 7th annual Corporate Welcome Reception, held recently at the Genzyme Corporate headquarters in Kendall Square, Cambridge. The event attracted more than 150 leaders from the private sector and senior state officials, led by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and his economic development team of Jay Ash, Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development and Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development. “Massachusetts’ innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, talented workforce and commitment to success have put the Commonwealth on the map as a place for businesses to grow and thrive,” Governor Baker told the assembled guests. “As we continue to build partnerships with our communities and the private sector, we welcome these companies from around the nation and the globe and look forward to the opportunity to encourage more businesses to call Massachusetts home, create jobs and bolster our economy.” The companies range from both start-ups to established businesses, and their locations of origin include China, Mexico, Turkey, Sweden, Ireland, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New Hampshire, South Carolina, New York, California and Massachusetts. They represent a variety of industries such as life sciences, technology, healthcare, energy, manufacturing, transportation and will add more than 2,000 jobs to Massachusetts. “This event is our way of saying thank you for choosing the Commonwealth,” MassEcon Executive Director Susan Houston said. “It is also an opportunity for us to connect these companies with the amazing network of resources Massachusetts has to offer. While there’s no magic formula for attracting and retaining business in the state, fostering a welcoming environment is essential.” Among the new companies attending the MassEcon reception: Baxter of Cambridge Cathay Pacific Airways of Boston CNR-MA of Springfield Cohealo of Boston Corbus Pharmaceuticals of Norwood Cryptzone of Waltham Driblet of Cambridge GE Healthcare of Marlborough Hainan Airlines of Boston Jabra of Lowell Mohawk Fine Papers of South Hadley Primark of Boston Pulse Secure of Westford Schneider Electric of Andover Turkish Airlines of Boston Unitrends of Burlington. Find more information about MassEcon here.
Massachusetts Celebrates Agriculture Day at State House
(Boston City Hall Farmers Market, Courtesy of Mass Office of Travel & Tourism) The Massachusetts State House resembled a bustling farmer’s market today, as the Commonwealth’s diverse community of small farmers, food purveyors, farming cooperatives, seafood associations, academic programs and advocates gathered for the annual Massachusetts Agriculture Day. Nearly 600 people attended the celebration, including 45 exhibitors who showcased the rich bounty of food and beverage produced in Massachusetts. It was an opportunity for legislators and public officials to meet with one of the state’s most enduring and productive communities. Governor Charlie Baker used the occasion to announce that he was adding an additional $1 million to the popular AgEnergy Grants Program over the next two years. “A vibrant agricultural community in Massachusetts is essential to building healthy communities and a stronger economy across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Baker. “As we celebrate the impact agriculture brings to our economy and history today, the expansion of the AgEnergy Grants will help our Commonwealth’s farmers address their energy needs and increase their future opportunities for competitiveness in the global marketplace.” Governor Baker was joined at the event by Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton, and Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux. Agriculture Day was organized by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, along with the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation, which was recognized with a citation from the Governor for 100 years of service. On hand was an abundance of locally harvested and produced items, ranging from oysters, cranberry juice and maple milk to cheese, honey and fruit pies. And culinary students from the Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School in Marlboro prepared and served a variety of dishes made from Massachusetts products, such as turkey, lamb, root vegetables, honey and local cheeses. The farming industry in Massachusetts generates nearly $490 million in revenues, maintaining about 525,000 acres of open space. There are about 7,755 farms, employing 12,000 workers, according to Mary Jordan, Director of the Division of Agricultural Markets at the Mass Department of Agricultural Resources Paula L. Murphy, Director of the Massachusetts Export Center, says that the state generated over $1 billion of food and agricultural exports in 2014. Nationally, “Massachusetts is number one in scallops, number one in cranberry juice and number three in seafood exports in 2014,” according to Murphy. Tourists also appreciate the state’s agricultural riches. The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism has developed a handy overview of culinary activities for visitors, including this culinary calendar of food festivals and fairs.
Massachusetts Supports Job Growth and Business Expansion
Caption: Blount Fine Foods in Fall River is expanding its headquarters and creating jobs Massachusetts continues to create new jobs and spur business growth across the state. This week, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) approved 13 projects for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP). These Massachusetts projects are expected to create 998 new jobs and retain 1,602 jobs, while leveraging approximately $178 million in private investment. See press release. Jay Ash, Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, said the projects “will help build the framework for a new wave of growth and revitalization in our local communities (while) creating new jobs for our residents, strengthening our economy and showcasing Massachusetts as a great place to start and grow and a business.” Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary for Business Development, said, “One of the ways to build and sustain a job creating economy is by supporting businesses that are looking to expand here in Massachusetts. Through these incentive packages, we are investing in job opportunities for our residents and enhancing long-term economic growth for our future.” Among the approved projects are eight manufacturing companies and nine projects located in Gateway Cities, including a new $54 million Amazon facility in Fall River and Freetown announced by Governor Charlie Baker on Tuesday, March 24, 2015. Here are full descriptions of the approved EDIP projects : Manufacturing Retention & Job Growth Projects (MRP) Blount Fine Foods Corp. (Fall River) HTP, Inc. (New Bedford) Jen-Coat, Inc. (Westfield) Tell Tool, Inc. (Westfield) Enhanced Expansion Project / Job Creation Project Amazon.com, LLC (Fall River & Freetown) Expansion Projects Argotec, LLC (Greenfield) UFP Technologies (Newburyport) WGM Fabricators, LLC (Northbridge Distron Corporation (Plainville) Job Creation Project (JCP) Amadeus North America, Inc. (Waltham) Local Incentive Only Projects Marcotte Ford Sales, Inc. / 1025 Main Street, LLC. / 933 Main Street, LLC. (Holyoke) One Marston LLC/ ALX Enterprises LLC (Lawrence) Due North Hospitality, LLC (Pittsfield) In partnership with local towns and cities, the EDIP is the Commonwealth’s investment tax credit program for businesses and is one of the most effective tools in helping businesses grow in Massachusetts. EDIP tax credits and other incentives are available to companies that make qualifying investments in new facilities and create new jobs. Since 2010, 235 projects have received approval from the EACC, leading to commitments to create 17,110 new jobs and retain 47,004 existing jobs. EDIP incentives have leveraged over $6 billion in private investment since 2010. The EACC has assisted 126 manufacturers through the EDIP and has supported 108 projects in Gateway Cities. The EACC meets on a quarterly basis to review applications. Learn more about the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP).
Snow Storm Loans Help Massachusetts Small Businesses
Massachusetts is stepping up to assist small businesses affected by the harsh and debilitating snow storms this past winter. On February 27, 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration announced a one million dollar snow storm loan fund to help small businesses regain financial stability and recover from lost storm revenue. The first loan of $10,000 was awarded this week to Down Home Delivery, a Southern Cuisine delivery and takeout service in Dorchester, which lost significant business in February due to the parking and delivery difficulties the successive storms created. Lt. Governor Karyn Polito presented the award, and she was joined by Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development, Boston City Councilor Charles Yancey and other local officials. “Our small businesses are the backbone of our economy and it is important that we help ensure their longevity by lending a helping hand when they need it most,” Lieutenant Governor Polito said in an earlier statement. “We are confident that our entire economy will continue to recover from one of the toughest winters we have seen in decades.” Here is a video of the event. Video Courtesy of Mctv Network The loans are being administered by Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation, which is providing micro-loans ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 for small businesses located in communities most impacted, particularly Boston and the state’s 26 Gateway Cities. The program will run through May 2015. Apply to the Massachusetts Storm Loan Fund here. Find out more about the Massachusetts Office of Business Development by calling 617 973-8600.
Massachusetts Launches Workforce Skills Gap Cabinet
(Caption: HED Secretary Jay Ash,Governor Charlie Baker, LWD Secretary Ron Walker and Education Secretary Jim Peyser) Massachusetts is launching a new initiative to bridge the workforce skills gap across the Commonwealth so that employers can find the type of skilled workers they seeks, today and in the future. This week, Governor Charlie Baker established a Workforce Skills Cabinet, chaired by Ron Walker, the Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, and comprised of Jim Peyser, Secretary of Education and Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. “A talented workforce and growing economy are inseparable and Massachusetts has an opportunity to capitalize on both by ensuring our workers have the skills to meet the needs of employers in the 21st century economy,” said Governor Baker in a press release. Since regions across the state have different work skill needs and gaps, one task of the Workforce Skills Cabinet is to develop goals, objectives and metrics that are ultimately implemented region by region. To that end, the Cabinet will recommend to the Governor ways to improve alignment among state policies, programs, resources, job readiness and vocational and educational opportunities. As an example, Baker cited the aerospace industry in the Pioneer Valley, which he said was booming. “They have a thousand jobs or more, open at any given time, for skilled workers. The key word here is ‘skilled’ workers.” The Director of Education and Workforce Development, a jointly funded position in the Executive Office of Education, will be elevated to the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and coordinate with the Governor’s Office, the Workforce Skills Cabinet, and with external groups. “We need to better connect business to the entire workforce development system which includes workforce investment boards, career centers, community colleges and voc-tech schools,” said Secretary Walker. “The Cabinet will be the vehicle to drive the conversation and action across the three Secretariats to analyze labor needs and expand talent pipelines for the jobs employers need to fill.” The Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) applauded the new initiative, stating that “The inability to locate and hire skilled employees was by far the top concern expressed by Massachusetts employees last year….The skills issue crosses almost every industry, from manufacturers in the Pioneer Valley to software companies in Boston’s Innovation District to research and engineering firms on the North Shore.” The Workforce Skills Cabinet plans to meet with businesses, schools, government agencies, career centers and job seekers in the coming months, and report back to the Baker-Polito Administration this summer with recommendations.
Massport Announces Boston-Shanghai Direct Route on Hainan Airlines
The Silk Road between Massachusetts and China is becoming more widely traveled, as officials unveiled a new direct route air service between Boston and Shanghai on Hainan Airlines. The service begins on June 20, 2015, a year to the day that Hainan launched its Boston-Beijing direct route. Officials said the fledgling Boston-Beijing route was so successful that an expansion to Shanghai made sense. The announcement was made on Wednesday, February 18 at the Massachusetts State House, where Governor Charlie Baker joined Pubin Liang, managing director of Hainan Airways for North America, Thomas P. Glynn, CEO and President of Massport and other public officials and business leaders. In a news release, Governor Baker said the initiative to expand international flights out of Boston’s Logan International Airport “enables Massachusetts to engage with the rest of the world. To be world class you need to be connected with the world and Massachusetts is world class. ‘’ Liang called Shanghai “an important commercial city,” noting that “expanding trade between New England and China has grown this market exponentially, enhanced by the new reciprocal ten year visas between the two countries recently put into place.” Glynn said the new route “speaks volumes about the great success Hainan has had in Boston since starting nonstop service to Beijing last June. ’’ He praised “the business community and Massport’s Asia Task Force for their support in making Hainan’s Boston venture such a success.’’ Kristen Rupert, executive director of Associated Industries of Massachusetts, told the gathering that for her 5,000 members, comprised of both service and manufacturing companies, “It really makes a difference to meet your prospects and your clients face-to-face” and that the Boston-Shanghai direct route was atop the wish list of AIM members. Service to Shanghai Pudong Airport will start on June 20, 2015 with two-class Boeing 787 Dreamliners three days a week, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, with afternoon times. The flight from Pudong to Boston’s Logan Airport leaves in the morning, also on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The plane holds 222 passengers, including 34 business class seats. Connections with Hainan’s airline partners, including JetBlue in its Boston hub, allow travelers to connect to and from the new service from points throughout the U.S. and Canada. The new Boston-Shanghai route complements Hainan’s existing nonstop Boston-Beijing service, which will increase to daily flights on May 1, 2015. In 2013, international travel in Massachusetts increased by 12%, totaling over two million foreign visitors, according to the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism. In addition to the Shanghai, Logan Airport is starting new international routes to Port-au-Prince, Hong Kong, Mexico City and Tel Aviv in 2015.
Broadband for All in Massachusetts
(Image Courtesy of Axia MassBroadband 123) Massachusetts intends to achieve total broadband access in all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth, thanks to today’s announcement by the Baker-Polito Administration to give $50 million in existing capital funding to the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI). MBI is the state entity designated to extend high-speed Internet access to homes, businesses, schools, libraries, medical facilities, government offices, and other public places across the Commonwealth. It is a division of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. “Providing high-speed broadband access to all cities and towns is not only a matter of basic fairness, but it is an essential part of building stronger communities and a stronger economy,” said Governor Charlie Baker, adding that “high-speed broadband service is critical in today’s digital world.” Currently, 45 towns in western Massachusetts lack residential cable or broadband access, relying instead upon DSL or dial-up technologies. And other Massachusetts towns have high-speed Internet access in just part of the town, not the entire community. “With this funding, we are one step closer toward closing the digital divide that continues to hinder residents and businesses in Western Massachusetts.” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. The funds will be used to catalyze additional municipal and private investment, and will support innovative, sustainable, locally-led projects. “Despite the current budget deficit, the Baker-Polito Administration remains committed to investing in our regional economies, and creating partnerships that empower communities to be great,” said Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. “I applaud Governor Baker’s decision to release these funds,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg. “We are fully committed to creating long promised access to high speed internet for the businesses, students, and residents of our region.” “This is the beginning of the end of the digital divide in western Massachusetts,” said State Senator Benjamin B. Downing. “Connecting all of our residents will create jobs and help the region’s economy thrive.” “Our rural communities must have high-speed broadband in order to function in the modern world and to compete in today’s economy,” said Representative Stephen Kulik. The commitment “moves us significantly closer to building the network and finishing the job.” Eric Nakajima, Director of MBI, thanked the Baker-Polito Administration for supporting efforts to “deliver high-speed broadband connections to the households and businesses in unserved areas of Massachusetts. This funding will help us make the construction of these ‘Last Mile’ networks a reality.” Learn more about Massachusetts Broadband Institute here.
Governor Baker Proclaims Valentine’s Week to Boost Massachusetts Small Businesses
Governor Charlie Baker declared February 14-21, 2015 to be Valentine’s Week in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, encouraging residents to visit and support “local retailers, restaurants, and small and family businesses.” The proclamation comes in the wake of a difficult winter that has “taken a toll on small businesses that depend on an uptick in reservations and activity around Valentine’s Day.” Governor Baker made the announcement with Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development, and local business leaders including Jon Hurst, President of Retailers Association of Massachusetts, Bob Lutz, President of the Mass Restaurant Association, and Dave Andelman, President of the Mass Restaurant and Business Association. Here is the full text of the Proclamation: Whereas the recent, unprecedented snow fall has taken a tremendous toll on the retailers and restaurants in local cities and towns across the Commonwealth; and Whereas access and travel to businesses has been difficult for both patrons and workers; and Whereas Saturday, February 14 is officially Valentine’s day, a day when many purchases and reservations are traditionally made; and Whereas the people of the Commonwealth are generous and caring; and Whereas the spirit of Valentine’s Day is the expression of kindness, friendship and support and need not be limited to just one day Now, Therefore, I, Charles D. Baker, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim the week of February 14 to February 21 to be VALENTINE’S WEEK And urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to participate fittingly in its existence by extending the spirit of Valentine’s Day through the entire week by visiting and supporting local retailers, restaurants, and small and family businesses. Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this thirteenth day of February, in the year two thousand and fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and thirty-ninth. ###
Seasonal direct flights between Boston & Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Starting in June
Caption: Gifrants, Haitian folk musician, performed at Logan Airport announcement of service to Haiti. (Photo: Courtesy of Massport) Boston’s Logan International Airport continues to expand its outreach around the world and across the nation, as Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) announced JetBlue’s new direct routes this summer to Port-au-Prince, Haiti as well as Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod and Sacramento, California. Making the announcement were Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn, David Clarke of JetBlue Airways and other officials. “The Commonwealth has always been a place where cultures have come together to prosper and the international growth of these new routes at Logan fosters this in the 21st century,” said Governor Baker, who recognized Massport and Logan Airport “for identifying new markets to expand options out of Boston.” Mayor Walsh noted that the expansion of direct flights out of Boston allows the city “to attract more tourists and more business to the City of Boston, creating stronger connections with the global community.” He added that the expansion of these flights reflects “this City’s international reputation for top notch culture, institutions, shopping, and restaurants.” Boston has the third largest Haitian-American community in the United States, so the new air service is being celebrated in both Massachusetts and Haiti, according to State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry. “The direct route from Boston to Port-au-Prince will not only help our Haitian residents maintain relationships with their families, but will support and strengthen new partnerships and business opportunities as well.” The new service to Port-au-Prince, Haiti (PAP) launches on June 17, 2015 and operates through September 5, 2015, with flights on Wednesdays and Saturdays. “More than 43,000 people traveled by air between Boston and Port-au-Prince last year and that market has grown 41% in three years,” said Glynn. “This new service will help connect the region with an important vibrant nation that was once home to many of us.” In addition to the Boston – Port-au-Prince service, JetBlue also begins seasonal, nonstop flights from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts (MVY) and Sacramento, California (SMF) this summer. Service from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard launches on June 17 and operates daily through September 7, complementing JetBlue’s existing summer seasonal service from Boston to Nantucket. The new Sacramento service launches on June 18 and operates four times a week on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. Haiti marks Logan’s 43rd international destination, part of a concerted effort to expand Massachusetts’ profile as a global destination for tourism, commerce and education. In 2013, international travel in Massachusetts increased by 12%, totaling over two million foreign visitors, according to the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism. In addition to the Haiti connection, Logan Airport is starting new international routes to Hong Kong, Mexico City, Mexico and Tel Aviv, Israel in 2015. Find out more about Boston’s Haitian community by reading the Boston Haitian Reporter.
MassChallenge Launches 2015 Startup Accelerator Programs in Boston, Jerusalem and London
Governor Charlie Baker Addresses MassChallenge gathering. (Photo by Mark Steffen) Boston’s Innovation District was abuzz this week as several hundred entrepreneurs, business leaders and public officials attended the launch of the 6th MassChallenge Startup Accelerator competition. This year’s announcement took place simultaneously in Boston, Jerusalem and London, which officials say is an indication of Massachusetts’ success in exporting innovative ideas. Billed as the world’s largest accelerator, the MassChallenge program selects about 200 startups each year to participate in four-month accelerators in Boston and London, where they receive a variety of support, ranging from free resources and office space to mentorship and access to global networks. A final group of finalists also compete for millions of dollars in cash awards to help build their companies. According to MassChallenge, anyone with an early-stage startup can apply for the awards, from any industry and from anywhere in the world. MassChallenge does not take equity or place any restrictions on the startups it supports. Applications for these programs are open from February 11 through April 1, 2015. Entrepreneurs can apply here. In Boston, Governor Charlie Baker delivered a keynote at MassChallenge headquarters, expressing ongoing support for entrepreneurship in Massachusetts and praising MassChallenge as a global leader of innovation-driven economic development. “As a massive engine of job creation and economic growth, entrepreneurship makes Massachusetts great,” Baker said. “MassChallenge has an outstanding track record of attracting great startups and talent to the Commonwealth,” adding that the UK and Israel affiliates offer “proof that Massachusetts’ own unique brand of innovation is the standard for helping entrepreneurs launch and grow all over the world.” MassChallenge CEO John Harthorne said the concurrent launch in three cities “demonstrates the potential for our international network,” adding that “more entrepreneurs will gain access to the resources they need, with no equity taken.” Scott Bailey, managing director of MassChallenge Boston, announced several new initiatives, including alumni, industry and international committees to provide value to MassChallenge programs. And he welcomed several new MassChallenge sponsors, including Bühler, PepsiCo, Bose, Boehringer Ingelheim, Aetna, and Smith & Nephew. And finally, MassDevelopment is supporting the imminent launch of MADE@ MassChallenge, a makerspace for current and former start-up clients of MassChallenge. Slated to open March 10, 2015, the 5,000 square foot space with hardware and prototyping capabilities will provide entrepreneurs with expert training, equipment and office spaces with no equity taken. “MassDevelopment is thrilled to announce a grant of $200,000 to help to launch MADE@MassChallenge,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “This funding will stimulate innovation by early-stage entrepreneurs and build on the partnerships between entrepreneurial companies and manufacturers in Massachusetts.” Find out more about MassChallenge here.
Massachusetts Senate Conducting “Commonwealth Conversations” in February & March
The Massachusetts Senate has launched a state wide listening tour called Commonwealth Conversations, a series of grassroots forums designed to connect state legislators directly with constituents to hear their ideas, concerns and suggestions. The series kicked off on February 4, 2015 in Western Massachusetts, and continues on Wednesday, February 11 with a public forum in Central Massachusetts being held at 6:30 p.m. at the UMass Medical School – Aaron Lazare Medical Research Building in Worchester. Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg noted recently that “the best ideas are often found not within these halls but in our neighborhoods and our coffee shops, in our board rooms and union halls, in our office break rooms and at our family tables.” In a video announcing the Commonwealth Conversations, Senate President Rosenberg was joined by Senator Bruce E. Tarr, Minority Leader of the MA Senate, and Senator Michael. J. Rodrigues, Chair of the Commonwealth Conversations. Senator Tarr said, “These forums are part of an effort to make your government even more accessible and responsive to you. State Senators from around the Commonwealth will be listening to what you have to say, and working hard to make sure they carry your voices and your ideas back to Beacon Hill.” “So that’s where your Senators will be over the next few weeks,” Rosenberg continued, “listening to your ideas, and following up on our promise of shared leadership with the people of the Commonwealth.” Here is a schedule of the upcoming forums: February 23 / North Shore February 25 / South Shore March 2 / Metro West March 4 / Metro Boston March 11 / South Coast March 18 / Southeast For more information, visit Commonwealth Conversations web site, and follow on Twitter #MAConvos.
Baker-Polito Administration Announces Plan to Close FY15 Budget Gap
(Photo: Mike Deehan/ State House News Service) Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito today announced a series of proposals to close the Fiscal Year 15 (FY 15) budget gap recently identified by the Administration. The fixes include a combination of the Governor’s 9C authority to adjust Executive Branch spending, as well as legislation for additional spending reductions, non-tax revenue adjustments, and other one-time fixes. As originally promised, the plan does not raise taxes, cut local aid, or draw down on the state’s Stabilization Fund. The total budget imbalance addressed for FY 15 was adjusted slightly, from $765 million to $768 million due to updated tax data and other factors such as last week’s winter storm. After today’s proposal, spending for FY 15 is still a 7.7% increase over FY 14. Here is a video of today’s press conference, courtesy of the State House News Service. Read the full press release. For more information about the Baker-Polito Administration, visit Office of the Governor.
Governor Baker Announces Compact to Strengthen Municipal Partnerships
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker today signed his first Executive Order, creating the Community Compact Cabinet, to elevate the Administration’s partnerships with cities and towns in all communities of the Commonwealth. Chaired by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, the Community Compact Cabinet will allow the Governor’s Office to work more closely with leaders from all cities and towns. The announcement was made at the Massachusetts Municipal Association 36th Annual Meeting & Trade Show, taking place at the John B. Hynes Convention Center in Boston. “Karyn and I both served as selectmen in our hometowns and clearly understand the important challenges encountered in our local communities,” said Governor Baker. “I am pleased to sign this Executive Order which gives cities and towns a real seat at the table in our Administration. State and local government are tightly intertwined and with Karyn at the helm of the Community Compact Cabinet, our Administration will be better equipped to respond to their needs and create safer, stronger communities across the Commonwealth.” “This is a critical first step in the right direction for our Administration,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “I look forward to championing this effort throughout the Commonwealth to partner with our hardworking municipalities and pave the way for better and brighter opportunities in our schools and communities.” About Executive Order: • Empowers Lieutenant Governor Polito to be a champion for municipal issues across state government • Restructures the Department of Revenue to include a new Senior Commissioner for the Division of Local Services, reporting directly to the Commissioner • Creates a Community Compact Cabinet that will work toward mutual accountability, work to reduce red tape, promote best practices, and develop specific “community compacts” with local governments. • These community compacts will create clear, mutual standards, expectations, and accountability for both the state and municipalities as we seek to create better government for our citizens. This Executive Order will revoke and supersede Executive Order 537, which was invoked under the previous Administration in September 2011 and relegated municipal affairs to the Executive Office of Administration and Finance. Next week, Lt. Governor Polito will kick-off a statewide tour to meet with local mayors and address ways to strengthen partnerships in our communities. Polito will discuss the $100 million in new Chapter 90 funding that was released on the Administration’s first day in office to fund local road and bridge repairs for every city and town in the Commonwealth. The Baker Administration has pledged to protect local aid, funding for the homelessness and the Department of Children and Families.
Charlie Baker Becomes Governor of Massachusetts on January 8, 2015
(Photo Courtesy of State House News) Charlie Baker was sworn into office as the 72nd Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on Thursday, January 8, 2015. Governor Baker delivered his inaugural address to the joint session of the Massachusetts state legislature at the State House in Boston. Here is the text of Governor Baker’s remarks. Karyn Polito was then sworn in as Lt. Governor of the Commonwealth. Here are Lt. Governor Polito’s remarks. Governor Baker joins an illustrious list of governors from Massachusetts that dates back to John Hancock (1789-1793). Contact the Governor’s Office here, and follow Governor Baker on twitter.
Massachusetts Convention Center Authority Meetings to Generate $610 million economic impact in 2015
The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) has a full slate of major meetings and conventions booked for 2015, which are projected to bring more than 900,000 attendees to Boston, generating 615,000 hotel room nights and $610 million in economic impact. James E. Rooney, executive director of the MCCA, says, “In 2015 we will welcome some of the world’s most important events to Boston – many of them repeat customers. Their desire to come to our convention centers and our city is a testament to our world class facilities, our top notch sales and customer service teams, and Boston’s standing as a premier convention destination.” The MCCA convention season is already underway, with the Allied Social Science Association’s Annual Meeting at the Hynes, which ran from January 2-5, followed by the “Let’s Be Great” Inaugural Celebration for Massachusetts Governor-elect Charlie Baker at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on Thursday, January 8, 2015. Events expected to generate the largest hotel room nights in 2015 include: • 49,115 American Diabetes Association (June, BCEC) • 29,900 Experimental Biology (March, BCEC) • 26,520 Heart Rhythm Society (May, BCEC) • 27,960 Leading Age (November, BCEC) • 25,080 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (April, BCEC) • 25,050 American Chemical Society (August, BCEC) • 23,265 NAFSA Association of Internal Educators (May, BCEC) • 19,280 Allied Social Science (January, Hynes) • 19,235 American College of Physicians Internal Medicine (April, BCEC) Among the major conventions returning to Boston this year are the Yankee Dental Congress with 26,700 attendees (January 29-31) and New England Grows with 16,000 attendees (February 4-6). BCEC will again host popular public events such as the New England International Auto Show (January 15-19), the Boston RV & Camping Expo (January 17-19), and the New England Boat Show (February 14-22). Other notable events in 2015 include the New England Region Volleyball Association’s Pre-Qualifier in March, which will transform the BCEC’s exhibit halls into nearly 20 regulation-sized volleyball courts; the return of PAX East Expo in March, the largest video gaming conference in New England; and the International Association of Convention Centre’s (AIPC) Annual Conference and General Assembly at the Hynes in July. AIPC is the industry association for professional convention and exhibition center managers worldwide. “We have a busy year with much hard work ahead of us,” says Rooney. “We will be focused on executing exceptional events for our customers, and working simultaneously on our expansion and hotel development efforts in the South Boston Waterfront. It’s an exciting time for the MCCA, and we look forward to sharing more successes throughout the next year and for many years to come.”
EDIP projects support 18 Massachusetts companies in job growth and business expansion
(Photo from Joseph’s Gourmet Pasta Company in Haverhill) The Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) approved eighteen projects for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP) at its quarterly meeting this week. These projects are expected to create 1,696 new jobs and retain 4,491 existing jobs, while leveraging over $342 million in private investment and supporting construction projects across Massachusetts. Among the approved projects are seven manufacturing companies and eight projects located in Gateway Cities. The EDIP program is considered one of Massachusetts’ most effective programs to help businesses grow, offering tax credits and other incentives to companies that make qualifying investments in new facilities and in creating new jobs. Michael Hunter, Executive Director of Massachusetts Office of Business Development, says that “supporting companies that are choosing to grow in Massachusetts is one of the Administration’s key economic development objectives,” adding that such investments “make our communities strong in the long term.” Below are the projects approved at the EACC meeting. Read a full description of each project here. Manufacturing Retention Projects (MRP) Golden Fleece Manufacturing Group LLC dba Southwick / Brooks Brothers Group, Inc. (Haverhill) Joseph’s Gourmet Pasta Company (Haverhill) Easypak, LLC (Leominster) Hoff’s Kitchen Co. Inc. (Malden) Expansion Projects (EP) Archgrove Hospitality, Inc. (Amesbury) LogMeIn, Inc. (Boston) Hudson Lock (Hudson) Potpourri Group, Inc. / PHI Acquisitions, Inc. (Littleton) AMT BioProducts Corp (New Bedford) Mohawk Fine Papers Inc. (South Hadley) Job Creation Projects (JCP) Fiksu (Boston) Wayfair, LLC (Boston) Demandware (Burlington) SimpliVity Corporation (Westborough) Local Incentive Only Projects - (Note: the following projects applied to the EACC solely for approval of their local Tax Increment Financing or Special Tax Assessment Agreements and will not receive an EDIP Investment Tax Credit): M.S. Walker, Inc. (Dedham) GE Healthcare (Marlborough) 21 East Living LLC / Bourne Avenue Capital Partners (North Attleboro) Martignetti Grocery Co., Inc. / Sixty Cross Street LLC / Martignetti Corp. (Taunton) Fore more information about the EDIP and the Local Incentive Program, contact the MOBD regional representative in your area.
Green Communities Thrive in Massachusetts
(Photo Courtesy of PV Squared in Greenfield, MA) Massachusetts is getting greener, and that is great news for the cities and towns across the Commonwealth seeking to cut energy costs that ultimately save taxpayer dollars. Just last week, state and local officials announced that 13 more municipalities received the state’s coveted Green Community Designation. The 13 new communities include Ashburnham, Belmont, Dalton, Dudley, Everett, Goshen, Halifax, Lanesborough, Millville, Pembroke, Upton, Warwick and Wellfleet. That brings the total to 136 green communities, more than half of the state’s 351 cities and towns. The Green Community Designation and Grant program is run by the Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EOEE), which rewards communities that meet five clean energy benchmarks: • Provide as-of-right siting in designated locations for renewable/alternative energy generation, research & development, or manufacturing facilities. • Adopt an expedited application and permit process for as-of-right energy facilities. • Establish an energy use baseline and develop a plan to reduce energy use by twenty percent (20%) within five (5) years. • Purchase only fuel-efficient vehicles • Set requirements to minimize life-cycle energy costs for new construction by adopting the new Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) Stretch Code. In addition to recognizing the new communities, Governor Deval Patrick released the program’s first ever progress report , which indicates that seven communities already in the program have achieved a 20 percent reduction in municipal energy: Arlington, Belchertown, Cambridge, Natick, Palmer, Springfield and Sutton. “Today, we mark a significant milestone, with more than half the Commonwealth’s population now residing in a Green Community,” said EOEE Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett. “These 136 communities have committed to locking in energy savings, protecting our environment and saving municipal energy dollars.” Green Communities grants have already supported more than 500 completed projects across the Commonwealth, projected to deliver annual energy cost savings of nearly $4 million. Once they receive the Green Communities designation, cities and towns are eligible for awards to fund local renewable power and energy efficiency projects that advance both municipal and state clean energy goals. Grants awarded so far assist an array of projects across the state, including the installation of solar panels on town office buildings, weatherization at schools and municipal buildings, installation of high-efficiency street lights and a host of energy efficiency upgrades. Here is a video of Green Community participants. The Patrick Administration’s aggressive clean energy initiatives have made Massachusetts a leader in energy efficiency, renewable energy and emissions reductions. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recently named Massachusetts number one for energy efficiency for the fourth consecutive year. In 2007, Massachusetts had just over 3 megawatts each of solar and wind capacity installed. Today there are 699 megawatts of solar installed, with a goal of 1,600 megawatts by 2020. The Commonwealth has installed 107 megawatts of land-based wind and is poised to be home to the nation’s first offshore wind farm. Here is how to become a green community in Massachusetts.
Annual Export Expo Showcases Massachusetts’ Access to Global Markets
(Photo from 2013 Export Expo) By Paula Murphy Export competitiveness is critical to the health of the Massachusetts economy, and the state’s export growth has accelerated in recent years as local businesses actively pursue new global markets. In the first six months of 2014, our exports grew at an impressive 7%, outpacing the national export growth of 3% for the same time period. In order to stay on that upswing, we want Massachusetts businesses to have access to the resources and information they need to succeed in this competitive arena. To that end, we are delighted to host our fifth annual Massachusetts Export Expo on Tuesday, December 9 at the State Transportation Building in Boston. The Export Expo provides a forum for exporters to connect with public and private export resources available in Massachusetts while learning about issues that impact their day-to-day operations. Workshops and roundtable discussions throughout the day address a wide range of export related topics. An exhibit area showcases global freight and transportation companies, trade and business groups, legal and computer services and federal, state and local agencies. And our networking reception at the end of the Expo is a great way to solidify business connections made during the day. This year’s keynote speaker is Peter Harrell, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Counter Threat Finance and Sanctions. Mr. Harrell will discuss the rapidly evolving sanctions environment, including sanctions involving Russia, Iran and other foreign countries, as well as the outlook for sanctions policy development in the near future. Harrell is one of several distinguished speakers who are participating in the Workshops and roundtable discussions. Other speakers include Susan Anthony, Director of the Global Intellectual Property Academy of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, to discuss critical strategies for protecting intellectual property globally; Bernadette Quirk and Michael Smith of U.S. Customs & Border Protection, to discuss new Customs outbound changes and requirements impacting exporters; representatives from leading Massachusetts exporting firms such as adidas Group, AMETEK Aerospace, Analog Devices, CIRCOR International, Draper Labs, Teradyne, Thermo Fisher Scientific and others; as well as global trade experts from leading banks, law firms, forwarding firms and others. The potential for growing Massachusetts’ exports business continues to expand in 2014, thanks to newly-launched direct air freight service between Boston’s Logan International Airport and Mexico City, Tel Aviv, Hong Kong, Beijing, Istanbul and Dubai. We welcome you to attend the Massachusetts Export Expo and learn about the terrific opportunities for Massachusetts companies. You can register here.
Massachusetts Supports Its Creative Economy
Western Massachusetts will soon have the largest contemporary art museum in the nation, thanks to an ambitious expansion taking place at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCa) in North Adams. Phase III of the expansion is underway now, and when it is completed in 2017, the museum will have doubled its gallery space to 250,000 square feet. That is exciting news for the museum, which opened in 1999 on the site of a 19th century mill complex and has gained a global reputation for showcasing large-scale works of art by some of the world’s leading artists. Nearly 120,000 visitors attend exhibits at the museum each year. The $55 million expansion phase got a welcome boost recently when Governor Deval Patrick joined state and local officials, museum leaders and the arts community to announce $25.4 million in state funding. The grant is funded through the Governor’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Capital Plan. The museum has already raised $13.5 million of $30 million in private contributions. “Through funding our creative industry infrastructure, we are continuing to create a more vibrant place for our students to learn, our families to live and our businesses to grow,” Patrick told the audience. Here is a short video on MassMoCa. Governor Patrick has been a strong proponent of the state’s creative industries, which employs over 100,000 people and has a $1 billion economy impact each year. The expanded Mass MoCa will solidify the museum’s link to the North Adams downtown business district through new biking and pedestrian pathways and bridges. That in turn will be good for the tourism industry. “This project will not only attract more visitors to the Berkshires every year, but will also help keep them here longer,” said Joseph Thompson, director of Mass MoCa. Mass MoCa is just one of the excellent art museums in the northwest corner of Massachusetts; others include the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and the Williams College Museum of Art. Here is a list of museums throughout Massachusetts. Governor Patrick’s FY 2015 Capital Plan also provides $15 million for the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund to help increase investments from both the public sector and private sector to support the sound planning and development of cultural facilities across Massachusetts. The Patrick Administration has invested nearly $70 million in the Massachusetts creative sector in projects in 118 cities and towns since 2007.
Massachusetts Champions New College Campus in City of Brockton
The City of Brockton is about to get a college campus, thanks to the Downtown Brockton Higher Education Collaborative. And that is great news for this proud Gateway City, long known as the City of Champions. Earlier this week, Governor Deval Patrick gathered with state and local officials, educators, businesses and residents to discuss this one-of-a-kind new campus center to be located at 229 Main Street at the corner of Belmont Street. The campus will serve about 1,000 students each year; they will benefit from the educational resources of three state schools: Massasoit Community College (MCC), Bridgewater State University (BSU) and the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMB). Finegold Alexander + Associates is the architectural firm that will convert the long-vacant building into the new college center. The existing building dates back to 1927. The $21.5 million, state-funded project is part of Governor Patrick’s strategy to invest in education, innovation and infrastructure as a way to stimulate economic development. Along with the educational opportunities and access being offered to local residents, the new campus will offer online education materials that use effective and innovative learning technologies. The project itself will create nearly 250 construction jobs and permanent educational jobs. Proponents expect that the new campus will stimulate the revitalization of downtown Brockton, and that small businesses will flourish as a result. It will also increase pedestrians in the downtown area. Funding for the $21.5 million project, which is being spread over five years, was included in Governor Patrick’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 – 2019 Capital Investment Plan. During the Patrick Administration, the Commonwealth completed or has under construction projects at every one of the states’ 29 public campuses. In September, Governor Patrick officially opened a new University of Massachusetts Center in downtown Springfield, designed to expand educational opportunities in the Pioneer Valley. The Patrick Administration has also been committed to closing achievement gaps where they are most persistent. The Governor’s Gateway Cities Education Agenda provides targeted and differentiated support to English Language learners and better prepares high school students for career success. The agenda utilizes tools provided by the 2010 Achievement Gap Act, a sweeping education reform bill that gives educators the resources they need to dramatically improve student outcomes.
Massachusetts Launches Partnership to Connect Startups with Established Manufacturers
(Caption: Greentown Labs Executive Director Emily Reichert, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Secretary of EOHED Gregory Bialecki, MassDevelopment CEO Marty Jones, Principal at Tyson Associates Mitch Tyson, and MassMEP Director of Operations Jack Healy) Photo Courtesy of Greentown Labs A new partnership between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the advanced manufacturing industry, and the innovation collaborative space movement will create new synergies that can connect local startup companies with manufacturers. The partnership includes MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency; the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP), an organization seeking to strengthen the state’s advanced manufacturing sector; and Greentown Labs in Somerville, one of the state’s success stories in creating innovative collaborative space for mixed-uses. Officials say the partnership will help startups to achieve their potential, manufacturers to increase their access/exposure to the latest technological trends, and the Commonwealth to grow its manufacturing sector. Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development spoke at the announcement, and noted that the combined efforts of these three groups “will help emerging manufacturers take their ideas from concept to company.” Emily Reichert, PhD, CEO of Greentown Labs, described Greentown Labs as “a community of entrepreneurs solving the world’s biggest energy and environmental challenges….we want our companies to know they have many options to stay and grow their businesses here in Massachusetts.” Marty Jones, President and CEO of MassDevelopment, said, “Working with Greentown Labs and MassMEP, we will make sure that clean-green companies not only continue to come up with their ideas in Massachusetts, but that they will build their companies in the Commonwealth.” Jack Healy, Director of Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership, said, “The strength of the manufacturing base in Massachusetts benefits the Greentown Labs’ start-ups as they move from bench-top ideas to larger scale commercial success.” “Greentown and MassMEP will develop a network and best practices for both startups and manufacturers through a series of educational workshops and collaborative projects,” according to a blog post by Micaelah Morrill, program manager of the manufacturing initiative. This project will launch with a pilot involving 40 companies that will lead to a broader program. The new partnership is a continuation of manufacturing initiatives launched during the Administration of Governor Deval Patrick, including the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative, which Bialecki says “focused unprecedented attention and resources on this critical innovative sector.” In October, Massachusetts celebrated National Manufacturing Day throughout the week with a series of events across the Commonwealth that highlighted the manufacturing industry.
Boston one of four finalists in the Audi Urban Future Initiative
Boston is one of four cities – along with Mexico City, Berlin and Seoul – competing to develop innovative solutions to mobility in the future. Known as the Audi Urban Future Initiative, this multidisciplinary exercise examines a wide range of urban challenges and possible solutions that involve new generations of technology. Congratulations to all the participants.
Massachusetts and Guangzhou, China Re-establish trade and cultural ties dating back 230 years
by Hunter Richard In August, the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI) led a delegation of economic development and cultural leaders from Massachusetts to Guangzhou, China to participate in a celebration and business forum commemorating the 230th Anniversary of the Sailing of the Empress of China. Sponsored by Oceanwide Consulting and the China Zhigong Party, the mission afforded an opportunity to promote Massachusetts as a destination for foreign investment, tour the region’s special development and biotech zones, and strengthen sister-state relations between Massachusetts and Guangdong. Participants included Richard Elam, Executive Director of MOITI, Hunter Richard, Manager of Business Development at MOITI; John Barros, Chief of Economic Development for the City of Boston; Thomas Paine, Vice President of Ager Group Inc. and an Overseer of the Massachusetts Historical Society; Robert Pierce Forbes, a trustee of the Forbes House Museum in Milton and a fifth-generation descendant of China trade Captain Robert Bennet Forbes; and Sherry Dong, President of the Chinese Historical Society of New England. Massachusetts played an important role in Guangzhou’s rise as a major destination for American merchants following the Revolutionary War. On February 22, 1784, the Boston-built Empress of China departed New York and began a 188 day voyage around the world carrying 10,000 pounds of Virginia-grown Ginseng root, Spanish silver dollars, and a 42-man crew. The ship arrived in Guangzhou on August 28, 1784 and established trade and diplomatic relations between the Chinese Empire and the newly formed United States. New England merchants from the ports of Boston, Salem, and others acquired large fortunes from the China trade that flourished at the turn of the 18th century. Today, that fascinating story is highlighted by the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem and the Forbes House Museum in Milton. During the three-day mission, the delegation attended the opening of a new exhibit at the Whampoa Old Fort highlighting the Empress of China and its role in building trade and diplomatic relationship between Guangzhou and the United States. The delegation also toured several historical sites of the city, the Zhujiang New Town development zone, and Guangzhou’s biotech island. After visiting several local companies, members of the delegation discussed the benefits of doing business in Massachusetts in a forum that brought together over 100 local business leaders and investors. Most notable, John Barros and the Mayor of Guangzhou, Chen Jianhua, signed an agreement to boost business and cultural ties between the two cities. MOITI also presented a proclamation signed by the Massachusetts Legislature designating August 28th, 2014 as “Guangzhou, Guangdong – Boston, Massachusetts Day.” Guangzhou is China’s third largest city and is home to over 12 million residents. Located in the Pearl River Delta west of Hong Kong, Guangzhou is a major manufacturing hub that has embraced an ambitious plan to redevelop wide sections of the city, modernize infrastructure, and transition to an advanced economy based on services, biotech, and innovation. The port has played an important role in the China trade, serving as the port of entry for foreign commerce and diplomacy from the 1700’s through World War II. Under Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms, Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province, experienced significant economic growth and a rise of manufacturing of goods for export. In 1983, Governor Michael Dukakis and Governor Liang Lingguang of Guangdong established sister state relations. In an effort to strengthen these ties, MOITI will soon welcome a reverse delegation of business and political leaders from Guangdong in early 2015.
Massachusetts Proud of Its Global Engagement Strategy to Stimulate Economic Growth
(Caption: Governor Deval Patrick addresses the forum.) Photo by Hunter Richard. by Richard Elam On November 7th, the Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment (MOITI) hosted an all-day forum entitled Strengthening Our Global Ties to Create Growth and Opportunity in Massachusetts at District Hall in Boston’s Innovation District. The forum showcased the strengths of Massachusetts and outlined the benefits for International companies and investors doing business in the Commonwealth. Nearly 200 invited guests attended, including internationally-focused state and quasi-state partners in MA; international companies that have recently expanded to MA; representatives of international trade and investment promotion agencies; members of the MA Consular Corps; international and local investors; and companies considering establishing operations in MA. Greg Bialecki, secretary of Housing & Economic Development, opened the forum by introducing Governor Deval Patrick, who stressed the importance of his trade missions, long term international relationship building and the need to seek global partnerships that allow Massachusetts to grow its vibrant innovation economy. “Massachusetts is already a national leader in the innovation economy, but we can’t compete by just looking inward,” Governor Patrick said. “In order for Massachusetts to create lasting growth and opportunity for our residents, we must compete for jobs on the international playing field. The work we’ve accomplished over the last eight years has raised the Commonwealth’s profile in the global arena.” Following the governor’s comments, welcomed news came from Dean Bruce Magid of Brandeis University International Business School, who announced his school’s plans to build a new multi-million dollar Innovation Center. The five panel discussions taking place throughout the day focused on education, innovation and infrastructure, the cornerstones of Governor Patrick’s economic development strategy. Nearly three dozen leaders from their respective fields provided fascinating insights into how international companies make investment and relocation decisions; how they connect with the state’s educational and workforce assets; and how Massachusetts’ overall quality of life and tradition of innovation provide confidence to prospective investors. In fact, many panelists cited the governor’s focus on education, innovation and infrastructure as a primary reason for choosing to invest in Massachusetts. These proponents have become our state’s ambassadors and continue to promote Massachusetts as an ideal location for investment, growth and opportunity. Here are biographies of the speakers. Based on this successful event, MOITI plans to host an annual International Trade and Investment forum, and, starting in 2015, to organize a series of smaller quarterly events that target specific countries. These events will highlight opportunities for collaboration with key countries which share a direct international route with MA and which share synergies in their focus on Innovation as a means to economic growth. Since taking office in 2007, Governor Patrick has worked to foster opportunities for Massachusetts to grow and compete in a global economy. From Europe to Asia to Latin America, the Patrick Administration has compiled a strong record of engaging both established and emerging economies to promote job creation and expanded economic opportunity in the Commonwealth. On nine separate missions organized and directed by MOITI, Governor Patrick has led coalitions of the Commonwealth’s leading business executives, trade association representatives, state economic development officials, and emerging sector leaders on innovation economy development missions to fourteen different countries. The missions are categorized below and have resulted in over several global economic development partnerships and 16 total Memorandums of Understanding: • MA- Europe Innovation Partnership Mission (2014) • MA – Israel/UAE Innovation Partnership Mission (2014) • MA – Panama/Mexico Innovation Mission (2014) • MA – Asia Innovation Partnership Mission (2013) • MA – Canada Innovation Partnership Mission (2013) • MA – Colombia Innovation Partnership Mission (2013) • MA – Brazil Innovation Economy Mission (2011) • MA – Israel/UK Innovation Economy Partnership Mission (2011) • MA – China Innovation Partnership Mission (2007) For more information on this event or related future events as well as involvement in MOITI directed trade missions, please contact MOITI’s Executive Director, Richard Elam email@example.com Read MOITI digital brochure here.
Massachusetts Announces New Direct Flights Between Boston & Tel Aviv on El Al Israel Airlines
Massachusetts’ global engagement strategies continued to bear fruit this week with the announcement that El Al Israel Airlines is starting nonstop service between Logan International Airport and Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport, beginning in summer 2015. Officials believe the new route will make it easier to expand opportunities between the Commonwealth and Israel for economic development and job creation in the innovation economy sectors, and to strengthen import/export, tourism and cultural ties. Governor Deval Patrick, who made the announcement at the State House, stated that “Non-stop service to Tel Aviv will open up new commercial and economic opportunities for Massachusetts and the region. This and similar service expansions are how we bolster the Commonwealth’s competitiveness.” Last year, a report by the New England-Israel Business Council underscored the impact of Israeli-founded companies on the Massachusetts economy that has grown significantly in recent years, following the Governor’s 2011 trade mission to Israel. According to that study, Israeli-founded companies in Massachusetts booked $6.2 billion in revenue in the state in 2012 and employed nearly 6,700 people. The study also found that the growth rate of Israeli companies in Massachusetts is five times that of the Massachusetts economy as a whole. El Al will use Boeing 767-300ER aircraft with 218 seats, including 22 business class seats, with three round-trips per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. El Al’s codeshare partner, JetBlue, is providing onward connections from El Al’s Boston flights to 54 destinations in the U.S. and Caribbean. The expansion of international air routes out of Logan Airport is part of the state’s global engagement strategy to build upon Massachusetts’ reputation as a center of innovation, education, medicine and economic opportunities. Since 2012, Massport has introduced new air routes between Boston and Tokyo, Panama, Dubai, Istanbul and Beijing, and in August announced a direct route between Boston and Hong Kong to begin in May 2015. “Nonstop international flights to and from Logan stimulate our economy and our region,” said Thomas P Glynn, Massport’s CEO. “This new service helps open new doors and new possibilities. Logan is truly New England’s gateway to the world.’’ As with all international flights, there are exciting new possibilities for tourism and cultural exchange between Massachusetts and Israel. “Direct flights pave the way for further strengthening of Israel- U.S. ties, both economically and culturally,” said Israel’s Consul General Yehuda Yaakov. “We look forward to seeing even more of our New England friends exploring firsthand our diverse society and rich history.” Boston Logan Airport serves as the gateway to the six New England states, offering nonstop service to 76 domestic and 41 international destinations and handling 30 + million passengers in 2013. Over the past decade, the airport spent $4.5 billion on a modernization program that includes new terminals, public transportation access, parking facilities, roadways and airport concessions, transforming itself into a world-class 21st Century facility. The airport generates $8 billion in total economic impact each year.
STRENGTHENING OUR GLOBAL TIES TO CREATE GROWTH & OPPORTUNITY IN MASSACHUSETTS
The Massachusetts Office of Trade & International Investment is hosting a forum today to discuss ways in which increased global engagement helps the Massachusetts economy grow. Featured speakers include Governor Deval Patrick, EOHED Secretary Greg Bialecki, MOITI Director Rich Elam, as well as CEOs from international companies and state and local leaders from government, business and academia. Here is the Schedule of Events and speaker biographies.
Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development: Transition of State Government
Here is the transition video of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development , narrated by EOHED secretary Greg Bialecki.
Governor Deval Patrick: Transition of State Government
Governor Deval Patrick unveiled his Transition of State Government initiative with a series of transition videos to help ensure a smooth passage from his administration to Governor-elect Charlie Baker. “Congratulations to the Governor-elect, Lieutenant Governor-elect and their team on winning the election,” Governor Patrick said. “Now it’s time to prepare to govern, and we hope this website will help you and all citizens understand the substance of the work of this Administration as you assume continuing responsibility for it.”
Economic Growth in Western Massachusetts
The Western Mass Business Expo, the largest business-to-business trade show in the region, took place this week at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. The Expo featured over 150 exhibitors, free educational seminars and networking events that attracted over 4,000 participants, many of them business leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators. Governor Deval Patrick, guest speaker at the expo, used the occasion to take stock of the investments in education, innovation and infrastructure his Administration has made in western Massachusetts. “We are a more prosperous, more promising and more just Commonwealth for more people today than we were eight years ago,” Governor Patrick told the audience. “Massachusetts has become a global hub of innovation — in our economy, in government and throughout our society. That’s where our competitive edge lies and why our future is bright.” Among the investments to the region: Earlier this month, Governor Patrick announced a $60 million facility to be built in Springfield for the manufacturing of MBTA rail cars. It will create 150 manufacturing jobs and 100 construction jobs for the greater Springfield area. Last fall, the Governor announced a $200 million investment in Phase 1 of the I-91 Springfield Viaduct project, which will help unlock potential for additional economic and community development opportunities in the region. In May, 2013 Governor Patrick announced $5.2 million in capital funds to complete the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Center at Springfield which is comprised of 10 instructional rooms, including six regular classrooms, one computer classroom, and three nursing classrooms, a computer lab, breakout rooms, conference rooms and space for student counseling and public events and meetings. The Center offers bachelor and master-level courses geared for residents of Pioneer Valley. The Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center in Holyoke supports research computing needs of five of the state’s most research-intensive universities: Boston University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts. In 2010, the Administration committed $25 million in funding to support the Center, coupled with $55 million in investments by academia and private partners, making it the largest investment in Holyoke in 50 years. The Green Center represents the most significant collaboration among government, industry and public and private universities in the history of the Commonwealth. See more about Holyoke here. The Patrick Administration has invested over $33 million in MassWorks funding for infrastructure projects in the Pioneer Valley since 2011, when the program formed. Recent investments include $2 million to create the Springfield Innovation Center in the Springfield Innovation District, and $4.2 million in funding to help redevelop the Union Station Regional Intermodal Transportation Center. The Patrick Administration has worked with local officials and business leaders in Pittsfield to transform the downtown area through innovative programs, creating units of market rate housing and 10 retail spaces complementing the Downtown Arts Overlay District and comprehensive streetscape program. “Governor Patrick has implemented a strategy that has made Massachusetts a leader in the global innovation economy,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki. “By choosing to invest in education, innovation and infrastructure, he has positioned the Commonwealth to continue to thrive for generations to come.” To find out more about business opportunities and economic development in western Massachusetts, contact Mike Vedovelli, Senior Regional Director, Massachusetts Office of Business Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413 733-5357.
Massachusetts Ranked First in Nation for Energy Efficiency Polices and Programs
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has ranked Massachusetts first in the nation for energy efficiency policies and programs in its annual state-by-state scorecard. This is the fourth straight year Massachusetts has led the nation in this coveted category. “We have treated efficiency as our first fuel because saving energy, managing costs and reducing environmental impacts while building a stronger clean tech economy helps fulfill our responsibility to future generations to leave a strong Commonwealth than we found,” said Governor Deval Patrick. See the Massachusetts Score Card Here. The Patrick Administration energy efficiency and clean energy goals were outlined when Governor Patrick first took office in 2008, when he signed the Green Communities Act, the Green Jobs Act and the Global Warming Solutions Act. In fact, ACEEE continues to highlight the Green Communities Act as a central component to Massachusetts’ achievements, since it requires the state’s investor owned electric and natural gas utilities to prepare energy efficiency plans and pursue “all cost effective energy efficiency.” Maeve Vallely Bartlett, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, said that “Massachusetts has made reducing our energy use a priority across state government, municipalities and in our businesses and homes.” Maggie Molina, Program Director of ACEEE Utilities, State and Local Policy, said “Massachusetts has proven that it is possible to save more energy each year while creating jobs, boosting the economy, and ensuring a cleaner environment for years to come.” “Energy efficiency’s benefits go beyond greenhouse gas reductions and lower energy costs – it has become a true economic driver in the Commonwealth,” said Alicia Barton, CEO of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. “Because of the investments Massachusetts has made, there are more than 4,000 companies with over 65,000 workers inventing, delivering, and exporting energy efficiency technologies to national and global markets.” In September 2014, the Governor Patrick announced the 2014 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report, showing that clean energy sector now includes more than 88,000 employees and nearly 6,000 businesses. The clean energy sector in Massachusetts grew by 10.5 percent, the fourth year of double digit growth. Energy efficiency is now the job of more than 65,000 workers in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts’ South Coast Region Gets $8 million in MassWorks Grants
(Photo: Herald News Photo | Jack Foley) The South Coast region of Massachusetts got a boost last week when Governor Deval Patrick announced over $8 million in MassWorks grants for three projects designed to improve infrastructure and spur economic growth. The grants also underscored the Patrick Administration’s commitment to innovation, infrastructure and education as cornerstones of economic development in Massachusetts. “Growth requires investment, and investments like these to support housing and business development will help catalyze growth in the South Coast region and beyond,” said Governor Patrick. “If we want to expand opportunity in our Commonwealth, this is what government must do and do well.” An editorial in the Fall River Herald News praised the Patrick Administration for “planting seeds for growth in Bristol County.” The largest grant of $5 million went to the University of Massachusetts Medical School, for construction of a new bio-manufacturing facility at Fall River’s SouthCoast Life Science and Technology Park. The facility has strong potential to provide significant revenue and job growth. Dr. Michael F. Collins, Chancellor of the Umass Medical School, said, “We are at the beginning of a new era in the development and manufacture of advanced biologics to prevent and treat human diseases. We are confident that this new facility, in addition to playing a major role in life sciences research and development, will also anchor a generation of robust economic development on the South Coast.” The Town of Dartmouth received a $2.2 million grant for infrastructure improvements to the intersection of Route 6, Route 177 and Beeden Road that will help to alleviate congestion and traffic safety concerns. The grant also supports the 42 acre Village at Lincoln Park, where 36 units of family rental housing are slated to be built. The Village at Lincoln Park also includes market rate apartments, 57 single family homes and nearly 80,000 square feet of commercial space. The Town of North Attleboro received $1.3 million for underground utility improvements at East Street Commons, which will fund drainage, sewer, water and roadway upgrades along East Street. The infrastructure improvements will support additional public and private investments including 30,000 square feet of commercial development, 193 housing units, a new Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA) bus station and a new parking area. “By working with our local communities to identify opportunities to support growth and spur regional development we are strengthening our communities where residents can live, work and play,” said Greg Bialecki, secretary of Housing and Economic Development. Administered by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, the MassWorks Infrastructure Program provides a one-stop shop for municipalities seeking funding to support housing, economic development and job creation with a particular emphasis on assisting communities to advance multi-family housing development. In 2013, MassWorks awarded over $79 million for 33 infrastructure grants to support housing, economic development and road safety in communities across the state. For more information on the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, please visit MassWorks or follow the Program on Twitter @MassWorks.
EF Education First Opens North American Headquarters in Cambridge
(Photo Courtesy of Wilson Architects) It’s not every day that political leaders, economic development officials, tourism experts, parks advocates,and educational proponents gather to celebrate a shared enthusiasm, but such was the case this week when EF Education First officially opened its expanded North American headquarters in Cambridge. The Swedish company is a world-wide leader in educational travel and language training, with nearly 1,000 employee based in Massachusetts, and 37,000 people working in 52 countries around the world. Governor Deval Patrick, whose administration has focused on education, innovation and infrastructure as the cornerstones of economic development, told the audience he was thrilled that EF has “chosen the Commonwealth as the place for their continued expansion” in North America. The new headquarters is a public-private partnership success story. Built on land owned by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the former industrial site on the border of Cambridge and Charlestown was awarded to Education First through a competitive bidding process. The 10-floor, 125 million project consists of 230,000 square feet of office space and 31,000 square feet of public space in the company’s ground floor. It has 16 flexible workspaces on each floor, in line with the new collaborative workspace movement taking place in Massachusetts and elsewhere. The glass exterior building, designed by in-house architect Fiona Kennedy, has an open staircase inside, and features a striking glass waterfall cascading down the façade. The bottom floors house a restaurant with outdoor seating overlooking the Charles River, a bike room and Hubway bicycle station, private showers, a salon and fitness center. “Fostering this type of growth and infrastructure is evidence of how Massachusetts is a leader in economic development.” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki. As part of the project, EF has agreed to maintain and make improvements to portions of North Point Park, a public park overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. Referring to the new headquarters location, Edward Hult, CEO of EF North America, said, “With new public parks, pedestrian connectivity, and billions of dollars in development activity happening on both sides of the River, it’s clear that what was once referred to as ‘the lost ½-mile of the Charles’ has been found.” Congressman Michael Capuano, who represents Cambridge as part of the Congressional 7th District, said the new facility will increase local access to EF’s many educational programs while adding jobs to the local economy. Student travel is a $30 billion industry, according to Carylann Assante, executive director of the Student & Youth and Travel Association, who told The Boston Globe that EF is one of the largest companies in this lucrative market.
Economic Impact Award Finalists Call A “Gateway City” Home
(Caption:Massachusetts Gateway Cities. Top l-r: Lowell, Brockton, Lawrence; Bottom L-r: Leominster, Chicopee, Fall River.) (Information for this blog was submitted by MassEcon) Gateway Cities may have been overshadowed in the past by the well-known economic hubs of Boston and Cambridge, but recently, Gateway Cities have been getting more well-deserved attention for playing a significant role in the Commonwealth’s economy, both from public officials and in the private sector by organizations like MassEcon. Nearly 40% of the finalists for MassEcon’s 11th Annual Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards call one of the 26 Massachusetts Gateway Cities home: Affordable Interior Systems in Leominster; Asahi/America and Solectria Renewables in Lawrence; PlumChoice in Lowell; Crown Uniform & Linen Service in Brockton; Matouk in Fall River; Menck Windows in Chicopee; and Nuclea Biotechnologies in Pittsfield. These companies represent a variety of industries – from manufacturing to commercial laundry to bio-pharmaceutical to luxury textile industries – and, along with the 13 other finalist companies from around the Commonwealth, they have been recognized by MassEcon for their expansion, investment, jobs and community involvement. The finalist companies in Gateway Cities have made significant contributions to their communities by investing nearly $69 million in properties, expanding in more than 800,000 square feet and adding 370 jobs since January 1, 2013. Representatives from each of these companies joined the other finalists on September 17 at a reception hosted at Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP where they delivered their company’s stories. Finalists will be awarded Gold, Silver, and Bronze standings at the Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards Luncheon on November 25 at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. These winners will be announced during the week of September 29. Click here for the latest updates. MassEcon has recognized the growth of companies in Gateway Cities with its Economic Impact Awards, and also with its ReadyMass100 program. Since launching the ReadyMass100 program just five years ago, MassEcon has gained a strong presence in 26 properties in 14 of the Gateway Cities, covering more than 604 acres and more than 2.5 million square feet. Each of the ReadyMass 100 properties has been rigorously evaluated by a team of real estate experts in concert with state partners and is certified for immediate occupancy or development. The properties have met key criteria relating to infrastructure, permitting, size and readiness. This chart illustrates the presence of ReadyMass100 properties in Gateway Cities throughout the Commonwealth: For more information regarding Gateway Cities visit MassEcon.com or contact MassEcon Senior Director Doug Kehlhem at email@example.com
Massachusetts Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month through October 15
(Photograph: Courtesy of IBA-Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion) Massachusetts is celebrating the 26th annual Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15-October 15, 2014, with events taking place that recognize the contributions and experiences of Latino constituencies around the Commonwealth. Governor Deval Patrick issued an official proclamation for Hispanic Heritage Month which he presented to community leaders at a special event held at the State House on October 1. There was a display of Hispanic artists and musical expression, and an opportunity for networking to continue the advancement and collaboration in leadership roles. Speaking on the theme of the gathering, “Civic Reflections: Promoting Diversity in Leadership,” Governor Patrick talked about the importance of community that is the hallmark of Hispanics and other ethnic communities, adding, “If we keep that sense of community alive, if we make it an integral part of the work we are doing in and between government and our citizens, I’m confident our best days are ahead.” The Patrick Administration has recognized the needs of this emerging community and continues to advance a range of social and public policies that have positively impacted the economic, social and political climate of Latinos. Governor Patrick’s proclamation recognizes that the nations of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and Chile, all celebrate their independence between September 15 and September 18. A number of other celebrations have taken place around the Commonwealth. In Springfield, the Massachusetts Latino Chamber of Commerce held its 10th annual Hispanic Heritage Gala, as a way of recognizing “outstanding entrepreneurs, corporations and government leaders for their accomplishments and contributions to the Latino Business community,” said Carlos Gonzalez, founder and president of the Chamber. In Boston, El Mundo newspaper hoisted its annual Hispanic Heritage Breakfast, and honored Boston Marathon hero Carlos Arrendondo and his wife Melida Arrenondo. Jose Masso III, host of Boston’s popular radio show, Con Salsa, was given the Lifetime Achievement Award for his influence in promoting Hispanic culture in Massachusetts for over four decades. Last month, the New England Patriots Charitable Fund presented its Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award to Dr. Vanessa Calderon-Rosado, Ph.D., CEO of the IBA-Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion, for her dedication serving and giving back to the Latino community. According to the U.S. Census Bureau data, there are 53 million Hispanics in the U.S. In Massachusetts, over 10% of the state’s 6.6 million residents identify themselves as Hispanic or Latino. The Latino population is rapidly growing; as such social issues similar to other minority communities are prevalent. Find out more about National Hispanic Heritage Month by visiting the United States Library of Congress. Finally, if you’re looking to experience the best of Latin music in Massachusetts, check out the Holyoke Latin Jazz Festival, taking place on Friday, October 10 at the War Memorial Building in Holyoke.
Manufacturing is alive and well in the Commonwealth
By Greg Bialecki Thanks to an unprecedented focus by the Patrick Administration and an innovative partnership with the private sector, manufacturing is alive and well in the Commonwealth with nearly 250,000 people now working in manufacturing in the state. These aren’t the factories of your grandparents’ or even parents’ generations; today’s manufacturing employees earn competitive middle-class wages in jobs that challenge their brains and utilize their skills. The Commonwealth’s more than 7,000 manufacturers make some of the best high-tech products in the robotics, medical devices and defense fields, as well as household goods, from food to clothing, in the world. Even economic-development novices know that Massachusetts has become a global leader in the innovation economy due to our strengths in education, technology and entrepreneurship. This intellectual competitive edge has set the foundation for the Commonwealth to assert its leadership in manufacturing as well. In every region of Massachusetts, manufacturers have succeeded by relying on a highly skilled workforce, adopting new technologies, and focusing on innovation. But as Baby Boomers retire over the decade, the manufacturing sector will have tens of thousands of vacant jobs from those losses alone. Recent trends suggest that manufacturers will have to not only fill these vacancies, but will have other job openings to offer as well. The trend extends far beyond the inner core. In September, Nypro celebrated the grand opening of its new medical device manufacturing facility in Devens, the home of 15 manufacturers according to a July UMass Donahue Institute report. In October, AccuRounds in Avon will hold an open house to celebrate its recent expansion. Throughout Massachusetts, and especially in our Gateway Cities, advanced manufacturing is leading to growth and opportunities of all different kinds. The U.S. industrial revolution started in Massachusetts. And the building blocks for a 21st century manufacturing renaissance in Massachusetts are coming into place through a partnership of our state’s educators, the business community and public sector. The Commonwealth has prioritized keeping and expanding the nation’s best educated workforce. Throughout Massachusetts, regional partnerships of manufacturers, vocational schools, community colleges, and workforce leaders are developing innovative programs that allow people of different ages and backgrounds to train for manufacturing jobs. The Patrick Administration and the Legislature recently created a $12 million Middle Skills Trust Fund to accelerate the impact of these programs. A new $10 million capital program will make sure that students are trained on the latest, industry-relevant equipment. MassDevelopment, the Commonwealth’s quasi-governmental economic-development authority, has recently launched two initiatives: an on-line portal that serves as a one-stop center for manufacturers to find the assistance they need and a promotional campaign (AMP it up!) to encourage young people and their adult influencers to pursue manufacturing careers. Thanks to Governor Patrick’s leadership, manufacturing is alive and well in the Commonwealth. We must continue our efforts and expand opportunities throughout the Commonwealth for students to get good jobs that lead to satisfying careers. In doing so, we will ensure the economic prosperity of the Commonwealth for years to come. (This article originally appeared in the Enterprise News on September 29, 2014) Greg Bialecki is Secretary of Housing and Economic Development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Celebrates National Manufacturing Day
(Caption: State officials celebrated National Manufacturing Day in 2013 at Crane Stationary in North Adams.) by Marty Jones If Halloween isn’t your style of celebration, there are plenty of other holidays throughout October. You can reminisce about the contents of childhood sandwiches on National Bologna Day, step away from the computer on Information Overload Day, and bestow a personality on your beloved vehicle on National Name Your Car Day. Or, you can reserve October 3 on your calendar and join hundreds around the Commonwealth to celebrate National Manufacturing Day, a holiday that is less Mad Hatter and more nuts-and-bolts, with a real economic impact for Massachusetts. Manufacturing is the one of the largest sectors in Massachusetts, with more than 7,500 companies employing 250,000 workers. For reasons such as the recession and outdated, negative perceptions of manufacturing, this industry is often overlooked by young people and their adult influencers. That lack of awareness means that while manufacturers will need to hire up to 100,000 new workers in the next 10 years as current employees retire, today’s students aren’t prepared with the highly technical math, computing, and engineering skills required to fill the openings. These jobs pay well – an average salary of $75,000 They’re also exciting, cutting-edge career options for people looking to play an active role in creating some of the world’s most interesting products, from smartphones to wind turbines and life-saving drugs. National Manufacturing Day, which in Massachusetts is part of Advanced Manufacturing Week, can help to banish these cobwebbed perceptions of the industry and highlight the bright future in manufacturing careers. To encourage schools and manufacturers to collaborate, MassDevelopment is celebrating October 3 by launching a contest through AMP it up!, our campaign to promote advanced manufacturing as a viable and attractive career path (stay tuned that day for more details). AMP it up! matching-grant recipients are also hosting events around the state, so check out an open house, tour, or speaking program near you. MassDevelopment manages the redevelopment of Devens, a 4,400-acre community in north-central Massachusetts that has a high concentration of advanced manufacturing companies. To showcase the opportunities and work of those companies, we’re holding a mini manufacturing trade show with businesses such as Vitasoy, Eglomise Designs, FIBA Technologies, and Laddawn. Students, teachers, guidance counselors, and all those interested in manufacturing in Massachusetts are welcome to attend. So, on October 3, grab your bologna sandwich, clear your mind, and drive Pamela the Prius to one of the Commonwealth’s many manufacturing companies. You’ll find a lot worth celebrating. Marty Jones is President and CEO of MassDevelopment.
Employers in 495/MetroWest are Optimistic About the Region’s Economic Future
By Paul Matthews For the second straight year, the 495/MetroWest Partnership’s 2014 Business Climate Survey shows a high rate of optimism in the business community about improving economic conditions in the year ahead. The survey showed that 69% of responding employers believed that the economy will improve over the coming year, and close to one-third plan on hiring, with 12% planning additional expansion. First launched in 2013 by the 495/MetroWest Partnership, Framingham State University, and the business publication MetroWest495 BIZ, the Business Climate Survey was designed to gauge employer confidence in an economically crucial region of the state, with an annual payroll in excess of $19 billion. Due to the interest in the findings by the private sector, developers, municipal officials, legislators, and others, this year’s survey had an even higher response rate and provided greater context on the region’s business climate. The three factors most frequently cited in the survey for locating in 495/MetroWest were proximity to clients, affordability of real estate, and the skilled labor force. To provide context to these points, prior Partnership analyses have shown our region’s commercial real estate to have a 34% price advantage to submarkets closer to Boston, and half of our residents have college degrees, with nearly 20% having graduate degrees. The 2014 survey was conducted in July, with additional outreach by the Corridor Nine Area Chamber, the Marlborough Regional Chamber, the MetroWest Chamber, the Milford Area Chamber, and the United Regional Chamber. For a detailed analysis of survey results by Dr. Michael Harrison, Assistant Professor in FSU’s Business Department, as well as further background on the employer survey, go to www.495partnership.org. Additionally, detailed coverage of the survey results can be found in the August edition of MetroWest495 BIZ. Paul Matthews is Executive Director of the 495/MetroWest Partnership
Massachusetts Proclaims Advanced Manufacturing Week, September 29-October 3, 2014
Commonwealth of Massachusetts A Proclamation His Excellency Governor Deval L. Patrick Whereas: Massachusetts manufacturers are world-class companies that are an essential part of the state’s innovation economy; and Whereas: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is home to over 7,000 manufacturers with 250,000 employees that distribute their products globally; and Whereas: Up to 100,00 new workers will be needed over the next 10 years to fill jobs in the Massachusetts manufacturing industry; and Whereas: The Commonwealth’s “AMP it Up!” campaign has held more than 30 career awareness and manufacturing promotional events that have reached more than 1,000 students, parents, and career counselors; and Whereas: The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development in collaboration with the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative has created programs to support manufacturers Now, Therefore, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim September 29 – October 3, 2014, to be, ADVANCED MANUFACTURING WEEK And urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to take cognizance of this week and participate fittingly in its observance. Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this 29th day of September, in the year two thousand and fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and thirty-sixth. By His Excellency Deval L. Patrick Governor of the Commonwealth William Francis Galvin Secretary of the Commonwealth God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Massachusetts Celebrates Advanced Manufacturing Week, September 29-October 3, 2014
Caption: top left: UFP Technologies; top right: MassMEP; bottom right: Office of Governor Patrick; bottom left: NECCO Factory Governor Deval Patrick today proclaimed September 29, 2014 to October 3, 2014 as Advanced Manufacturing Week in Massachusetts, underscoring the Administration’s support of the robust advanced manufacturing industry and its workforce throughout the Commonwealth. The week-long celebration coincides with national efforts to promote the role advanced manufacturing plays in the economy, with the third annual National Advanced Manufacturing Day being celebrated on October 3. “The Commonwealth is a national leader in Advanced Manufacturing, and we want to keep it that way,” said Governor Patrick. “By working with our partners in industry and academia, we are continuing to enhance the competitiveness of our robust advanced manufacturing industry, for today and the future.” Massachusetts is home to over 7,000 manufacturers with 250,000 employees. Throughout the week, Patrick Administration officials will participate in events that highlight the statewide effort to promote careers in advanced manufacturing and build awareness among manufacturers about the many programs in place to support them. “Investment in advanced manufacturing and clean technology spurs growth, creates high-quality jobs and benefits Massachusetts’s high-tech economy,” said Senator Edward J. Markey. “We must continue to grow our innovation economy by investing in new and emerging technologies that are creating the jobs and industries of the future today. I applaud Governor Patrick’s leadership making Massachusetts a national hub of innovation and applaud all of the companies, programs and initiatives that we will celebrate during Advanced Manufacturing Week.” “From Lowell to Springfield to Fall River, the Commonwealth’s proud history of manufacturing is driving its economic future,” said Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III. “Across Massachusetts, our manufacturing sector is creating jobs, spurring innovation and expanding access to opportunity. I commend Governor Patrick and Secretary Bialecki for their leadership, and look forward to working together to continue to promote growth throughout the state.” The Patrick Administration is committed to supporting the growth of advanced manufacturing in Massachusetts, an industry that is expected to require 100,000 jobs in the next decade and offers careers in a sector with an average annual salary of $75,000. The week’s celebration builds on record investments in workforce training and education made by the Administration in recent years. In 2011, Governor Patrick launched the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative (AMC), a partnership between industry and government to help build a globally competitive manufacturing industry in Massachusetts. Its five-point agenda brings together manufacturers, educators, academia, and other organizations to work on industry-identified priorities including promoting manufacturing; workforce and education; manufacturing innovation; the cost of doing business including energy management and sustainability; and access to capital resources. The AMC’s AMP it Up! Program which launched in September 2012 and is operated by MassDevelopment, works to build awareness among young adults and their families on the opportunities for well-paying careers in manufacturing. Massachusetts-based nonprofit organizations that address education and workforce can apply for funding at www.ampitup.com. Across the Commonwealth in recognition of manufacturing week, the AMC engage manufacturers, schools and colleges to participate in open houses, public tours, roundtable discussions, career workshops and other events hosted by manufacturers. “Massachusetts is on the cutting-edge among states in supporting the growth of 21st century manufacturing,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki. “Together with our regional partners, we are ensuring the next generation is equipped with the skills and knowledge needed for careers in advanced manufacturing.” In June 2013, Governor Patrick announced the creation of the Advanced Manufacturing Regional Partnership Academy, a first-in-the-Nation program designed to meet the manufacturing industry’s future workforce needs. The Academy provides hands-on learning opportunities, and tool and peer-education to regional leaders, helping eliminate one of the industry’s chief concerns of finding well-trained employees to fill available jobs in manufacturing. Last month, Governor Patrick signed an economic development package that included $12 million for the establishment of the Middle Skills Job Training Grant Fund. The fund will provide grants to vocational-technical schools and community college to support advanced manufacturing, mechanical and technical skills, hospitality and information technology industries training. The fund aims to train 4,000 workers over the next four years to address the workforce and talent pipeline needs of employers in Massachusetts. “Domestic manufacturing is critical to building our economy nationally and locally,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. “Massachusetts is a leader in innovation thanks to the unique ecosystem created by partnerships between our academic, business and government resources. Governor Patrick’s efforts to support manufacturing complement the ‘Make it in America’ campaign I have long advocated for in Congress. Smart policies can complement the hard work of local businesses to continue creating advanced manufacturing jobs here in Massachusetts, as well as to provide individuals with the skills they need to fulfill those jobs.” “I am proud that we are committed to supporting manufacturing through the Commonwealth’s vocational-technical high schools, realizing this is an essential area to advance our workforce for the future,” said Secretary of Education Matthew Malone. “We are making strategic investments so that our students graduate highly skilled and prepared to compete in the manufacturing industry.” “Jobs in advanced manufacturing help the Commonwealth build upon its competitive advantages of a diverse economy and highly educated workforce,” said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rachel Kaprielian. “The record investments the Patrick Administration has made in workforce development and skills training in this new sector will create opportunities for generations of workers to come.” “Massachusetts is where America’s Industrial Revolution began 200 years ago. We’re now witnessing a new revolution led by advanced manufacturing leaders such as robotics, fiber optics, laser, and solar energy,” noted Senator Richard T. Moore, Senate Chair of the Legislature’s Manufacturing Caucus. “Manufacturing in the Commonwealth accounts for more than 10 percent of the GSP and encompasses a wide range of industries,” said Representative John V. Fernandes (D-Milford) founder and House Chair of the Legislative Manufacturing Caucus and AMC Board member. “In addition, these manufacturers are constantly generating innovative solutions to challenges, fueling growth not just in the manufacturing sector, but in many other sectors of our economy. I am consistently impressed by the members of this this important and vibrant industry. “ “For too long, Massachusetts took its manufacturers for granted,” said Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative Co-Chair Mitch Tyson, Principal, Tyson Associates. “Thanks to the efforts of the AMC and the manufacturers that it represents, events will take place throughout the Commonwealth on this National Manufacturing Day to showcase top-notch companies, highly-skilled workforces, and cutting-edge offerings. I especially hope that students will participate in National Manufacturing Day and learn about exciting careers in this thriving industry.” “Over the last three years, the Commonwealth and the private sector have worked together in an unprecedented partnership to insure that advanced manufacturing in Massachusetts gets the attention that a sector of its import deserves,” said Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative Co-Chair Ed Leyden, Owner, Ben Franklin Design and Manufacturing Inc. “The AMC has held high-profile public events and produced tangible resources that increase the prospects that advanced manufacturers will continue to thrive by selling their highly-engineered, world-leading products.”
Springfield Celebrates Grand Opening of UMASS Center
(Caption: Ribbon Cutting at the Opening of the UMASS Center in Springfield) The City of Springfield was full of pride this week as state and local officials opened the new University of Massachusetts Center at Tower Square. The Center, which represents a partnership between Springfield, MassMutual and Baystate Health Systems, will expand educational opportunity in the City and across the Pioneer Valley Region. Governor Deval Patrick spoke about his Administration’s mission to provide access to higher education in order to create success, wrote the Republican Newspaper. “I feel very, very strongly about the connection between great affordable education and the American Dream,” Patrick told the audience. “We have to make that accessible in every way. We have to make it affordable and we have to make it convenient.” Last May, Governor Patrick announced $5.2 million in funding to complete the construction and furnishings of the Center, which is comprised of 10 instructional rooms, including six regular classrooms, one computer classroom, and three nursing classrooms, a computer lab, breakout rooms, conference rooms and space for student counseling and public events and meetings. The 26,000 square-foot facility is located at the heart of Springfield’s downtown district, and is two blocks from City Hall and the MassMutual Center. The new center significantly expands the University’s presence in Western Massachusetts and unlocks a range of degree opportunities to students of all ages that is tailored to the meet the region’s workforce needs. UMASS President Robert L. Caret said that “The University’ first satellite center has exceeded 300 enrollments on-site as a hub for students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in order to build better lives and better communities.” For the fall 2014 semester, the Center is offering 40 courses across 10 academic programs, including: Nursing, Education, Liberal Arts, Masters of Business Administration, Cyber Security/Network Security, Landscape Architecture and Planning, Architecture, Addiction Counseling, University without Walls (a bachelor’s degree program for nontraditional learners) and seven training programs offered by other community colleges. The University also has a Welcome Center located on the first floor of Tower Square for prospective students. Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, says the new Center will unlock “a range of new educational and job training opportunities needed to fuel our innovation economy,” adding that “the center’s location in the heart of the emerging innovation district enables it to further the economic revitalization of Springfield.”
Massachusetts Companies Continue to Expand Jobs and Enlarge Facilities
Caption: IPG Photonics Corporation is expanding facilities and adding jobs in Marlborough, (Photo courtesy of Mystic View Design) Massachusetts is helping to support businesses across the Commonwealth seeking to expand their facilities and create new jobs while using private funds. This week the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) approved seven projects to participate in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP), the Commonwealth’s investment tax credit program for businesses. The projects are expected to create 433 new jobs and retain 460 existing jobs, in addition to leveraging over $61 million in private investment and supporting construction projects across the Commonwealth. They include five manufacturing companies and three projects located in Gateway Cities. “Supporting companies that are choosing to grow in Massachusetts is one of the Administration’s key economic development objectives to create economic opportunity in every region of the Commonwealth,” says Michael Hunter, Executive Director of Massachusetts Office of Business Development. “These investments will help these companies expand and continue to enhance the Massachusetts economy by making our communities stronger in the long term.” The EACC, which meets quarterly, approved these projects: Manufacturing Retention Projects (MRP) Jacqueline’s Wholesale Bakery, Inc. in Salem Metrigraphics, LLC in Lowell Expansion Projects (EP) IPG Photonics Corporation in Marlborough Amazon.com.dedc LLC in Stoughton Tax Increment Financing Only Projects SMC Limited in Devens New England Peptide in Gardner Freedom Credit Union in Springfield Here are fuller descriptions of the projects. In 2009, Governor Deval Patrick and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki, along with the Legislature, reformed the EDIP program, turning it into one of the most effective programs to help business grow in Massachusetts. Since then, 204 projects have received approval, leading to the potential creation of 14,416 new jobs, the retention of 40,911 existing jobs and leveraging of over $5.5 billion in private investment. In all, the program has assisted 111 manufacturers and supported 94 projects in Gateway Cities. For more information about the EDIP and the Local Incentive Program, contact the MOBD regional representative in your area.
Massachusetts & Denmark Collaborate on Renewable Energy and Life Sciences
(Caption: Lillgrund Wind Farm in Denmark) This week Governor Deval Patrick is leading a coalition of government and industry officials on an Innovation Partnership Mission to Denmark, United Kingdom and France. The goal is to expand opportunities between Massachusetts and the European Union for economic development and job creation in the innovation economy, education and transportation sectors. Denmark was the first stop on the trip, with Governor Patrick touring the Lillgrund Wind Farm off the coast of Copenhagen, and later giving an overview of the state’s strategy for strengthening its clean and renewable energy portfolio. “Offshore wind has enormous potential off Massachusetts’ coast and we are working to ensure the Commonwealth is the national hub for this emerging industry,” Patrick said. “It is essential we establish strong relationships with industry leaders abroad so we can learn from their experience to grow the industry at home.” The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has named Massachusetts number one in energy efficiency in the United States for three years running. The clean energy revolution is yielding economic benefits as well, with 11.8 percent job growth in the last year and 24 percent in the last two years; nearly 80,000 people are employed in the industry in Massachusetts at 5,500 companies. Later that day, the governor spoke at a Life Science Innovation Partnership Forum in Copenhagen. It was a sequel to a June 2012 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Massachusetts and Denmark’s Medicon Valley that sought to stimulate economic, industrial, technological and commercial cooperation between these two leading life sciences centers. “The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Medicon Valley are both centers for life sciences innovation with economies driven by entrepreneurship,” said Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. “Our strengths in industries such as life sciences and digital technologies have positioned us as a global leader, and by working together, we will ensure economic growth in our regions for generations to come.” Sophie Haestorp Andersen, Regional Chairman of the Capital Region of Denmark, described her group’s strategy to be “an international knowledge region that collaborates with the best research institutions and companies in the world. The agreement with Massachusetts is an important milestone in that strategy.” There are also important trade connections between the two places. Last year, Denmark was Massachusetts’s 40th largest export partner, with Massachusetts exporting approximately $60.3 million in goods and services to Denmark. Denmark was Massachusetts’s 48th largest import partner in 2013, with Massachusetts importing approximately $48.9 million in goods and services, according to the Massachusetts Export Center.
Assembly Row is the New Orange
(Caption: Artists Rendering of Assembly Row) The Assembly Station train stop along the MBTA Orange Line opened this week in Somerville, and the excitement was palatable among commuters as well as business owners and state and local officials. For one thing, it was the first new station added by the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) in twenty-seven years; the daily projected ridership at Assembly is expected to be up to 5,400 passengers by 2030. But more so, the new train stop is a harbinger of great things to come for the $1.4 billion Assembly Row project, which is part of an exciting strategy by public officials to create unique new communities where residents have easy access to transportation, jobs, housing, and recreational and entertainment opportunities. The development will include more than 2.8 million square feet of office space, 635,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment uses, and 1,813 homes. It will feature public benefits like a waterfront park and new bike and pedestrian paths connecting existing neighborhoods with the new development. The first phase, with 448 apartments, scores of retail shops and restaurants and more, is already open. “We invest in infrastructure to catalyze private development, revitalize urban neighborhoods and bolster growth and opportunity across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Deval Patrick, who visited the new station on September 2, opening day. “The new Assembly Orange Line station is a concrete reminder of what can be achieved through public-private partnership and investment in our communities.” Governor Patrick was joined at the opening by U.S. Congressman Michael Capuano, who helped secure federal funds for the station, Mass DOT Secretary and CEO Richard Davey, MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott, Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and other local officials. The new Assembly station is funded through a combination of federal, state and private investment. The total cost of the station is $56 million with the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development (EOHED) contributing $25 million through a MassWorks grant, $16 million in federal funds and a $15 million investment from Federal Realty Investment Trust, the developers of the Assembly Row project. EOHED Secretary Greg Bialecki noted that “Assembly Row is an excellent example of a well-rounded development project that aligns our jobs, housing and transportation needs to better serve our residents. Through these types of collaborative efforts we are making our communities great places to live, work and play.” To learn more about the Patrick Administration’s strategy for economic growth through investments in innovation, infrastructure and education, go to Choosing to Compete in the 21st Century.
Massachusetts Office of Business Development – Helping Your Business Grow in Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Office of Business Development is a central point of contact for businesses seeking to expand and grow their existing companies here, or to relocate to Massachusetts. MOBD facilitates access to resources, expertise, and incentive programs available in the Commonwealth. Find about more by contacting MOBD. Massachusetts Office of Business Development 10 Park Plaza, Suite 3730 Boston, MA 02116 Main Number: 617-973-8600 Fax Number: 617-973-8554 www.mass.gov/mobd
United Airlines’ Hemispheres Magazine Features Massachusetts
Check out the September 2014 issue of Hemispheres Magazine, the in-flight magazine of United Airlines. There is a 15 page spread devoted to Massachusetts in its Dossier series, which features an “in-depth overview of a region, including the unique initiatives that shape its industry and commerce as well as its influence on today’s global economy.” Both Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh are profiled in the issue. The supplement describes Massachusetts as “one of America’s favorite places to do business,” and says that Governor Patrick “leaves a state that ranks among the leaders in everything from student achievement to economic competitiveness and entrepreneurial activity.” A number of state officials are cited in the publication, including Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development; Susan Windham-Bannister, President & CEO of Massachusetts Life Sciences, James Rooney, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority; Thomas Glynn, CEO of Massport, and Robert Caret, President of the University of Massachusetts. Among the Massachusetts companies featured are the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center, Raytheon Company and Partners Healthcare. In April 2014, United Airlines opened a new concourse at Terminal B at Boston’s Logan International Airport. Governor Patrick said at the time, “With increased customer service and convenience, United’s presence in Terminal B will continue to make Boston a top destination for domestic and international travel.”
Collaborative Workspace Grants Available to Massachusetts’ Gateway Cities
(Photo: Collaborative Workspace at Brooklyn Boulders Somerville) Entrepreneurs have an exciting new opportunity to create collaborative work spaces in Gateway Cities across the Commonwealth. Thanks to the Gateway Cities Transformative Development Fund, entrepreneurs can apply for up to $2 million in matching grants to own, sponsor or operate collaborative workspace. State officials believe these spaces help spur business growth and economic activity in Gateway Cities. “Collaborative workspaces inspire communities of innovation,” says Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. “These shared environments are hubs of economic activity, and are a very important part of our overall growth strategy.” The Gateway Cities Transformative Development Fund, totaling over $16 million, is part of An Act to Promote Economic Growth in the Commonwealth, which Governor Deval Patrick signed into law on August 13, 2014. Managed by MassDevelopment, the Fund enables equity investments and technical assistance to support transformative development in Gateway communities. “The sharing economy has driven demand for flexible, dynamic workspaces, especially in Gateway Cities,” says Marty Jones, MassDevelopment President and CEO. “We look forward to seeing the spaces that will spring from this first phase of the Transformative Development Initiative.” Interested applicants can access the Request for Proposals for the grants, which can be used for construction, improvements, or equipment for new spaces or for existing facility expansions. Collaborative workspaces often feature open floor plans, community meeting spaces, and other features to encourage connections between tenants. Earlier this spring, Housing & Economic Development staff held workshops across the state to familiarize prospective developers, operators, funders and public officials with collaborative space opportunities. Gateway Cities are defined as having: a population greater than 35,000 but less than 250,000; a median household income below the state average; and a population whose rate of attainment of a college degree is below the state average. Massachusetts’ new economic development plan has been praised recently by Inc. Magazine for supporting “business communities outside of the traditional business thoroughfares of Boston and Cambridge.” And Fortune Magazine praised Massachusetts for creating “a model based on public-private partnership, a promising blueprint other states should follow.”
Framingham Launches Initiative to Attract Business, Boost Economic Growth
(Photo, l-r: Charles Sisitsky, Chair, Framingham Board of Selectman; Bob Halpin, Framingham Town Manager; Justin Krebs, Partner, Normandy RE Partners; Ian Barrett, Creative Boss, MediaBoss; Peter McAree, Chief Financial Officer, Heartware, Inc. ; Garry Holmes, President, R.W. Holmes Realty; Paul Logue, VP and General Manager, Framingham Biologics, Genzyme, a Sanofi Company) By Arthur P. Robert Framingham is open for business. That is the message of a new campaign launched this spring by town officials, who officially kicked off the “Choose Framingham for Business” initiative at Genzyme, Inc.’s Mountain Way campus. Over 100 Framingham business leaders attended the June 11 event, as well as regional bankers, brokers and other development professionals. “Framingham is already one of the region’s leading innovation hubs but we’re committed to making it an even greater place to do business,” said Robert Halpin, Framingham town manager. “Going forward, we want to expand and attract companies across the spectrum – from large, established firms to small entrepreneurial ones.” This pro-business initiative has been in the works since 2012, when Northeastern University conducted an Economic Development Self-Assessment (EDSAT) for the town. That study prompted officials to overhaul the town’s approach to doing business, by establishing economic development zones, streamlining permitting processes, and hiring a director of economic development. For example, an expedited permitting system now simplifies and accelerates the permitting process in the areas proximate to MassPike exits 12 and 13, and officials have vowed to complete all local permitting in six months or less. Officials also added expert staff from the Fire Department to the permitting team to work with businesses from outset to completion. Business leaders were quick to praise these initiatives at the launch event. Paul Logue, Vice President and General Manager at Genzyme, said his company enjoyed “a terrific working partnership with the Town of Framingham,” adding, “In addition to this great collaborative spirit, Framingham has other assets that are essential to a company like ours – a talented workforce throughout the region combined with incredible access.” Peter McAree, Senior Vice President and CFO of HeartWare Inc., and Justin Krebs, partner at Normandy Real Estate Partners each spoke to the quality of the town’s support and its expedited permitting process. Krebs said his company’s recent permitting request was completed in four and half months, adding that town officials also worked in concert with an adjacent town which the property straddles. “I believe in Framingham,” Krebs said. “I believe in why you choose Framingham.” Halpin says the initiative “signals a new day for Framingham and its approach to attracting companies and creating economic growth,” adding that Framingham’s success will also be good news for the economic vitality of the MetroWest region and the nearby cities and towns. Home to some of the country’s best known brands, including Genzyme, Staples, TJX and Bose, Framingham is strategically located mid-way between Boston and Worcester, and lies at the geographical and economic heart of the Metrowest region. With over skilled 45,000 workers, it is the perfect place to start up and grow a business. As the town’s new economic development director, my role is to engage with companies, connect businesses to growth resources, and ensure full coordination on local development issues. To find out more about “Choose Framingham for Business” initiative, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow us on Twitter @ChooseFram.
Massachusetts Announces Cathay Pacific Airways Nonstop flights between Boston-Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Airways, recently voted the world’s best airlines, is launching a non-stop service between Boston and Hong Kong to commence in May, 2015. State officials from Massport and the Patrick Administration announced the good news at a ceremony at the Massachusetts State House today. The air service will include four weekly flights between Boston’s Logan International Airport and Hong Kong International Airport. “The doors of Massachusetts are open to the world, and we are eager both to strengthen existing global relationships and to build new ones,” said Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick in a statement. “This new service will allow us to continue to expand on these efforts and more easily connect and collaborate with innovators, inventors and investors in the Asian market. I thank Cathay Pacific and Massport for their leadership and partnership.” Cathay Pacific Senior Vice President, Americas, Tom Owen said the new service will connect New England “with numerous Asian cities, including over 22 destinations in Mainland China, as well as key economic and tourism hubs throughout Southeast Asia, such as Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Bali, and Hanoi.” Also, Australian Business Traveler reported that the new route “will give Perth and Adelaide residents a new one-stop option to the USA east coast.” In addition to tourists, students and business travelers, Owens added there is also “an opportunity for increased freight from New England to Asia, due to the Boeing 777-300ER belly capacity, and connectivity through our new Cargo Terminal in Hong Kong to Cathay’s extensive Asian freighter network.” Massport CEO Tom Glynn noted that today’s announcement “recognizes the flourishing business opportunities that exist throughout New England. And with now 40 nonstop international destinations, Boston is an even more important player in the global economy.” The Cathay Pacific route marks the 12th international nonstop service added since Governor Patrick took office in 2007. Since July 2013, four new nonstop flights have been added, between Logan Airport and Panama City, Dubai, Istanbul and Beijing. With 74 nonstop domestic and 40 international destinations, Boston’s Logan Airport is a key economic engine for the region, contributing more than more than $8 billion annually, and enhancing and enabling economic growth and vitality throughout New England. Others who spoke at today’s ceremony included Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development, who noted potential benefits for the state’s tourism industry and innovation economy; Richard Davey, Secretary of Massachusetts Department of Transportation; and Paul Guzzi, President & CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. Find about more about visiting Massachusetts at MassVacation.com.
Twenty-two finalists Compete for MassEcon’s 2014 Economic Impact Awards
(Caption: Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development) Excitement is building for this year’s 2014 Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards, presented annually by MassEcon, the state’s private sector partner in promoting business growth in Massachusetts. Earlier this month, MassEcon announced the twenty-two companies that are finalists for the award, representing five regions of the state: West, Southeast, Northeast, Central and Greater Boston. They range in size and are drawn from various industries like education, robotics, manufacturing, life sciences, energy, consumer goods, information technology and advertising. “We are thrilled to recognize the businesses in Massachusetts that contribute so much to our state’s prosperity,” says Susan Houston, Executive Director of MassEcon. “The range of industries and regions represented by this outstanding group of companies demonstrates the overall strength of our Commonwealth.” On September 17, the finalists present one-minute elevator pitches describing their growth to a panel of judges and business leaders. Greg Bialecki, Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development, is a featured guest at the event. “These Team Massachusetts finalists are making significant contributions to our state’s economy,” says Bialecki. “I applaud these companies for their investment and look forward to our ongoing partnership as they continue to expand and create jobs here in Massachusetts.” The winners from each of the five regions will be announced in October, and presented with their awards on November 25 at a luncheon in Boston at which Citizens Bank is presenting sponsor. Here are finalists by region: WEST: Menck Windows – Chicopee Nuclea Biotechnologies, Inc. – Pittsfield Sinicon Plastics, Inc. – Dalton SOUTHEAST: AccuRounds, Inc. – Avon Crown Uniform & Linen Service – Brockton Hydroid, Inc. – Pocasset Matouk – Fall River SolarCity – Pembroke NORTHEAST: Asahi/America – Lawrence Entegris, Inc. – Bedford Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. – Burlington Solectria Renewables – Lawrence PlumChoice, Inc. – Lowell Toxikon Corporation– Bedford CENTRAL: AIS, Inc. – Leominster Pall Life Sciences – Westborough Quest Diagnostics – Marlborough GREATER BOSTON: Biogen Idec, Inc. – Cambridge EF Education First – Cambridge Havas Media/Arnold Worldwide – Boston Pfizer, Inc. – Cambridge uniQure – Lexington Best of luck to all of the finalists! To learn more about Massachusetts’ economic development strategy, visit the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development.
Massachusetts Export Growth Doubles National Growth so far in 2014
(Caption: Conley Terminal in South Boston. Photo Courtesy of Massport.) By Paula Murphy The Massachusetts Export Center received good news this month: exports grew at an impressive seven percent for the first six months of 2014, far outpacing the national export growth rate of three percent for the same time period. The state’s businesses exported over $14.2 billion in manufactured goods from January to June, 2014, according to data published by the U.S. Census Bureau’s International Trade Division. Top export markets include Canada, United Kingdom, Mexico, China and Germany, and most of these markets experienced robust growth. For example, exports to the United Kingdom increased by nearly 78%, exports to Mexico increased by nearly 30%, and exports to China increased by over 11%. In fact, several of our top ten export markets experienced double-digit export growth. Top export sectors in the first half of 2014 include medical devices, electronics, semiconductor machinery, gold and pharmaceuticals. Our medical device exports increased at the highest rate in years at over eight percent, and our exports of electronics and semiconductor machinery, which have experienced recent downturns, have rebounded at 40% and 6% growth, respectively. The semiannual data confirms that Massachusetts exports remain highly competitive in certain sectors – we continue to rank as the 2nd largest exporting state for both medical devices and analytical instrumentation, and we are the 3rd largest exporting state for both semiconductor machinery and seafood. In fact, Massachusetts ranked as the top exporting state for mollusks! The Census data confirms the developments that our team at the Massachusetts Export Center has observed over the past couple of years: the state’s businesses have transitioned from maintaining a “holding pattern” on their export operations to actively pursuing new export markets as economic conditions have improved both at home and abroad. The export numbers appear to be catching up to these trends. The Massachusetts Export Center provides targeted, customized export assistance services to businesses throughout the Commonwealth. We help companies assess potential export markets; establish channels and sales internationally; and navigate the complex regulatory, legal, financial and logistical aspects of the exporting process. We provide a variety of services in support of these activities, including counseling, technical assistance, market research and training. The Center is part of the state’s Small Business Development Center Network. Our team is energized by the export successes of many of our clients and the fact that 2014 marks our 20-year anniversary! We have a number of innovative programs planned in the coming months that focus on Export Control Reform, recent sanctions developments and more. We will cap off the year with our Export Expo on December 9, which is our largest and most comprehensive annual event that brings together a wide variety of resources, training and information for the state’s exporting community. Full details on our services and activities can be found at mass.gov/export.
Massachusetts’ Economic Development Plan Should Be a National Model, Writes Two Leading Business Magazines
(Caption: Governor Deval Patrick) Massachusetts’ $80 million economic plan, signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick on August 13, 2014, is getting glowing reviews from two leading business publications, Inc. Magazine and Fortune Magazine. “Massachusetts’ economic development plan is one that other states may want to pay attention to,” writes Inc. Magazine‘s Jeremy Quittner, in “Why Massachusetts’ Plans for Economic Development Could (and Should) Blaze a Trail for Other States.” Quittner describes the state’s plan to “bolster job training in the state’s high-growth industries, provide capital to its start-ups, and support business communities outside of the traditional business thoroughfares of Boston and Cambridge.” The Massachusetts plan, outlined in The Act to Promote Economic Growth in the Commonwealth “provides new tools and training to ensure the Massachusetts workforce meets the needs of employers, invests in our Gateway Cities to promote development across the entire state and provides incentives to create jobs and stimulate the economy,” reads a statement from the Governor’s Office. Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, says that the bill “provides significant new support for the Commonwealth’s economic development strategy. Ensuring the long-term economic prosperity of the Commonwealth means extending growth and opportunity to every corner of the state.” The Inc. Magazine story comes on the heels of an article in Fortune Magazine published last week and written by Karen Mills, former Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration and Senior Fellow at Harvard Business School. In, “How U.S. States Can Get Small Businesses Growing (Again),” Mills writes that “Massachusetts has created a model based on public-private partnership, a promising blueprint other states should follow.” She praises Massachusetts for “taking parts of the playbook for jobs and driving solutions that make sense.” Massachusetts’ ongoing economic development strategy focuses on the state’s long-term investments in education, innovation and infrastructure, and is outlined in the document, “Choosing to Compete in the 21st Century.”
Massachusetts receives $27.5 million in federal grants
(Caption: Governor Deval Patrick announces $27.5 million in federal funds) Photo by Kenshin Okubo Last week 54 cities and towns across Massachusetts got the good news that they’ll receive a total of $27.5 million in federal funds to support housing, rehabilitation, public service projects and local infrastructure. The funds come from the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), the state’s largest available resource for neighborhood revitalization projects. The grants help meet the housing and public service needs of low- and moderate-income communities, while building and repairing infrastructure. In addition to providing important improvements to the cities and towns, the infrastructure projects also help create and maintain jobs. Historically, 40 percent of CDBG funds distributed have been used for these job-creating projects. Governor Deval Patrick made the announcement in Great Barrington, where over $800,000 will be used for housing rehabilitation and an infrastructure design project in the Housatonic Village. “When we invest in infrastructure projects in our communities, we put people to work and leave a better Commonwealth for the next generation,” said Governor Patrick. “We thank the Obama Administration and our Congressional delegation for their continued commitment to investing in our future.” “The beauty of the CDBG program is that towns determine the best investment in their community,” said U.S. Congressman Richard Neal, who joined Governor Patrick at the event, along with other state and local officials. The CDBG program is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), and funds are distributed by Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Among the projects eligible for funding: housing rehabilitation, infrastructure repair or replacement, construction or rehabilitation of public facilities, neighborhood improvement projects, economic development loans and other business assistance programs, social service upgrades, downtown improvement projects and architectural barrier removal and planning. Massachusetts has made over 350 grants totaling $265 million during the Patrick Administration. For every $1 of CDBG funds, an estimated $3.55 is leveraged in non-CDBG funding. You can find a list of this year’s CDBG awards here.
Massachusetts Convention Industry Rolls out SignatureBoston.com
(Caption: Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the Hynes Convention Center) Do you think Massachusetts wants your convention business? If there’s any doubt, check out the new website unveiled this week called SignatureBoston.com. It’s the latest initiative to showcase Boston’s already significant role as a major meetings destination, and its reputation for delivering exceptional service and technology to meeting professions. SignatureBoston.com is a collaborative effort between Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) and the Boston Convention Marketing Center (BCMC), designed to promote Boston’s two convention centers, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC), and the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center. It will replace “Advantage Boston,” the marketing brand previously used. James E. Rooney, executive director of the MCCA, says that exceeding customer expectations “is our signature. Unique and personal, a signature represents what a person stands for. In Boston, our signature is a commitment to deliver remarkable experiences, beyond our customers’ expectations.” Rooney says the signature concept extends beyond the convention centers, one that the entire city embraces. “From the minute attendees step into Logan Airport to their taxi rides, check-ins at the hotel and their experiences at local restaurants, Signature Boston is a promise that defines our city as the best city for a remarkable meetings experience.” Milt Herbert, executive director of the BCMC, says, “The launch of Signature Boston signifies that we are confident we can give our customers an experience they can’t find in any other city.” The new Signature Boston initiative coincides with the 10 year anniversary celebration for the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC). Since opening the BCEC in June 2004, Boston has consistently ranked as a Top 10 U.S. meetings and conventions destination. In the past decade, the BCEC and Hynes Convention Center combined have hosted 2,400 events, 7.2 million attendees and generated 5.2 million hotel room nights. This activity has generated $5.3 billion in economic activity for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In addition, in 2011 the BCEC and Hynes earned a rare gold standard from the International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC), making Boston only the fourth city in North America and the 12th worldwide to have been awarded this top standard, the highest certification level a convention facility can achieve under strict AIPC guidelines.
Massachusetts Invests in its Cultural Facilities
(Caption: Lexington Historical Society Building) Massachusetts just reaffirmed its commitment to culture, education and the performing arts by awarding $14 million in grants to 81 new building projects for nonprofit arts and cultural groups, schools and communities across the Commonwealth. This latest round of awards is part of the Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF), which has invested nearly $70 million in the state’s creative sector in 118 cities and towns since 2007. Here is a a list of the grants . The grants help restore many of Massachusetts’ historic buildings, which in turn preserve the character of many cities and towns and lead to increased tourism. More than 15 million people visit organizations funded by the Mass Cultural Facilities Fund annually, with nearly one third of those visitors coming from out-of-state. Governor Deval Patrick was at the Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield this morning to celebrate the new awards and to speak about his strategy for growth, which is focused on education, innovation and infrastructure. “Investments in our creative economy stimulate growth and opportunity in every corner of the Commonwealth,” Governor Patrick said. “Through this new round of funding, we are continuing to create a more vibrant place for our students to learn, our families to live and our businesses to grow.” Administered jointly by the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and MassDevelopment, the Cultural Facilities Fund’s goal is to increase investments from both the public sector and private sector so that cultural facilities in Massachusetts can benefit from sound planning and development. In addition to the 81 capital grants, the FY14 round of funding also includes 48 planning grants. The capital grants range from $7,000 to $600,000 and must be matched with funds from private philanthropy and/or other public sources. The creative economy is an important sector of the state’s economy, employing over 100,000 workers and generating $1 billion for Massachusetts. Last month, the Patrick Administration convened an all-day Creative Economy Summit at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design in Boston, where leaders met to collaborate and to celebrate the state’s robust and enduring creative community.
Economic Development Projects Allow Companies to Expand and Add Jobs in Massachusetts
(Caption: SanDisk Corporation in Marlbourough) Here in Massachusetts, companies are growing to scale, expanding their facilities and adding jobs. Just last week, the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) held its quarterly meeting and approved 10 projects for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP). These new projects are expected to create 679 new jobs and retain 699 existing jobs, in addition to leveraging over $642 million in private investment and supporting construction projects across the Commonwealth. Among the 10 approved projects are four manufacturing companies and four projects located in Gateway Cities like Lawrence, Springfield, New Bedford and Brockton. “Supporting companies that are choosing to grow in Massachusetts is one of the Administration’s key economic development objectives to create economic opportunity in every region of the Commonwealth,” said Michael Hunter, Executive Director of Massachusetts Office of Business Development. “These investments help companies expand and continue to enhance the Massachusetts economy by making our communities stronger in the long term.” The ten companies in this round include: Aspen Technology, Inc. in Bedford MK Parcel 7 Development LLC in Boston Vicente’s Liquors and Tropical Grocery, Inc. in Brockton Kennametal, Inc. in Greenfield Asahi America, Inc. in Lawrence Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing, LLC in Lee SanDisk Corporation in Marlborough Kielb Welding Enterprises, Inc. in Springfield Amasdave LLC, in Springfield Om Shri Ambika LLC in Sturbridge Here are fuller descriptions of the projects. The EDIP program was reformed in 2009 by Governor Deval Patrick and Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development, and since then, it has become one of the most effective programs helping business grow in Massachusetts. Since 2009, 197 projects have received approval, leading to the potential creation of 13,983 new jobs, the retention of 40,451 existing jobs and leveraging of over $5.4 billion in private investment. The EACC has assisted 106 manufacturers through the EDIP and has supported 91 projects in Gateway Cities. For more information about the EDIP and the Local Incentive Program, contact the MOBD regional representative in your area.
Massachusetts Welcomes China
(Caption: Chinese visitors stand in front of the John Harvard statue in Cambridge.) Photo by Maria Speridakos There’s a new Silk Road coming through Massachusetts, thanks to the recent launch of Hainan Airlines’ direct air route between Boston and Beijing. Just as Marco Polo’s 14th century Silk Road opened up commerce and culture between the west and the east, this new connection between Massachusetts and China will similarly mark a new era of cooperation between two great destinations. Flight 481 landed at Boston’s Logan International Airport on Friday, June 20, 2014, filled with Chinese visitors, airline officials and business travelers eager to experience first-hand the state’s cultural richness, shopping, educational institutions, scenic land and seascapes, and business opportunities. And later that afternoon, Flight 482 left Logan Airport, filled with American tourists, business travelers and Chinese students returning home for the summer. During their stay in Boston, the Chinese visitors were greeted by Governor Deval Patrick and by officials from Massport, Massachusetts Office of Housing & Economic Development, Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT), Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment and other agencies and companies that will help to develop tourism and trade partnerships in the future. MOTT Director Betsy Wall noted that 100 million new Chinese tourists will be traveling in 2015, and Massachusetts wants to capture its share of this lucrative market. MOTT, along with BrandUSA/China, took this opportunity to provide Hainan Airline officials with a familiarization tour of Greater Boston, with support from the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Cambridge Office of Tourism, and local hotels and restaurants. The group toured downtown Boston and checked out Boston’s Seaport District and Innovation Center, before heading over to Cambridge, where Trademark Tours led them on a student-guided walk around Harvard University, followed by a tour of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus. They also visited several iconic visitor destinations in greater Boston, including Fenway Park, Wrentham Village Premium Shopping Outlets in Wrentham, the Museum of Fine Arts, Copley Place, and Assembly Row in Somerville. The Boston-Beijing route is the first non-stop flight between New England and Mainland China, and shaves off about six hours of time it used to take to get from city to city on connector flights. The Hainan schedule includes four nonstop flights a week in each direction, with daily flights being offered in the summer from July 18 through the end of August. In addition to boosting international tourism, Massachusetts officials are also looking to expand commerce and trade as a result of the new Boston-Beijing route. China is currently the 2nd largest recipient of Massachusetts exports, accounting for $2 billion a year in local goods, according to Paula Murphy, director of the Massachusetts Export Center. Another sector of potential growth lies in higher education. Massachusetts is currently the fourth largest host state for Chinese students, behind considerably larger states like California, Texas and Illinois. In 2013, there were 13,109 Chinese students studying in Massachusetts, and those numbers are likely to grow as China continues to familiarize itself with Massachusetts schools and all they have to offer. The Boston-Beijing route is the fourth new international direct air flight coming out of Logan International Airport in the past year. In July 2013, Copa Airlines launched its Boston-Panama City service, followed in Emirates Airline’s Boston-Istanbul route in March 2014, and finally Turkish Airlines’ Boston-Istanbul route in May 2014. For more information about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.
Massachusetts builds up its global profile in life sciences
(Massachusetts Life Sciences Pavilion at the Bio 2014 Conference) Building on the Commonwealth’s robust life sciences industry and long-term strategy for growth, Governor Deval Patrick announced the launch of the Universal Partnerships (UP) Program, a new initiative by the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) to help fund Massachusetts companies that are forming R&D collaborations with life science organizations throughout the world. The announcement came at the 2014 BIO International Convention in San Diego, where a strong delegation of scientists, entrepreneurs, business leaders and public officials made the case that Massachusetts is the best place in the world to be for the life sciences industry. “We invest in the life sciences because we are choosing to shape our own future,” said Governor Patrick. “I commend the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center on creating this unique and forward-looking international collaboration.” In its first year of the UP program, the Center will award grants ranging from $50,000 to $200,000. An eligible project will focus on a milestone within a research & development collaboration, and will consist of one Massachusetts company and one organization outside of the United States. The organization could include a company, an academic institution, a hospital or a research institute. Through the MLSC, Massachusetts is investing $1 billion over 10 years in the growth of the state’s life sciences supercluster. These investments are being made under the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative, proposed by Governor Patrick in 2007, and passed by the State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Patrick in 2008. Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, noted, “Massachusetts is committed to seeking new models of innovation to drive future economic growth,” adding that the program “expands the footprint for collaboration across the globe.” Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D., President and CEO of MLSC, said the UP program “is based on our strong belief that knowledge creation occurs worldwide and global collaboration to share that knowledge will accelerate innovation and economic development.” “Collaboration is key in the life sciences, and the announcement of this new Universal Partnerships program is incredibly exciting,” said Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray. “I look forward to seeing the projects and businesses that result and their impact here and abroad.” Several of Massachusetts’ overseas trading partners – United Arab Emirates, Great Britain and Japan – expressed support for the new program. “Building and maintaining international cooperation through partnerships is a high priority for the United Arab Emirates, and specifically, DuBiotech,” said Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, Executive Director of DuBiotech. “The MLSC encourages worldwide collaboration in the life sciences industry, and DuBiotech, the Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park, is proud to be a part of it.” “One Nucleus is proud to have a highly collaborative and enjoyable relationship with Massachusetts – fuelled by a meeting with Governor Patrick in 2009 and which has seen a range of tangible activities with him, the MA Life Sciences Center and MassBIO since then for the benefit of companies on both sides of the pond. Long may it continue,” said Harriet Fear, British Business Ambassador and Chief Executive, One Nucleus. Sachiko Yoshimura, Chief Executive Director, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO LA), said, “Japanese companies and the government of Japan have extensively invested in life sciences, and most recently are intensely focused on regenerative medicine. Establishing a flourishing relationship with MLSC will surely accelerate R&D and trade, and we very much look forward to our collaboration.” JETRO, representing the government of Japan, recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment to promote business activities between the two places. The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is an investment agency that supports life sciences innovation, research, development and commercialization. The MLSC is charged with implementing a 10-year, $1-billion, state-funded investment initiative. These investments create jobs and support advances that improve health and well-being. The MLSC offers the nation’s most comprehensive set of incentives and collaborative programs targeted to the life sciences ecosystem. These programs propel the growth that has made Massachusetts the global leader in life sciences. The MLSC creates new models for collaboration and partners with organizations, both public and private, around the world to promote innovation in the life sciences. For more information about Universal Partnerships, visit Massachusetts Life Sciences Center or email email@example.com.
Massachusetts’ Economy Gets Creative
(Caption: Governor Deval Patrick addresses the Creative Economy Summit) When it comes to the creative economy, Massachusetts gets it! With over 100,000 workers and a $1 billion statewide economic impact, the creative industries in Massachusetts are an integral part of the Massachusetts economy. Building upon this success was the focus of Massachusetts’ recent Creative Economy Summit, held on June 12 at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design in Boston. Leaders from across the state convened to network, collaborate and envision ways in which the creative and innovative economies can intersect and continue to fuel each other. The impressive turnout included experts and advocates from the performing and visual arts, digital gaming, film industry, architecture, publishing and design, alongside entrepreneurs, innovators, and government officials. The morning kicked off with a welcome by Dawn Barrett, president of Mass College of Art & Design, and an introduction by Greg Bialecki, secretary of the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development, followed by Helen Fruscio, the state’s Creative Economy Industry Director. “The focus of the summit was on uniting the creative industries and ensuring interactivity among the attendees” says Fruscio. “We wanted everyone to think of new ways to cross-collaborate.” For example, the morning panel, “Future Trends of the Creative Industries,” was a seminar on cross-collaboration, with experts like Lisa Strout, director of the Massachusetts Film Office, Panos Panay, the head of Creative Entrepreneurship at Berklee College of Music, Jon Radoff, founder of Disruptor Beam and Laura Fitton of HubSpot sharing their insights. At the afternoon session, ”Creative Capital,” Jerry Bird of MassVentures, Dan Sullivan of Crowdly, Anita Brearton of Golden Seeds, Bill Warner of Avid Technology and Neil Martin of Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation talked about strategies for funding and bringing creative ideas to market. The panel discussions were followed by the popular ‘unconference’ gatherings with crowd-sourced themed discussions, allowing the participants to gather into smaller groups and discuss a variety of topics. Governor Deval Patrick gave the closing remarks at the Summit, discussing how the Administration’s investments in education, innovation and infrastructure have supported innovation and the creative economy in Massachusetts. Patrick has led the way in making Massachusetts one of the nation’s most creative states. In 2007 he established the position of creative Economy Industry Director at the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. He helped institute the Creative Economy Council, which develops a statewide strategy for growing the creative economy. He launched the Creative Economy Network, which tracks progress and promotes efforts to support the creative economy on the local, regional and state-wide level, and CreativeNEXT listening tour, a business development program that helps owners of small and medium-sized creative businesses quickly access resources and advice to help grow their enterprises by meeting with an expert panel. At the summit, Governor Patrick reminded participants that “Creativity is central to all that we’re trying to do,” adding, “The innovation economy is also artists, novelists and architects. It’s a source of our growth and civilization.”
Massachusetts Celebrates Immigrant Entrepreneurship Month
(Caption: Josiane Martinez, Office For Refugees and Immigrants) (Photo: Jun Tsuboike / Governor’s Office) Governor Deval Patrick celebrated Immigrant Entrepreneurship Month this week at the New American Center in Lynn where he heard first-hand accounts from local immigrants about their entrepreneurial successes in Massachusetts. “Our immigrant communities have always been an integral part of our state’s economic and cultural fabric,” Governor Patrick told the audience. “I am proud to recognize the hard work of our immigrant entrepreneurs who have made Massachusetts home, and whose achievements help keep us in the leadership business.” Immigrants in Massachusetts have many notable accomplishments of which to be proud. 17.5% of the state’s business owners are immigrants, and they generate $2.8 billion in income for Massachusetts each year, according to the Immigration Policy Center in Washington, DC. There are 41,248 foreign students in Massachusetts, who contribute $1.5 billion to the state’s economy in tuition, fees and living expenses, according to the NAFSA Association of International Educators. These foreign students help fuel the state’s innovation economy, since 38.7% of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) graduates are foreign born, as are 49.1% of the state’s engineering PhDs. Immigrants co-founded over 25% of the state’s biotechnology companies, notes the Immigrant Learning Center in Malden. Massachusetts ranks eighth in the nation for newcomers, with an immigrant population that represents over 14 percent of the population and nearly 18% of the state’s workforce, according to the U.S. Census. Latino and Asian-owned businesses alone employ over 50,000 Massachusetts residents, with sales of over $7 billion. In May, the Patrick Administration announced a federal grant to enhance vocational, educational and citizenship assistance to refugees and immigrants in Massachusetts. The nearly $400,000 grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) will place 90 AmeriCorps members across Massachusetts to provide training and support to 5,000 refugees and immigrants over the next three years. The Governor’s proposed Act to Promote Growth and Opportunity bill before the Massachusetts legislature has two key elements that would support the immigrant community. One is an investment in workforce tools and training in Gateway Cities as a way to stimulate the economy. The other is the Global Entrepreneur Residence Program, which would allow qualified, highly skilled, international students currently in Massachusetts to stay here after graduation if they are starting or growing a business. The Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants is a good place to start to find out more about what the Commonwealth is doing to promote full participation of refugees and immigrants as self-sufficient individuals and families in the economic, social and civic life of Massachusetts.
Massachusetts’ Sandbox Summit – Entrepreneurship for All
(Caption: Desh Deshpande, founder of Merrimack Valley Sandbox) How do we foster the next generation of entrepreneurs in Massachusetts? One sure way is to bring budding entrepreneurs together with seasoned entrepreneurs, business executives, government officials and academic leaders who are willing to share expertise, insights and encouragement about what it takes to thrive in the state’s robust innovation community. Such was the setting at the second annual Merrimack Valley Sandbox Summit in Lowell this week, an inspiring gathering of creative thinkers, generous mentors and willing collaborators who are working to bring their ideas to market, thereby spurring economic growth at local and regional levels. Over 250 people attended the two-day summit, held at University of Massachusetts in Lowell. Keynote speakers included Deval Patrick, governor of Massachusetts; Gururaj (Desh) Deshpande, founder of the Deshpande Foundation and the Merrimack Valley Sandbox; Akhil Nigam, founder and president of MassChallenge; and Poonam Ahluwalia, executive director of Youth Trade and YES Campaign. Governor Patrick said that expanding opportunity for everyone across the state was a key to economic growth. By focusing on state investments in education, innovation and infrastructure, the Patrick Administration has a deliberate strategy to stimulate growth. “As I see it, growth is a choice…not something we leave to chance, not simply something we hope for, it’s something we work for and choose to bring about,” Patrick said. “Entrepreneurship isn’t just technology – it is creative problem solving in context,” said Deshpande, a theme that echoed throughout the summit as speakers and participants agreed that entrepreneurial opportunities were to be found in all sectors of society and industry. This year’s theme was “Entrepreneurship for All,” which Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki described as “a robust strategy for how we grow the Commonwealth’s economy. Programs like the Merrimack Valley Sandbox are bringing people together focused on choosing growth and innovation, enhancing the competitiveness of the state’s innovation industry for generations to come.” A highlight of the summit was the pitch contests, which featured the region’s top entrepreneurs squaring off against each other for a chance to win cash prizes to fuel their work. Participants said the summit was an ideal opportunity for like-minded individuals to gather and share information, ideas and encouragement in a room full of other focused, creative, problem-solving people. “Massachusetts prides itself on our collaborative approach to economic development, an effort led by the Patrick Administration and the Legislature,” said Patrick Larkin, Director of the Innovation Institute at MassTech Collaborative. “That spirit of cooperation and inclusion is fully on display here today.” “Entrepreneurship can be lonely,” David Parker, Sandbox’s executive director, told the Lowell Sun. “It’s important for people to come together, share ideas, meet each other and look for resources.” The Sandbox Summit was organized by the Merrimack Valley Sandbox, with sponsorship support from the Deshpande Foundation and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, through the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.
Massachusetts & Israel Collaborate on Innovation Economy
This past week, Governor Deval Patrick led an Innovation Partnership Mission to expand opportunities between the Commonwealth and Israel for economic development and job creation in the innovation economy sectors. On Tuesday, May 27, Governor Patrick joined MassChallenge CEO John Harthorne to announce the 2014 MassChallenge Israel startup accelerator competition finalists. The ten finalists include two startups in high-tech, five in health care and the life sciences, two in food-tech and one in the general category. MassChallenge Israel launched in February 2014; it is the first official MassChallenge program based outside of Boston. “Massachusetts is home to an amazing array of startups and our entrepreneurial ecosystem is one of the strongest in the Nation,” said Governor Patrick. “Through programs like MassChallenge, Massachusetts is able to extend an open invitation for the world’s highest-impact, highest-potential startups to grow their ideas in our Commonwealth.” MassChallenge awards over $1 million in cash prizes to winning startups, with zero equity taken. Additional benefits for startups include world-class mentorship and training, free office space, access to funding, legal advice, media and over $15 million of in-kind support. The accelerator is the first of its kind to support high-impact, early-stage entrepreneurs with no strings attached. “Hundreds of Israeli-founded companies call Massachusetts home and that number is steadily increasing thanks to the robust, innovative and welcoming communities in Massachusetts and Israel,” said Harthorne. “At MassChallenge we have seen dozens of remarkable startups from Israel working in all sectors of technology. We are proud to be a close partner for Israel and we are proud of the great community in Massachusetts.” The MassChallenge Israel program and the anticipated MassChallenge UK program, set to launch in December 2014, furthers the Patrick Administration’s efforts to strengthen the Commonwealth’s global economic partnerships by enabling top-tier startups access to global markets by connecting them with the very best resources and organizations in Boston’s entrepreneurial network. Now in its fifth year, the MassChallenge competition based in Boston has supported 489 startups, created more than 4,000 new jobs and raised $550 million in outside funding and generated $350 million in revenue. In 2014, MassChallenge received over 1,600 applications from 50 countries and 41 states. In support of the accelerators, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and the Massachusetts Clean Energy have provided funding totaling $1.2 million. Also during the trip, Governor Patrick and members of the Innovation Partnership Mission met with chief executive officers from Israeli life sciences companies to discuss opportunities to create and grow their business in Massachusetts. The panel discussed the impact of the 10-year, $1 billion Life Sciences Initiative that the Governor signed into law in 2008, and the role that the Initiative has played in making Massachusetts a global leader in the life sciences. Since 2008, the Center has invested or committed more than $530 million, leveraged over $1.5 billion in third party investment, and created thousands of jobs across the state. Last year, a report by the New England-Israel Business Council underscored the impact of Israeli-founded companies on the Massachusetts economy that has grown significantly in recent years, following the Governor’s 2011 mission to Israel. According to that study, Israeli-founded companies in Massachusetts booked $6.2 billion in revenue in the state in 2012 and employed nearly 6,700 people. The study also found that the growth rate of Israeli companies in Massachusetts is five times that of the Massachusetts economy as a whole. From Israel, the Innovation Partnership Mission is heading to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to explore economic opportunities there, in the wake of the new direct air service Emirates Airlines between Dubai and Boston, which opened in March 2014.
(Caption: Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center) By Alex Morse and Greg Bialecki As the nation’s first planned industrial city, Holyoke became a thriving paper and textile manufacturing center powered by the Connecticut River. Like many New England mill towns, the city entered a period of economic hardship during the 1970s and 1980s with the relocation of many textile and manufacturing businesses. Today, city and state officials are joining research universities, local business leaders,and worldwide technology companies to work together to revitalize Holyoke into a city of innovation, entrepreneurship and modern, environmentally-friendly urban living. A central component of this work is the development of the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center and the Holyoke Innovation District — a public-private strategy to make Holyoke a major player in the state’s thriving innovation economy. The product of an unprecedented collaboration among five world-renowned research institutions (MIT, University of Massachusetts, Northeastern University, and Harvard University), the MGHPCC provides world-class computational infrastructure that is vital to both the universities and the state’s innovation economy, bringing opportunities for collaborative research on some of the biggest issues facing engineering, science and society. The $90 million data center was supported by investment from these universities, which was supplemented by a grant from the state to establish the project on a downtown brownfields site, where it would have the greatest economic impact. In addition, two of the Commonwealth’s largest technology employers, EMC and Cisco Systems, provided their support. Local government, business and education leaders and the Patrick administration have since continued the work with the launch of the Holyoke Innovation District, a public-private effort focused on upgrading infrastructure and transportation, expanding opportunities for new careers through workforce training and education, and leveraging the existing talent in Holyoke by supporting entrepreneurship from within the Holyoke community. Just a few of the notable successes of the Innovation District strategy include: new passenger train service in Holyoke scheduled to start later this year; new private investment such as Gateway City Arts; and, an award from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Working Cities Challenge to support SPARK, a community entrepreneurship program in the Holyoke Innovation District. The efforts from the state and the city are attracting entrepreneurial businesses that are already bringing new life downtown. New additions include VertitechIT, a fast growing IT and communications infrastructure company with national reach, Simple Diaper & Linen, a company started by two mothers that uses a chemical-free cleaning process, and Gateway City Arts, an incubator for all types of creative businesses. While there is plenty of work still to be done, Holyoke continues to demonstrate that collaboration among political, business ,and academic leaders, combined with imagination, discipline and perseverance, will overcome the most troubling economic challenges we face as a community. *** Alex Morse is the mayor of Holyoke. Greg Bialecki is the state’s Housing and Economic Development secretary. (This article originally appeared in The Boston Globe on May 29,2014.)
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