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U.S. News & World Report Names Massachusetts #1 State in America
U.S. News & World Report debuted its Best States rankings this week and Massachusetts was ranked the #1 State in the United States. The rankings are based on various factors, such as education health care, infrastructure, government economy, opportunity and justice. The project includes 28 rankings using 68 metrics, 26 data sources and 10,000 data points. Here is a summary of all 50 states. Massachusetts’ highest rankings include: # 1 Educational Attainment #1 College readiness #2 Medicare quality #3 Pre-K to 12th grade In an interview on CBS This Morning, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker joined Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer for the Report, to discuss the Commonwealth’s #1 overall ranking. “We have a lot of great schools” in Massachusetts, Governor Baker said. “That has led to a whole series of terrific, what I would call ecosystems around technology and healthcare and finance and education. You put it all together, in this day and age, in this kind of global economy and global world we live in, and it’s a terrific mix.” Health care factored into the state’s high rankings, according to the Report. In 2015, 96.4% of residents had health care insurance, the highest in the country, and the health care industry contributed $19.77 billion to state’s economy. Massachusetts also ranked first in Broadband access, and was also cited for its low unemployment and rate of new business growth, ranking second in the nation for new patents. “We also do have a bipartisan approach to working together,” Baker said. “People are okay with the ideas of compromise and collaboration. If you look at the success we’ve had policy-wise in the education, health care, and economy spaces, energy and a whole bunch of others, they’ve all been done on a bipartisan basis.” Reporter Visi Tilak, who wrote the Massachusetts summary, wrote, “Its vibrant academic environment, innovative and supportive health care policies and modernizing economy, measure for measure, make this small New England powerhouse with a population of 6.8 million the strongest state of all.” Tilak concluded that the indicators “point to a promising future for a state presently ranked No. 1 overall, a state whose fabric is woven with the modern and traditional, immense range and diversity, a formula that allows for tremendous innovation and growth.” Find out about visiting Massachusetts at MassVacation.com.
Massachusetts Seaport Economic Council Awards $5 Million to 13 Communities
Port of New Bedford. Photo courtesy of New Bedford Tourism & Marketing Office. Earlier this month, the Baker-Polito Administration’s Seaport Economic Council announced a total of $5 million in awards for 13 coastal communities. The grant awards advance collaborative initiatives to improve public infrastructure and promote maritime economic development in a wide array of coastal cities and towns. Governor Charlie Baker called the Blue Economy “an integral component of Massachusetts’s long-term economic growth, in sectors as diverse as robotics and commercial fishing. These investments will help modernize and repair vital infrastructure in New Bedford, encourage research and development in Falmouth, and generate maritime economic growth from Gloucester to Tisbury.” Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, chair of the Seaport Economic Council, said that Massachusetts “has built a globally competitive economy on our ability to leverage the Commonwealth’s unique strengths, skills, and physical assets. The Seaport Economic Council gives coastal communities the tools to advance collaborative work and community-based plans that will encourage sustainable growth.” Deputy Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Carolyn Kirk, vice-chair of the Seaport Economic Council, said the Baker-Polito Administration “remains committed to supporting our 78 coastal cities and towns by making investments in waterfront planning and coastal assets which generate economic development.” Here is a link to the 2017 grant recipients of the Seaport Economic Council. The Seaport Economic Council advances the Baker-Polito Administration’s support for communities and residents across the state by leveraging unique economic assets to drive sustainable regional growth. The council was re-launched in August 2015, 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.
Governor Baker announces budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018
(Photo courtesy of State House News) The Baker-Polito Administration filed its Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget proposal on January 25, 2017. The $40.508 billion spending plan funds key priorities including local aid, education, workforce development, housing and homelessness services, and substance misuse prevention programs, while keeping spending in line with recurring revenues and does not raise taxes. See video on the budget proposal, with comments by Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Kristen Lepore, Secretary of Administration and Finance. “This budget reaffirms our commitment to the hardworking people of the Commonwealth to propose a balanced budget that significantly invests in education, workforce development and funds to fight the opioid epidemic—without raising taxes,” said Governor Baker. “While practicing fiscal discipline and reining in spending, we are also pleased to introduce new initiatives like the ‘Learn to Earn’ program to shrink the unemployment and underemployment gap in our state and a $4,000 tax-credit for employers hiring an unemployed veteran. I look forward to working with our colleagues in the legislature so that we can all make Massachusetts a better place to live, work, and raise a family.” Read more information on the Governor’s filing letter, budget message and specific account informmation.
Governor Baker Delivers Second State of the Commonwealth Address
This week, Governor Charlie Baker delivered his second State of the Commonwealth address from the House Chamber of the Massachusetts State House. Members of the audience included Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo, Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg, members of the House and Senate, state officers, business leaders and community groups. “Our economy is among the strongest in the nation,“ Governor Baker told the assembled guests. “Over the past two years we’ve added 120,000 jobs. Today more people are working than at any time in the past 20 years. The companies of the future are moving to Massachusetts, bringing millions in private investment, while new companies are born here every day. In fact, for the second year in a row, Bloomberg named Massachusetts the #1 state for innovation. “It’s not an accident that Massachusetts is such an attractive place to do business. It’s a reflection of the quality of our people and the business climate we’ve created,” he said. Governor Baker also spoke about the progress being made on energy in Massachusetts. “Together, we passed landmark legislation that will reduce our carbon footprint while maintaining a competitively priced and reliable supply of energy. And we’ve built on those efforts by issuing an Executive Order on Climate Change that directs state government to work with local governments, business, and non-profits to develop plans to further protect our environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” In terms of making government more efficient and more accessible to businesses and citizens in Massachusetts, Governor Baker said, “We’ve reviewed, updated and eliminated thousands of pages of outdated and obsolete state regulations, which has reduced red tape and made it easier for employers, non-profits and cities and towns to do their jobs.” Governor Baker also talked about Massachusetts’ innovation economy and its global reputation in technology, health and the life sciences. “We all know the world is becoming more and more dependent on technology. Smart buildings. Smarter machines. Robotics. Autonomous vehicles. Digital health. Precision manufacturing. And big data to name a few,” Baker said. “These are the platforms of the next generation of great companies and new jobs. And cyber security that moves as fast as the hackers, thieves and troublemakers is what makes this all possible. Success in protecting databases and smart machines will ensure that people benefit from the best ideas in science, engineering and technology for decades to come. Baker called Massachusetts “one of the three most important players in cyber security in the world,” and said the industry is just taking off. “Hundreds of billions of dollars will be spent over the next decade to protect information and assets. Massachusetts’ organizations should play a major role in driving these decisions. Over the next ten months we’ll bring together the best minds locally and globally to develop a blueprint for success here in Massachusetts. And we will follow it.” Finally, the governor praised the veterans of Massachusetts but noted that “too many of our returning heroes struggle to find good jobs. So we’ll be proposing a $4,000 tax credit for businesses hiring and retaining an unemployed veteran.” Here is the full text of Governor Baker’s address.
Chef Daniel Bruce, Savoring Food and Wine at the Boston Wine Festival
Chef Daniel Bruce, celebrated chef at the Boston Harbor Hotel and its signature restaurant, Meritage, is founder of the Boston Wine Festival which celebrates its 28th season this year and runs from January 13 through March 31, 2017. As the nation’s longest running event of its kind, it’s worth noting the breadth and volume of creative cuisine that has gone from kitchen to palate. From the Festival’s inception, Chef Bruce has expertly crafted thousands of unique dishes, designed to complement the finest vino. Discerning palates rejoice, as this season’s lineup is sure to please. Chef, how do you keep patrons returning to the Boston Wine Festival over nearly three decades? The most important reason for the longevity of the Boston Wine Festival is the loyalty of our patrons, winemakers and of course, my staff. The warm and professional service and the strong relationships I have with the winemakers have made it possible for such a long run. Seasoned patrons join us to experience the Festival’s newest vineyards, along with their favorites that return year after year. We have word of mouth, as well, to thank for newcomers. The Festival keeps getting better and more exciting every winter. People seem more passionate than ever about food & wine. Why is that? I always felt there has been a passion for food and wine in this region, which is one of the main reasons I started the Festival nearly three decades ago! I do think that in recent years there has been an increase in the amount of opportunities available for people to experience food and wine in approachable settings, which has led to an increased interest in the pair. Are there any special new wines, guest chefs or pairings this year that you’re particularly proud of? As the Chef of the Boston Wine Festival, I am always looking to add new wineries to the lineup. I love to bring vineyards to Boston that I believe are rising stars in the world of wine, and introduce them to the market in Boston, and beyond. As for newcomers, this year I’m particularly excited about ROCO Winery (February 9) featuring the newest venture from Argyle Winery’s Rollin Sole. For the first time, The Boston Wine Festival will also host numerous winemakers from South Africa in March during a week of events dedicated to the region and inspired by my recent travels there. I am equally as excited about the well-recognized vineyards we have returning to the Festival. Whether the vintners have been with us just once, or for the past 27 years, they always bring special vintages from their cellars that are hard to find or not available for retail, which offers a truly unique experience for attendees. Thank you Chef Bruce! For more information, visit Boston Wine Festival This story originally appeared on the MassFinds Blog, published by Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism.
Massachusetts Senate Hosting Commonwealth Conversations 2017
The Massachusetts Senate is hosting its annual Commonwealth Conversations, a state wide listening tour of grassroots forums designed to connect state legislators directly with constituents to hear their ideas, concerns and suggestions. The series kicks off on Tuesday, January 31 in the Metro Boston region, and continues through Tuesday, April 11 in the North Shore region. See full schedule below. The Massachusetts State Senate is “bringing Beacon Hill to you with Commonwealth Conversations 2017,” said Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg, who called the initiative “part of the next step in our ongoing efforts to make your government even more responsive and accessible to you.” Here is a schedule of the upcoming forums: Date Region January 31 Metro Boston February 7 South Coast February 28 South Shore March 7 Southeast March 14 Central Mass March 21 Northeast March 28 Western Mass April 4 MetroWest April 11 North Shore
Massachusetts Partners in Nation’s First Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Innovation Institute
The Baker-Polito Administration has been selected as a partner in the nation’s first Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Innovation Institute. The $250 million Institute is a national public-private partnership, awarded through Manufacturing USA, a federally-authorized network of manufacturing innovation institutes. Federal matching funds for the institute will be provided by the US Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology. The public-private partnership will develop and commercialize new advanced manufacturing technologies while training a skilled workforce. Governor Charlie Baker says the new Institute will “ensure that our globally competitive life sciences cluster continues to deliver cutting-edge therapies, while providing quality manufacturing jobs to the citizens of Massachusetts.” The Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Innovation Institute is the sixth Manufacturing USA project secured under the Baker-Polito Administration. Massachusetts is anchoring the northeastern node for project, which will be known as the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL), a public-private partnership that seeks to solve challenges related to the production, testing, and regulation of new treatments. Educational and research institutions participating include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Quincy College, UMass Lowell, UMass Medical School, and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), along with a consortium of small, medium, and large biopharmaceutical industry partners from across the supply chain. The Commonwealth is supporting NIIMBL’s collaborative research and development, and workforce training efforts, through a five-year, $20 million commitment from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC). The Commonwealth’s matching contribution leverages $70 million in federal funds, awarded to the national project, and additional matching funds from private sector participants. Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito says the partnership “will create new capacity to manufacture modern biopharmaceutical therapies in Massachusetts, and continue to broaden the reach of the life sciences cluster throughout the Commonwealth.” Travis McCready, President and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, said the Institute “will build connections between our biomanufacturing innovators in industry and academia, and will connect the innovation going on in manufacturing with the innovation going on in the lab.” The project will also train an advanced manufacturing workforce, capable of working in new biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies. Manufacturing USA, formerly known as the National Network for Manufacturing Institutes, is a network of competitively awarded public-private innovation institutes. Manufacturing USA seeks to spur research into cutting-edge technologies that can be applied to advanced manufacturing processes. Bidders frequently form teams of universities across different states, with regional nodes supporting the lead bidder. The federal awards are leveraged several times over through a series of state and industry matches. Massachusetts is convening a national effort to develop revolutionary fibers and textiles, and the state is a participant in regional manufacturing innovation institute nodes in photonics, flexible hybrid electronics, smart manufacturing, and rapid process intensification.
Massachusetts Rated the Most Innovative State in America by Bloomberg
Massachusetts is again rated the number one state for innovation in the United States by Bloomberg, edging out California for the second straight year. The Bloomberg U.S. Innovation Index rated each of the 50 states on a 0-100 scale across these six metrics: R&D intensity; productivity; high-tech density; concentration of science, technology, engineering & mathematics (STEM) employment; science & engineering degree holders; and patent activity. Bloomberg reported that Massachusetts “gained ground by churning out more science and engineering graduates and producing jobs in those industries even though it had less technology company density than in 2015.” In addition, Bloomberg wrote, “Ranking leader Massachusetts has enjoyed a faster recovery from the last recession than most states and now boasts a 2.9 percent unemployment rate, leaving it tied for second-best in the country. That compares with a 4.6 percent national average.”
SBANE SUPPORTS Massachusetts-based Manufacturing Companies
The Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE) recently awarded a total of $225,000 in matching grant funds to 31 manufacturing companies across the Commonwealth. Currently in its eight year, and fifth consecutive funding year, SBANE’s Manufacturing Matching Grant Program is an opportunity for small and medium-sized Massachusetts-based manufacturers to hire private consulting expertise to assist with finance, marketing, accounting, government procurement and other business tasks. This competitive, one-time matching grant program is funded through an appropriation in the state budget and is overseen by the Massachusetts Office of Business Development. Over the last eight years, SBANE has allocated $1,637,500 in public funds to approximately 189 manufacturing companies that support 9,420 jobs in Massachusetts. Here are some success stories from the program. “The impact on manufacturers who have utilized the program has been extremely beneficial,” said SBANE President Robert Baker. “These matching funds have helped companies make completely necessary improvements to their business operations.” “Manufacturing is an important sector in the Massachusetts economy,” said Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development & International Trade. “As small and medium sized manufacturing companies in the Commonwealth seek to grow or restructure, these grants give them the necessary resources to succeed.” For more information on this program, or other ways SBANE helps small businesses, please visit our website at SBANE.org
MASSECON HONORS MASSACHUSETTS COMPANIES FOR JOBS, FACILITY GROWTH, AND INVESTMENT
Photo (L-R): Assistant Secretary of Business Development & International Trade Nam Pham, State Representative Paul Brodeur, Governor Charlie Baker, Representative Paul J. Donato, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development Jay Ash and State Senate President Stanley Rosenberg. MassEcon held its 13th Annual Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards luncheon recently to recognize 14 companies making outstanding contributions to the Massachusetts economy in 2016. Over 400 people attended the ceremony, which was held at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel with Citizens Bank as the presenting sponsor. Governor Charlie Baker praised the companies for their “commitment to growing the Massachusetts economy and an ability to deliver on their investments. Thank you for choosing to grow your business in Massachusetts, the state looks forward to your continued success.” Susan Houston, Executive Director of MassEcon thanked the companies, “for staying and growing here, and for their confidence in the future of the Commonwealth.” Since January 2015, the winning companies added more than 1900 jobs to the Commonwealth, invested over $354 million, and expanded their facilities by more than 1 million square feet. The winners, drawn from across the state, ranged in size and industry, including manufacturing, biotechnology, medical devices, food, and technology. Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development & International Trade, praised MassEcon for “representing business development throughout the entire state, from Boston to Westfield and from Lawrence to New Bedford. These awards validate the Baker-Polito Administration’s promise to grow the economy from one corner of the Commonwealth to the other.” This year’s 14 winning companies were selected after site visits and a reception with their competitors and judges in September. The reception enabled senior executives from the companies to present their attributes in the categories of job growth, facility expansion, investment, and community impact. Shire, a leading global biotechnology company based in Lexington, received a Gold Award. In accepting the award, Perry Sternberg, head of Shire’s US Commercial operations, announced that the company will occupy 343,000 additional square feet in Cambridge starting in 2019. Chris Doughty, owner of Capstan Atlantic of Wrentham, another Gold award winner, said his company is adding jobs in Massachusetts because of “the skilled and trained workforce. The state over time has become more and more business friendly.” Jeff Burbank, founder and CEO of NXStage of Lawrence, another Gold award winner, said the Team Economic Impact Awards evaluation process gave him a welcome new perspective on business. “This has given us a chance to meet other businesses and entrepreneurs from the Commonwealth,” he said. Jerry Sargent, President, Citizens Bank, Massachusetts, said, “Supporting the Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards is part of Citizens Bank’s commitment to strengthening communities where we live and work.” Find out more about MassEcon. THIRTEENTH ANNUAL TEAM MASSACHUSETTS ECONOMIC IMPACT AWARD WINNERS Region Gold Silver Bronze Central Bristol-Myers Squibb Devens Acacia Communications Maynard Woonsocket Glass Fabricators Whitinsville Greater Boston Shire Lexington Autodesk Boston IBM Watson Health Cambridge Northeast NxStage Medical Lawrence TraceLink North Reading Hoff’s Bakery Malden West Prolamina Westfield Jarvis Surgical Westfield PV Sullivan Supply Chicopee Southeast Capstan Atlantic Wrentham HTP New Bedford
Massachusetts Awards $85 million in MassWorks Grants to 33 Communities
Jackson Square Infrastructure Improvement Project in Jamaica Plain, Boston. (Photo courtesy of The Community Builders) This week the Baker-Polito Administration completed the 2016 MassWorks Infrastructure Program awards, making a total of 34 grants to projects in 33 communities across the Commonwealth. These grants fund a range of infrastructure improvements designed to unlock local economic development priorities, enabling the immediate development of more than 2,200 new multi-family housing units, and generating $1 billion in new private investment. Governor Charlie Baker called MassWorks, “a powerful, flexible tool that helps communities deliver on their economic development priorities. By forging strong partnerships between the state, local communities, and the private sector, these investments will grow the economy, unlock new job growth, and strengthen cities and towns across Massachusetts.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said the grants “empower cities and towns to drive economic revitalization at the local level. Municipalities will use MassWorks funds to unlock smart growth housing, improve their downtowns, build walkable neighborhoods, support tourism, and attract large-scale commercial development.” Secretary Jay Ash of Housing and Economic Development, said, “From Gateway cities to rural communities, MassWorks infrastructure funds are stimulating new growth, attracting $1 billion in new private investment. This year’s MassWorks awards, in thirty-three communities, from North Adams, to Worcester, Salem, and New Bedford, showcase our commitment to promoting strong communities and strong regions, across the Commonwealth.” Secretary Kristen Lepore of Administration and Finance said, “Our capital plan reflects an approach grounded in maintaining and modernizing our existing assets and making targeted investments for the future. MassWorks provides an important infrastructure funding to support economic development and job creation.” The 2016 competitive grant round generated 114 applications, requesting $287 million in public infrastructure grant funding. Since its inception in 2011, the MassWorks Program has invested over $419 million through competitive grant rounds, in 215 projects, throughout the Commonwealth. In August 2016, Governor Baker signed An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development (H.4569) to reauthorize MassWorks and support $500 million of future investment in critical infrastructure, a significant commitment by the Commonwealth. The Baker-Polito Administration has increased MassWorks funding by $35 million over the past two fiscal years. Here is a breakdown of the 2016 MassWorks awards. Photo: (L to R) Frank Shea, executive director, Urban Edge; Elizabeth Malia, Massachusetts state representative; Bart Mitchell, president and CEO, The Community Builders; Sonya Chang-Diaz, Massachusetts state senator; Richard Thal, executive director, Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC); Governor Charlie Baker; Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh; Chrystal Kornegay, undersecretary, Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development; Matt O’Malley, Boston city councilor; Jay Ashe, secretary, Massachusetts Office of Housing and Economic Development; Jeffrey Sanchez, Massachusetts state representative; Sheila Dillon, chief and director, Department of Neighborhood Development; John Barros, chief of economic development, City of Boston; and Brian Golden, director, Boston Planning & Development Agency.
Massachusetts Supports Small Business Saturday
Cities and towns across Massachusetts are participating in the annual Small Business Saturday taking place on Saturday, November 26, 2016 First launched by American Express in 2010 and supported by the U.S. Small Business Association (USSBA), the annual celebration of small businesses across America occurs each year on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. Forbes Magazine estimated about 95 million shoppers across the country spent $16 billion dollars on the Saturday after Thanksgiving last year. In Massachusetts, there are thousands of shopping opportunities categorized by region, city and town, shopping district or type of merchandise. Check out regional chambers like North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and the Yarmouth, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce or cities like Salem, Boston, New Bedford and Pittsfield. For shopping districts in Boston’s neighborhoods, check out the SoWa Shop Saturday in Boston’s South End, or West Roxbury’s Main Street district. To find local supporters of Small Business Saturday in your locality, go to the American Express Shop Small page and plug in your zip code. You can also follow on twitter @smallshop. To find out more about starting a small business in Massachusetts, visit the Office of Business Development. For information on visiting Massachusetts for the holiday seasons, go to MassVacation.com.
STEP Grants Help Massachusetts Export Companies Market Themselves Overseas
Caption: President Cathy Rocheleau welcomed Nam Pham and Mark Sullivan and other state and local officials to Rocheleau Tool & Die Company for the Step Grant Announcement. (Photo courtesy of Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise) Earlier this month, federal and state officials announced a new round of grants to help small businesses in Massachusetts expand and help market their export activities overseas. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s State Trade and Expansion Program (STEP) awarded $504,478 in funds to Massachusetts, which added a matching contribution of $168,159 for a total of $672,637. The STEP grant is being administered through the Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment (MOITI), the Office of Business Development (MOBD) and the Massachusetts Export Center (MEC). The announcement was made at the Rocheleau Tool & Die Company in Fitchburg, a company that has had success in expanding its business to South America. Cathy Rocheleau, president of Rocheleau Tool & Die, welcomed state and local officials to the plant and later gave a tour of the manufacturing facilities. Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development, said the funds “will support the growth of small businesses, whether they are new to exporting, or seeking to expand their export activities. I look forward to continued partnerships with the U.S. Small Business Administration, as we work together to spread economic growth across the Commonwealth.” The STEP grants provide reimbursements to eligible Massachusetts small businesses for qualified export-promotion expenses. Supported activities may include trade show participation, overseas marketing, and localization services and subscription services from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Participating small businesses are also required to secure matching private funds. Paula Murphy, Director of the Massachusetts Export Center, said the grant is available to small businesses across Massachusetts. “The funds are awarded on a competitive basis, and a well-planned international business strategy is critical for a grant award,” she said. Mark F. Sullivan, Executive Director of MOITI, said last year’s STEP grants were shared with over 60 Massachusetts small businesses to enhance their opportunities in the global marketplace. “We look forward to continuing that success with this year’s grant round,” Sullivan added. Also attending the event was Robert H. Nelson, district director of SBA’s Massachusetts District Office, Roy Nascimento, executive director of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale. MOITI and MEC are currently accepting grant applications from businesses, and a free STEP grant webinar is being presented on November 18 and December 14, 2016.
Massachusetts Supports Community-Based Innovation Programs
(Photo: Greentown Labs in Somerville) The Baker-Polito Administration recently announced a coordinated grant funding round to support community-based innovation and entrepreneurship in municipalities across Massachusetts. The $1.175 million funding round includes grants to support physical workspaces that launch new businesses at the local level, as well as new funding for human capital development in entrepreneur mentorship programming. Governor Charlie Baker said the Administration “is connecting every region in Massachusetts to the innovation economy, creating a platform for sustainable statewide job growth. Through these new investments in innovative workspaces and entrepreneurship support systems, we are deepening the infrastructure of economic development at the local level, and fueling small business job creation.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said the grant programs “will help community-based stakeholders position themselves as anchors of the entrepreneurial economy. The establishment of locally-grown innovation districts will empower every community in the Commonwealth to have a stake in moving the Massachusetts economy forward.” MassDevelopment is making $1 million in grant funding available to support the development of collaborative workspaces. It includes $500,000 to facilitate the workspaces in Gateway Cities, and $500,000 to workspaces in non-Gateway municipalities. The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative is committing $175,000 to create a new statewide entrepreneurship support network through its Innovation Institute. It plans to help launch a statewide Knowledge Sharing Network, a two-year pilot program that will provide a statewide platform for solving common problems and sharing best practices. Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash “Every community in Massachusetts possesses a deep spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, which is a powerful driver of regional growth. By providing both the physical and human capital needed to sustain local entrepreneurship, we are giving communities the tools they need to grow jobs from within.” Marty Jones, President and CEO of MassDevelopment, thanked the Baker-Polito Administration and the Legislature “for supporting this initiative and creating more opportunities to develop innovation related spaces across the entire Commonwealth.” Pat Larkin, Interim Executive Director of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, said the entrepreneur mentoring program “will help enhance both existing and thriving, entrepreneurship programs across Massachusetts, while kick starting new mentoring efforts in the state. The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development has made a comprehensive effort to map the state’s innovation ecosystem. It found that 118 communities, located in every region of the Commonwealth, contain at least one innovation space, program, or organization, with dense innovation hubs in every region of the state. The Baker-Polito Administration’s community-based innovation strategy focuses on growing these statewide innovation assets, and empowering community innovation stakeholders to drive regional job growth. Here is more information on the Massachusetts Community-Based Innovation Program.
14 GROWING MASSACHUSETTS FIRMS NAMED WINNERS OF MASSECON “IMPACT” AWARDS
Congratulations to the fourteen companies being honored for their outstanding contributions to the state’s economy at the 13th annual Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards this fall. MassEcon, the state’s private sector partner in promoting business growth in Massachusetts, is presenting the awards at a luncheon on November 22, 2016 at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. Citizens Bank is the presenting sponsor. The companies were selected on the basis of job growth, facility expansion, investment, and community involvement since January 1, 2015, according to MassEcon Executive Director Susan Houston. The winners were chosen by a panel of judges who made site visits to various companies and held a reception for all of the finalists at Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP. Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, said, “Massachusetts is fortunate to have an involved, diverse and generous business community, and we are happy to recognize these exceptional leaders today. Maintaining strong relationships between public and private sectors is crucial to long term economic growth, and providing community access to job opportunities across the Commonwealth.” “MassEcon is thrilled to celebrate these companies for their commitment to expanding in Massachusetts,” said Houston. “Their investment and job growth stimulates benefits throughout the Commonwealth, and we are excited to publicly honor the achievements of these outstanding corporate citizens.” “Citizens Bank is committed to strengthening the communities we serve and are proud to help celebrate those who share in that commitment,” said Jerry Sargent, President, Citizens Bank, Massachusetts. “The Impact Awards recognize and congratulate diverse businesses that are thriving because they have invested in Massachusetts and created jobs for its citizens.” 13th Annual Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Award Winners Region Gold Silver Bronze Central Bristol-Myers Squibb Devens Acacia Communications Maynard Woonsocket Glass Fabricators Whitinsville Greater Boston Shire Lexington Autodesk Boston IBM Watson Health Cambridge Northeast NxStage Medical Lawrence TraceLink North Reading Hoff’s Bakery Malden Southeast Capstan Atlantic Wrentham HTP New Bedford West Prolamina Westfield Jarvis Surgical Westfield PV Sullivan Supply Chicopee See description of each winning company here.
Baker-Polito Administration Announces Economic Development Awards to help businesses create jobs
Caption: U.S. Bedding Inc. in Fall River This week the Commonwealth’s Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) approved 13 projects for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP). These projects are expected to leverage $708 million in private investment, while creating 1,299 new jobs, and retaining 3,686 jobs throughout Massachusetts. Governor Charlie Baker said the EDIP “combines private investments with targeted public incentives to unlock business growth and support dynamic local economies throughout the Commonwealth.” Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said, “Today’s investments will provide job opportunities for current and future residents, and will drive long-term growth for Massachusetts.” Carolyn Kirk, Deputy Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, and Chair of the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council, praised “life sciences, technology, and manufacturing companies that have built their businesses around the talent and opportunities the Commonwealth provides. EDIP allows us to invest in these companies, helping to keep jobs and private investment in Massachusetts where they support our residents and communities.” Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development, said “EDIP allows Massachusetts to invest in our businesses in an effective and accountable way. Targeted business development tools allows us to realize the potential growth in businesses throughout the Commonwealth.” Five of the awarded projects this quarter are manufacturing companies, and five are located in Gateway Cities. APPROVED PROJECTS Manufacturing Retention Projects Golden Cannoli Shells, Inc. (Chelsea) US Bedding, Inc. (Fall River). Job Creation Project Akamai Technologies, Inc. (Cambridge Expansion Projects Broadway Hotel LLC (Chelsea VCA Inc. / Alloy LLC (Northampton Local Incentive-Only Projects Martin Development LLC (Amesbury) Pfizer, Inc. (Andover). Rosev Dairy Foods, Inc. (Chelsea) Stationery Factory LLC (Dalton) New Bedford Urban Renaissance II, LLC (New Bedford) William Green, Inc. (Shelburne) Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, Inc. (Walpole) Curtis Industries, LLC (West Boylston) The EACC has approved 102 economic development projects since January 2015. These projects will lead to the creation of 5,830 jobs, the retention of 12,297 existing jobs, and will leverage more than $2 billion in private investment. Additionally, the EACC has assisted 44 manufacturing companies and 48 companies in Gateway Cities during this period. 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 at Massachusetts Office of Business Development.
Baker-Polito Administration Launches Drought Emergency Loan Fund
Due to the unprecedented drought conditions in Massachusetts this summer, Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito have announced a Massachusetts Drought Emergency Loan Fund to assist the state’s farms and agriculture-related small businesses affected by these conditions. Farms and small businesses impacted by the drought can apply for micro-loans of $5,000 to $10,000 from the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC), which will make up to $1 million in loan funds available, according to state officials. “This new loan fund will provide affordable working capital loans to small businesses, including family farms grappling with a downturn in business caused by this prolonged drought,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Additionally, we are activating all of our business development channels, to remind consumers that Massachusetts farmers markets and farm stands still have top-quality produce for sale, and they have our full support.” MGCC is responsible for funding the loan, managing the loan portfolio, collecting payments and overseeing all decision-making regarding loan approval. “We are pleased to offer support to struggling family farms and related businesses hit hard by the drought,” said Larry Andrews, President of MGCC. “Our team will provide prompt review of each application and work to help local farmers in need.” “This financial support will help farm-related businesses regain financial stability and recover from lost revenue due to the drought,” said Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development and International Investment. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, much of Massachusetts experienced ‘severe drought’ conditions this summer, while a few places reached ‘extreme drought’ status. In August, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton, issued this information about the drought conditions in portions of Massachusetts. Officials estimate the Massachusetts Drought Emergency Loan Fund will run through November 2016. For more information and an online application, visit MassGCC.com or call 617-337-2803.
Baker-Polito Administration Awards $2.9 Million in Seaport Economic Council Grants
(Seaport Economic Council in front of the Pilgrim Hall Museum) This month the Seaport Economic Council awarded $2.9 million in competitive grants to grow the blue economy and support job creation in coastal cities and towns. The funding will unlock increased economic activity and growth in Chelsea, Fairhaven, Quincy and Swampscott, while supporting technological innovation and education opportunities through Bunker Hill Community College, the John Adams Innovation Institute and the University of Massachusetts. Governor Charlie Baker said, “Massachusetts leads the world’s blue economy and our administration is committed to supporting its regional growth in the Commonwealth’s 78 coastal communities by investing in education, planning, and research efforts. The important investments by the Seaport Economic Council in technological research and development will ensure Massachusetts maintains a strong employment base in the blue economy of the future.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, chair of the Seaport Economic Council, said the grants “will help communities plan for growth and leverage their unique economic assets to support job creation and business expansion. Funding marine infrastructure improvements and educational programs supports small business growth and ensures residents can access the skills they need for employment in the maritime economy.” Deputy Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Carolyn Kirk said the state’s blue economy “encompasses everything from part-time scallopers to artists and underwater vehicle designers. Supporting municipal planning efforts, infrastructure improvements, and educational programs will help ensure that these communities retain their diverse and strong economies.” The Seaport Economic Council was re-launched in August 2015, 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. Grant Recipients Bunker Hill Community College – $450,000 Bunker Hill Community College will partner with College Bound Dorchester to foster awareness of the maritime economy sector among Boston’s youth, and will ensure that students gain the necessary skills and certificates – including carpentry, woodworking, electrical, and plumbing skills – to engage in maritime trades. Chelsea Harbor Plan – $120,000 The City of Chelsea will prepare a Municipal Harbor Plan to allow for greater flexibility in waterfront development. This planning process will support Chelsea’s development of a strategic path to achieve its waterfront goals and objectives. Fairhaven Union Wharf Improvements – $950,713 The Town of Fairhaven will use funds to construct Phase 2 of the West Wall Union Wharf Bulkhead Replacement and Improvements. The Wharf is within the Designated Port Area and is currently used by commercial scallopers, draggers and lobster boats. Improvements will allow the Wharf to accommodate additional commercial fishing, charter fishing, and public safety dockage. John Adams Innovation Institute – $147,500 The Seaport Economic Council will partner with the John Adams Innovation Institute to implement the Council’s Innovation Grants Program in a way that maximizes successful investment in innovation-based economic development projects. Quincy Maritime Center – $225,000 The City of Quincy will use grant funding to complete permitting, engineering, geotechnical services, and architectural designs for the Hough’s Neck Maritime Center Building. Swampscott Harbor Plan – $50,000 The Town of Swampscott will undertake a harbor plan, integrating harbor and waterfront initiatives with existing town plans and developments. The plan will focus on identifying and prioritizing necessary coastal infrastructure improvements, evaluating proactive actions to address storm surge and sea-level rise, and encouraging the economic development of the historical waterfront. University of Massachusetts Boston Urban Harbors Institute – $89,569 Significant economic growth potential exists in the Massachusetts seafood economy, but coordinated strategies and investments are required to realize this potential over time. The Urban Harbors Institute will research the details of these approaches and their applicability to the on-the-ground conditions in Massachusetts’ fishing ports. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth – $612,250 The project draws upon four leading marine and robotics technology organizations to develop new approaches to provide autonomy for unmanned underwater vehicles and prove their usefulness on key missions. This will be done in a collaboration between students at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Northeastern University, and private research companies. This research and development will move the marine robotics sector forward, while engaging and educating students. This program will also provide key new research infrastructure, two undersea robots, for university research. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship –$250,000 The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will upgrade its Mechanical and Prototyping Laboratory and Technology Venture Center to attract, support, and retain marine technology startups in southeastern Massachusetts. These facilities will leverage CIE’s experience working with marine technology startups, expanding on a successful program that has already spun out five marine technology firms into established Massachusetts businesses.
MASSECON ANNOUNCES FINALISTS FOR 13TH ANNUAL ECONOMIC IMPACT AWARDS
MassEcon has selected eighteen companies from across the state as finalists for the 2016 Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards, which recognize companies that make an outstanding contribution to the Massachusetts economy. On on September 14, the finalists will present one-minute elevator pitches describing their growth in the Bay State to a panel of judges and business leaders at Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP in Boston. Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, is the featured guest at the event. The finalist companies range in size and are drawn from different industries including, manufacturing, biotechnology, medical devices, technology, and education. MassEcon selected the finalists based on their job growth, facility expansion, and investment since January 1, 2015, as well as other criteria including community involvement. Together this year’s finalists have added over 2,000 jobs to the Commonwealth, invested over $450 million, and expanded their facilities by nearly 1.5 million square feet since January 2015. “We are thrilled to recognize Massachusetts companies that contribute so much to the Commonwealth’s success,” said Susan Houston, Executive Director of MassEcon. “The range of industries and regions represented by this impressive group of companies demonstrates the collective strength of our state.” Citizens Bank is the presenting sponsor of the Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards. “Supporting the Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards is part of Citizens Bank’s commitment to strengthening communities where we live and work,” said Jerry Sargent, President, Citizens Bank, Massachusetts. “These awards recognize businesses across Massachusetts that are investing in their communities, and creating jobs. Citizens Bank congratulates all the finalists on their success and we look forward to celebrating with them on September 14th.” Finalists compete on a regional basis (West, Central, Southeast, Northeast, and Greater Boston), and a gold, silver, and bronze winner will be selected from each region. MassEcon is announcing the winners in October and recognizing them at its annual awards luncheon on November 22nd at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel in Boston’s Seaport District. A non-profit, non-partisan organization, MassEcon serves as the state’s private sector partner in promoting Massachusetts as the premier choice for business growth.
Governor Baker Signs Economic Development Legislation in Massachusetts
Today, Governor Charlie Baker signed comprehensive economic development legislation into law, providing up to $1 billion in new investments in communities, workforce training, and innovation across Massachusetts, and deepening the state’s economic competitiveness. The new economic development law, An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development (H. 4569), advances job creation by expanding the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to building a skilled workforce and connecting residents to economic opportunities, strengthening community and housing development efforts, and investing in the emerging technologies that will underpin the Commonwealth’s economic future. Governor Charlie Baker said the legislation “unleashes valuable opportunities for investments in the development of revolutionary new technologies and community-based innovation, connecting every region of the Commonwealth to the innovation economy. “By pairing those investments with a growing commitment to workforce development in high-demand fields like advanced manufacturing, computer science, and robotics, we will deepen our efforts to build the nation’s most competitive workforce,” the Governor continued. “I am proud this bipartisan legislation will support the growth of our state’s nationally-leading innovation economy, and help develop the jobs of tomorrow.” Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said the legislation provides “a robust set of tools that will allow state government to partner with communities, and advance our common goals. By providing critical funds for public infrastructure, site cleanup, and Gateway City redevelopment, this legislation will unlock local and regional economic development priorities, and connect citizens across Massachusetts to economic opportunity.” Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash said the legislation “reflects the collaborative spirit that drives our economic development efforts. It is the result of more than a year of conversations with scores of legislators and administration officials, as well as thousands of conversations with business leaders, municipal officials, educators, community advocates and other stakeholders. And it reflects our shared vision of creating economic opportunities, economic prosperity, and economic mobility throughout the Commonwealth.” An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development is organized around four main themes: community development, workforce development, innovation, and economic competitiveness.
Governor Baker Signs Comprehensive Energy Diversity Legislation in Massachusetts
This week, Governor Charlie Baker signed comprehensive energy diversity legislation into law at the State House with Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, legislative leaders, and energy and environment stakeholders. Proponents hailed it as a continued effort to stabilize electric rates, ensure a diversified energy portfolio for the Commonwealth, and embrace advanced technologies. An Act Relative to Energy Diversity (H. 4568) garnered bi-partisan support and promotes the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to reducing energy costs while strengthening the state’s clean energy economy and progressing toward Massachusetts’ greenhouse gas reduction requirements. Governor Charlie Baker said, “Massachusetts is always at the forefront of adopting innovative clean energy solutions, and this legislation will allow us to build on that legacy and embrace increased amounts of renewable energy, including hydropower. With our partners in the Legislature, the Commonwealth has taken another major step toward providing residents and businesses with a cost-effective and reliable clean energy future.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said, “The hydroelectric and offshore wind power generation authorized in this legislation will play a crucial role in securing clean and cost-effective energy for the Commonwealth’s ratepayers. By utilizing renewable sources of power generation, Massachusetts will continue to lead the nation in embracing economic and environmentally friendly methods to generate electricity to meet the needs of our communities.” Matthew Beaton, Secreatry of Energy and Environmental Affairs, said, “The ability to procure clean hydroelectric power and off-shore wind is another important milestone in the Commonwealth’s transition to a diversified energy portfolio. By embracing renewable energy generation technologies, the Baker-Polito Administration continues to make progress in achieving the emissions reductions targets set forth by the Global Warming Solutions Act.” Read the full press release here.
Massachusetts Expands Apprenticeship Opportunities
Photo courtesy of Greater Boston JACT Last week the Baker-Polito Administration’s Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced $200,000 in grant funding to expand and diversify apprenticeship opportunities and strengthen existing programs in Massachusetts. The funds came from the ApprenticeshipUSA State Accelerator Grant, issued by the United States Department of Labor (DOL). Governor Charlie Baker said the funding allows Massachusetts “to prepare a pipeline of skilled workers for future employment. Ensuring that our strong and skilled workforce continues to develop and succeed results in a prospering economic environment across the Commonwealth.” The grant enables the Massachusetts Apprenticeship Initiative to expand opportunities to other areas of the state, new industries, occupations and additional employers. The Initiative is a collaboration of 50 businesses, the state Department of Career Services, Division of Apprentice Standards, the Massachusetts Community Colleges Executive Office, the Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative, and six local workforce development boards. Under DOL requirements, all registered apprenticeship programs must include five components – on-the-job training, direct business involvement, related instruction, rewards for skill gains, and a national occupational credential. Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said, “As our state’s economy continues to grow, apprenticeships will play an increasingly important role in training individuals for job openings now and into the future, and supporting job growth and economic development across Massachusetts.” The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, through the Department of Career Services and Division of Apprentice Standards, will build upon partnerships in an effort to expand the number of employers with apprenticeship programs. Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II said. The funding allows the Commonwealth to “create more strategic partnerships in industries that already employ apprentices, while also reaching out to nontraditional industries for apprenticeship opportunities such as IT, healthcare, cyber-security, advanced manufacturing and others.” According to the US Department of Labor, “Apprenticeships are a proven path to high quality, secure middle-class jobs. In fact, 87 percent of apprentices are employed after completing their programs, with an average starting wage above $50,000 per year.”
Cheers to the New Dorchester Brewing Company
Photo: Official opening of the Dorchester Brewing Company on July 20, 2016 An old warehouse in Dorchester - one of Boston’s most diverse and culturally rich neighborhoods – is now the site of the sparkling new Dorchester Brewing Company, which opened this week. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh joined various state and city officials, including State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, City Councilor Michael Flaherty and Assistant Secretary of Business Development and International Investment Nam Pham, to formally open the new company. The 25,000 square-foot space at 1250 Massachusetts Avenue just outside of Edward Everett Square sports a brewery, which is designed to help local craft brewers expand their commercial operations, along with an adjoining taproom and patio. Described by the company as “Boston’s only dedicated contract and partner brewing facility,” Dorchester Brewing will offer “multiple packing options including bottling, kegging, canning, specialty and barrel aging.” The taproom and patio offers a retail space where patrons can sample a variety of local beers, including six house brews on tap this summer: Clapp’s Cream Ale, V1 Double IPA, Mass Ave IPA, Savin Summer Stout, Minivan Hefe and Nitro of the Day. The taproom is open Wednesday to Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Expect food trucks outside for weekend dinner and weekend lunches. Dorchester Brewing Company is just the latest in a notable rise in craft breweries in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Export Center reports that Massachusetts is the 14th largest exporting state, sending over $5.6 million in beer abroad each year, to countries ranging from Brazil and Belgium to Canada and China. The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) has a list of craft breweries throughout the Commonwealth. And there is even a Craft Brewers Trail issued by the Massachusetts Brewers Guild. The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism is also a handy resource for breweries, brew tours and special beer festivals taking place throughout the year.
Baker-Polito Administration Announces Economic Development Awards for 18 Projects
This week the Commonwealth’s Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) approved 18 projects for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP). These projects are expected to create 855 new jobs and retain 2,958 jobs throughout Massachusetts, while leveraging approximately $199 million in private investment. Five manufacturing companies and seven projects located in Gateway Cities were among the EACC approved projects this quarter. Governor Charlie Baker said that Massachusetts has “a robust, pro-growth business environment, and our administration is committed to maintaining and improving the Commonwealth’s business ecosystem. Through targeted business development tools like the Economic Development Incentive Program, we will continue to support sustainable, long-term growth.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said the EDIP “unlocks private capital investment and job creation across Massachusetts. Creating the optimal environment for job growth is crucial to stimulating new growth, and lifting up every community in Massachusetts.” Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash said the EDIP “allows us to make effective and accountable investments in the Massachusetts businesses. These investments have ripple effects beyond specific beneficiaries. The local job creation we support spurs regional business growth and an improved quality of life throughout the Commonwealth.” Assistant Secretary for Business Development Nam Pham said the projects approved in this quarter “demonstrate the diversity of the Massachusetts economy. By deploying targeted, cost-effective incentives, we are encouraging new growth in information technology, medical device manufacturing, and hospitality, and spurring job creation from Beverly to North Adams.” Here is a list of the 18 projects. Since January 2015, the EACC has approved 88 economic development projects, creating 4,557 jobs, retaining 8,607 existing jobs, and leveraging more than $1.4 billion in private investment. During the Baker-Polito Administration, the EACC has assisted 39 manufacturing companies and 44 companies in Gateway Cities. 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 at Massachusetts Office of Business Development.
MassEcon Annual Conference Highlights Massachusetts within a Global Economy
Caption: Michael Dolega, Director and Senior Economist at TD Economics and panelists. Photo Credit: Janet Stearns. More than 130 leaders from across Massachusetts gathered at the Newton Marriott Hotel in early June for the 2016 MassEcon Annual Conference, whose theme was Connecting Massachusetts to the Global Economy. An informative and insightful conversation took place that assessed the state’s current and future outlook for success in a globally connected world. Featured speaker Michael Dolega, Director and Senior Economist at TD Economics, made these observations pertaining to the state’s economy in the global context including: • Massachusetts stands to benefit from high value-add goods exports in the high-tech, health care, machinery, and chemical markets, due to strong human capital and intellectual property protections. • Massachusetts is well positioned to gain from persistent expansion in service exports which has doubled in value nationally since 2005 and accounted for $25 billion in Massachusetts last year. • Current free trade agreements cover 31% of Massachusetts goods exports, but pending deals such as the TPP and TTIP, this share could increase by 33%, removing sizeable tariffs that make Massachusetts products more expensive and less competitive. Following the presentation, Dolega was joined by moderator Curt Nickisch (Senior Editor at the Harvard Business Review) and panelists Lorraine Attridge (Fast Trak Leader at GE Healthcare Life Sciences), Colin Gillespie (President of LEGO Education North America), Charles Gray (Vice President and General Counsel at Teradyne), and Paula Murphy (Founder and Director at the Massachusetts Export Center), for further discussion and Q&A with audience members. The dialogue covered a variety of topics ranging from doing business with Iran to the impact of the current election cycle to the significance of non-compete clauses. The panelists emphasized the many strengths of the Massachusetts economy, including: • World renowned education institutions which consistently produce high caliber talent • Openness to foreign leaders, workers, and businesses • Innovative environment • Recent increase in direct international flights to and from Logan International Airport in Boston The panelists also highlighted areas of improvement for the state, including further investment to modernize the infrastructure; additional encouragement to mid and small sized companies to establish headquarters in the state; and ensuring that protectionist regulations regarding employees do not obstruct the Commonwealth’s continuous goal of becoming a world class economy. During the Q&A, Dan Griggs, a TD Bank Market President, raised the issue of non-compete clauses and their impact on business. In response, Charles Gray disagreed with those who cite the presence of non-competes (agreements that prevent employees from using information gained from employment to establish a competing business effort) as a reason for business success. Gray referenced, that in large part, the impact of non-competes depends on the individual market, which can mitigate their overall impact. In addition, Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI) Executive Director Mark Sullivan conveyed to the audience the role his office could play in helping connect Massachusetts businesses to the global economy. Sullivan also emphasized the availability and attractiveness of Massachusetts’ Gateway Cities, offering his office’s assistance to any individuals or companies interested in exploring the opportunities in these locations. Thank you to all who attended the 2016 MassEcon Annual Conference, and a special thank you to our featured speaker, panelists, moderator and sponsor TD Bank.
Baker-Polito Administration Opens New Round of MassWorks Infrastructure Awards
The sixth annual round of MassWorks Infrastructure Program is underway, with online applications available on June 3. The competitive grant program invests in projects in local communities that can leverage private funding and open up areas to further residential, commercial, or industrial development. It is a one-stop shop for municipalities and other eligible public entities seeking funding to support housing, economic development and job creation. In addition, the Program supports municipalities with a population of 7,000 or less that may seek grants for roadway improvements to enhance public safety. Governor Charlie Baker called MassWorks funding “a critical part of our support for cities and towns throughout Massachusetts. The legislature’s reauthorization of MassWorks through our economic development bill will allow us to continue its success in helping communities unlock potential opportunities for job creation and economic growth.” Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said, “The Massworks infrastructure award program allows us to support local solutions, creating jobs and helping communities to prepare for success.” Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash called MassWorks investments “an important part of our work to grow businesses, create jobs, and build housing throughout the Commonwealth.” Public entities must submit their applications between August 22 and September 2. The 2016 grant round will support housing and commercial growth opportunities that contribute to the long-term strength and sustainability of Massachusetts, with a particular emphasis on projects that support the production of multi-family housing in appropriately located mixed-use districts and projects that support economic development in weak or distressed areas. The Baker-Polito Administration’s Economic Development Bill, An Act to Provide Opportunities for All (H. 3983) authorizes an additional $500 million in capital funding over the next five years for the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, allowing the Administration to award funds in the next round and in the future. The 2016 application, guidelines, FAQs and other relevant materials are available at MassWorks. Applicants will have access to previous MassWorks grant round submissions. All decisions will be rendered within approximately eight weeks after the September 2 application deadline. In total, the MassWorks Infrastructure Program has invested over $333 million to over 181 infrastructure improvement projects across the Commonwealth during the past five grant rounds. These public investments have leveraged millions of private dollars and created thousands of new housing units and jobs.
Cruiseport Boston Boosts Tourism and Marine Economy in Massachusetts
Tourists are pouring into Massachusetts by sea in record numbers, thanks to the burgeoning cruise industry and Boston’s rapid rise as a new destination for this lucrative audience. Earlier this month, Massport celebrated the 30th anniversary of Cruiseport Boston at the Black Falcon Pier in South Boston. It was a chance to look back at Boston’s illustrious maritime traditions and to preview some of the great things on the horizon for Cruiseport Boston. According to Massport, this operation provides over 950 direct jobs and generate nearly $80 million in economic impact, as well as $25 million in annual local, state and federal tax revenue. In 2016, Massport estimates that 320,000 passengers are expected to come through the port on 114 ship calls. CEO Thomas P. Glynn called the 30th anniversary “an exciting milestone for not only Massport, but for the cruising community and the entire region. “Cruiseport Boston has grown into a well-established launching point for quality cruises, whether you’re heading to Canada or Bermuda,” Glynn said. “In the meantime, the industry is recognizing Boston as a significant embarkation port, in part because of our engaged cruising community. This will help keep Massachusetts among the top 10 states benefitting from the cruise industry.” A highlight of the week-long celebration included inaugural visits by two mega cruise ships: on Wednesday, May 18, Disney Magic, a 984 feet long, eleven deck cruise ship that carries 2,400 passengers came to Boston; followed on Friday, May 20 by the Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas, which carries 4,180 passengers and is the largest cruise ship ever to land in Boston. Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary for Business Development and International Trade, said the bustling cruise traffic is compatible with the Baker-Polito Administration’s vision to strengthen the maritime industry in all 78 seacoast cities and towns in Massachusetts. “A thriving waterfront increases commerce, produces jobs, and supports tourism, which is the third largest industry in Massachusetts,” said Pham. The addition of the Disney Cruise Line and Anthem of the Seas will likely broaden the customer base of tourists who disembark in Boston, since many of them will be seeing Massachusetts for the first time. Twenty-nine cruises — to destinations including Bermuda, Canada and Europe — are set to start in Boston. Another highlight of the week occurred when officials unveiled a series of murals painted by the schoolchildren of South Boston. One of the murals honored Ray Flynn, the former US Ambassador to the Vatican and Mayor of Boston. In 1986, Mayor Flynn established the Marine Industrial Park along the waterfront, which was widely credited with reviving the industrial port and preserving blue-collar jobs. This year the park was renamed the Ray Flynn Marine Park. According to the Cruise Lines International Association, more than 24 million passengers are expected to sail in 2016. Here is the 2016 Schedule at Cruiseport Boston. Here is information on the Seaport Economic Council.
Park Serve Day in Massachusetts Brings out thousands of Volunteers
(Photos from the Boston Harbor Islands cleanup) Thousands of volunteers from state and municipal government, colleges and universities, and cities and towns across the Commonwealth came out for the 10th annual Park Serve Day. Organized by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), the all-day cleanup took place at over 40 parks across the state, including state parks and beaches, coastline walkways, hiking trails, cemeteries, islands, reservoirs and ponds. Governor Charlie Baker said that Park Service Day “is an incredible opportunity for state government to partner with the public in an effort to benefit us all. By working together, generations of people will truly benefit from this worthwhile event.” See below the list of events taking place. Boston Region • Alewife Reservation, Cambridge • Charles River Reservation, Boston • Patten’s Cove, Dorchester Shores Reservation, Dorchester • Pleasure Bay, Farragut Park, South Boston • Dorchester Greenway, Pope John Paul Park, Dorchester • Mystic River Reservation, MacDonald Park, Medford • Neponset River Walk, Quincy • Southwest Corridor, South End, Boston Northern Region • Breakheart Reservation, Saugus • Cochituate State Park, Natick • Callahan Park, Framingham • Halibut Point State Park, Rockport • Harold Parker State Forest, N. Andover • Marshview Park, Lynn • Maudslay State Park • Middlesex Fells Reservation at Flynn Rink/Money Hill, Medford • Lynn/Nahant Beach at Lynn Shores Reservation, Nahant • Red Rock Park at Lynn Shores Reservation, Lynn • Revere Beach Reservation, Revere • Riverfront State Park, Lawrence • Salisbury Beach State Reservation, Salisbury (2- day event: April 30 and May 1) • Victorian Garden and Mack Plaza, Lowell Central Region • Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park, Uxbridge • Otter River State Forest, Baldwinville • Leominster State Forest, Westminster • Nashua River Rail Trail, Pepperell • Moore State Park, Paxton • Douglas State Forest, Douglas Southeastern Region • Blue Hills Reservation at Houghton’s Pond, Milton • Blue Hills Reservation, Broderick Stable, Milton • Brookwood Farm, Milton • F. Gilbert Hills State Forest, Foxboro • Georges Island, Leaves from Long Wharf • Gateway Park, Hingham • Massasoit State Park, Taunton • Myles Standish State Forest, South Carver • Nickerson State Park and Cape Cod Rail Trail, Brewster • Scusset Beach State Reservation, Bourne • Shea Park, Horsehoe Park, Quincy • Waquoit Bay Reserve, Waquoit • Webb Memorial State Park, Weymouth Western Region • Chicopee State Park, Chicopee • Great Falls Discovery Center, Montague • Norwottuck Rail Trail, Hadley • Savoy Mountain State Forest, Savoy • Pittsfield State Forest, Pittsfield\ The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, oversees 450,000 acres of parks and forests, beaches, bike trails, watersheds, dams, and parkways. Led by Commissioner Leo Roy, the agency’s mission is to protect, promote, and enhance our common wealth of natural, cultural, and recreational resources. To learn more about DCR, our facilities, and our programs, please visit www.mass.gov/dcr.
PaxEast 2016 Taps into Massachusetts Creative & Innovation Economies
At first glance, this year’s annual PaxEast 2016 gathering at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in South Boston resembled a gigantic costume ball, replete with fictional and virtual characters from video games, movies, comic books and the far reaches of someone’s imagination. Massachusetts has a stake in the $67 billion gaming industry, which helps to fuel the state’s creative industries and innovation economy. Tens of thousands of gamers, investors, retailers and experts attend PaxEast each year, supporting the local tourism and hospitality industries. PaxEast is also a valuable stage for aspiring entrepreneurs and game developers to find a ready audience to view new products. One of the most popular elements of the show is the Pax East Indie Showcase, described as “a collection of the best indie games you’ve never heard of available on mobile platforms.” Timothy Loew, executive director of the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDigi) noted the top local video game companies on the Expo Hall floor, included Harmonix, Proletariat, The Deep End Games and The Molasses Flood among a number of others. Numerous Massachusetts schools exhibited, including Becker College in Worcester; Elms College in Chicopee, Mount Ida College in Newton and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). “Each year the Boston-area game scene, like PAX East, gets bigger and more exciting,” Lowe says. “With more people playing more games on more devices in more places than ever before, I already can’t wait until the next PaxEast in 2017.” To learn more about the state’s Video Gaming opportunities, contact Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDigi). Here is a schedule of upcoming conventions in Massachusetts. For information about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.
MassEcon Event Welcomes New Companies from Around the World
Photo Caption: MassEcon hosts Corporate Welcome Reception at Genzyme for 19 companies new to Massachusetts. Company leaders are pictured with Governor Charlie Baker, EOHED Secretary Jay Ash and MassEcon Executive Director, Susan Houston. Photo by Janet Stearns. This week MassEcon held its 8th annual Corporate Welcome Reception at Sanofi Genzyme headquarters in Kendall Square, Cambridge. Over 100 private sector leaders and senior state officials, including Governor Charlie Baker, were on hand to welcome the representatives from thirteen companies and six airlines to Massachusetts. The sector and geographical diversity of the group speaks to all that Massachusetts has to offer to companies seeking a foothold in the state’s innovation economy. The new companies represent a wide variety of industries including life sciences, education, energy, manufacturing, online retail and transportation. And they come from all parts of the United States and the world. International companies originating from Canada, Israel, Mexico, Norway, Sweden,Turkey and the United Kingdom were represented along with domestic companies with corporate origins in California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kansas, New York and Washington. In his welcoming remarks, Governor Baker said, “Massachusetts’ innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, talented workforce and commitment to success has put the Commonwealth on the map as a place for businesses to grow and thrive. 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.” According to MassEcon, the companies are adding 1,600 new jobs to the Commonwealth. MassEcon Chairman Brian Cohen said the companies at the event “represent impressive additions to the Commonwealth’s business community, and we look forward to their having a productive, successful, and long-standing relationship with the Commonwealth.” The 13 companies include Amazon in Fall River; Applied Photophysics in Beverly; Avigilon in Somerville; Olink Bioscience in Watertown; Sunrun in Marlborough; ERD Metal in Avon; Eli Lilly, IBM Watson Health, Philips, and WuXi AppTec in Cambridge; and General Electric, Harmon.ie, and LEGO Education in Boston. In addition, six international airlines that have recently launched non-stop flights to and from Boston’s Logan International Airport were among the honorees. They include AeroMexico; El Al Israel Airlines; Norwegian Air Shuttle; Qatar Airways; Scandinavian Airlines and WestJet Airlines. MassEcon Executive Director Susan Houston said the popular annual event “is our way of saying thank you for choosing the Commonwealth. It is also an opportunity for us to connect these companies with the robust network of resources Massachusetts has to offer.” MassEcon is a private non-profit entity that serves as the state’s private sector partner in promoting Massachusetts as the premier choice for business growth.
Bountiful Massachusetts Celebrates Agriculture Day
(Assabet Valley culinary arts students with Governor Charlie Baker at Agriculture Day) Locally-grown food took center stage this week as Massachusetts celebrated Agriculture Day at the State House. The annual event is a collaborative effort between the Massachusetts Promotion Board, Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation and Federation of Massachusetts Farmers Markets. Governor Charlie Baker attended the event, and encouraged Massachusetts residents “to support our local farmers and food producers and purchase Massachusetts grown and produced products whenever possible.” The Baker-Polito Administration declared April 5, 2016 as Massachusetts Agriculture Day, and honorary citations were presented to the Eastern State Exposition (The Big E) in recognition of its centennial celebration this September, and Norfolk Country Agricultural High School in recognition of its 100 year anniversary. Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said that by declaring Massachusetts Agriculture Day, “we hope to recognize and raise awareness of the importance of our many farmers and food producers.” Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton called Agriculture Day “a great opportunity to discuss issues specific to the agricultural industry, which is a vital part of the state’s economy and provides clean, healthy food to Massachusetts residents.” There are approximately 7,700 farms in Massachusetts maintaining almost 523,000 acres of open space. These farms employ some 28,000 workers and contribute about $492 million to the state economy. Massachusetts is ranked fifth in the United States for direct market agricultural sales, according to the Division of Agricultural Markets. Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) Commissioner John Lebeaux said, “Together with many of our agricultural partners, we gather to recognize accomplishments, identify challenges and prepare for a successful growing season.” Agricultural Day awards were presented to State Representatives Keiko Orrall (R-Lakeville), Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester) and Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington). Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation President Edward Davidian said, “We are looking forward to a productive year working with our growers and state representatives to strengthen and maintain our agricultural heritage.” For the concluding reception in the Great Hall, culinary students and instructors from the Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management Program prepared and presented a “Taste of Massachusetts” menu, using products donated from approximately 40 farms and food producers across the Commonwealth. The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism maintains a culinary calendar of food-related activities taking place in Massachusetts throughout the year.
Governor Baker’s Hydropower Legislation Receives Bipartisan Support
(EEA Secretary Matthew Beaton speaks about Hydropower Generation) The Baker-Polito Administration’s efforts to diversity Massachusetts’ energy portfolio by procuring cost-effective hydropower generation received support last week from three former secretaries of Energy and Environmental Affairs: Maeve Vallely-Bartlett, Rick Sullivan, and Ian Bowles. The three former officials met with Governor Charlie Baker and current Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton to discuss the need to stabilize New England’s electricity rates, meet the Commonwealth’s Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) goals and provide ratepayers with a clean, cost-competitive alternative to coal and oil generation. Governor Baker said the endorsement of the former secretaries “is illustrative of the pressing need to address Massachusetts’ rising energy costs, increase electricity grid reliability and reduce carbon emissions to meet the Commonwealth’s energy and environmental goals.” Secretary Beaton said the legislation “strikes an important balance between climate and environmental awareness, and the Commonwealth’s need for clean, reliable, cost-effective generation resources.” In July, the Baker-Polito Administration filed Senate Bill 1965, An Act Relative to Energy Sector Compliance with the Global Warming Solutions Act, to require Massachusetts utilities to jointly, and competitively, solicit long-term contracts for clean energy generation resources and associated transmission together with the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) For more information, visit Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
Governor Baker Addresses the National Society of Black Engineers in Boston
Governor Charlie Baker gave a welcoming address to the National Society of Black Engineers conference at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on Thursday, March 24, 2016. This is the 42nd annual conference of the NSBE, which draws over 11,000 delegates from across the country and around the world. The theme of this year’s conference is “Engineering a Cultural Change.” Here is a full BSBE conference agenda for the week. In his welcoming remarks, Governor Baker, said, “It is very special for us that you chose Massachusetts, as we do consider ourselves to be a national leader in education, engineering, science and medicine.” In Massachusetts, Baker said, “We basically live by our wits, that’s always been what’s made us special and what’s made us great. In this day and age, when competition is global and everybody is competing, having an edge with respect to talent and education and what I would call capacity to play makes an enormous difference.” Video Courtesy of Antonio Caban/State House News Service Here is a schedule of upcoming professional conferences and meetings taking place in Massachusetts.
BAKER-POLITO ADMINISTRATION GRANTS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AWARDS FOR 12 PROJECTS
(Photo: Aegis Energy Service is increasing its workforce as it expands operations in Holyoke.) The Commonwealth’s Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) approved 12 projects for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP). These economic development projects are expected to create 393 new jobs and retain 1,026 jobs throughout Massachusetts, while leveraging approximately $133 million in private investment. Here is information on the 12 projects. Governor Charlie Baker said his administration “is committed to fostering a pro-growth business environment in Massachusetts, and fostering job growth across the state. These job-creation incentives give our businesses another tool to reach their full potential in the Commonwealth, encouraging long-term, sustainable economic growth, and catalyzing significant investments that benefit our workforce.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said the incentive program “benefits communities across the Commonwealth, by tying incentives to job growth and investment goals. These incentives spur sustainable growth that strengthen cities and towns, and encourage further investment from our businesses.” Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, called the incentives “another tool to connect residents across the Commonwealth to well-paying, long-term job opportunities.” Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary for Business Development called the EDIP credits “a cost-effective tool for encouraging community investment, across a variety of sectors. These incentives generate significant private investment job growth.” This quarter, the EACC approved economic development incentives for three manufacturing companies, and ten projects located in Gateway Cities. Since January 2015The EACC has approved 72 economic development projects. These projects will create 3,722 jobs, retain 5,733 existing jobs, and leverage more than $1.17 billion in private investment. Since 2015, the EACC has assisted 34 manufacturing companies and 37 companies in Gateway Cities. 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 at the Massachusetts Office of Business Development.
New England Food Show Highlights Culinary, Hospitality and Agricultural Riches
Food Demononstration at SnapChef at NE Food Show There was excitement in the air – not to mention the aroma of freshly-brewed coffee, oven baked bread, or local seafood sizzling on a pan with garlic and butter – at the recent New England Food Show, held at the spacious Boston Convention & Exhibition Center last week. The annual gathering was a reminder of the robust restaurant, food service and hospitality industry here in Massachusetts, and throughout the region. On the exhibit floor, over 280 companies shared innovative new food and beverage products, demonstrated the latest restaurant equipment technology, and talked with thousands of participants winding their way through the smorgasbord of culinary delights. Cooking demonstrations by well-known chefs and a culinary cook-off brought excitement and glee to the audience. Governor Charlie Baker was a key note speaker, and he praised the food industry for its commitment to growth and development, and for embracing technological advances. He said that successful communities in Massachusetts, particularly in small cities and towns, have strong restaurants and retail establishments that bring visitors and residents into the downtown main streets. In addition to the exhibit floor activities, hundreds of industry professionals attended workshops, ranging from marketing plans and new technology to workforce development and business expansion. The Show is organized each year by the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, which formed a new partnership with the National Restaurant Association for this year’s show. A sampling of Massachusetts companies exhibiting at the New England Food Show this year includes Rockport Specialty Seafood of North Reading, Snap Chef of Boston, Radiand USA Kitchen Equipment of Waltham, Murphy’s Knives of Ayer, Boston Gourmet Chefs of Framingham, Sid Wainer & Son of New Bedford, and Harpoon Breweries of Boston. The 2017 New England Food Show is scheduled for February 26-28, 2017. For more information, visit Massachusetts Restaurant Association.
Massachusetts Promotes its Small Business Purchasing Program (SBPP)
Small businesses have a new advantage in working with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, thanks to a recent enhancement to COMMBUYS, the state’s online procurement system. Beginning on February 29, 2016, all participants in the Small Business Purchasing Program (SBPP) will be more easily identified by agency buyers looking to use small businesses in Massachusetts. At the same time, small businesses now have the search capacity to identify agency bids that specifically seek small businesses. William McAvoy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Supplier Diversity Office at the Operational Services Division, says the enhancement “helps small businesses to more easily locate bidding opportunities. The new search feature makes good business sense, underscoring small procurement bids on behalf of buyers who have SBPP spending benchmarks, and highlighting these opportunities for the small business community.” The Small Business Purchasing Program was established to increase the Commonwealth’s spending with participating small businesses. SBPP participants are provided special consideration when agencies procure non-construction commodities and services with total values up to $150,000.* For the 2016 fiscal year, the SBPP spending benchmark is 3.3% of each department’s discretionary budget. Visit the OSD website for Program details. The goal of SBPP is to increase state spending with enrolled MA based small businesses and to provide simple and easy access to info and resources that assist the small bus community. Apply online for SBPP membership during COMMBUYS vendor registration by answering the prequalification questions. Use the COMMBUYS Vendor Registration job aid for guidance or, if you are already a COMMBUYS vendor, file for SBPP designation using the How to Complete or Renew SBPP Registration: Guidance for Seller Administrators job aid. Here’s the information you should have on hand to simplify the SBPP application process: • FEIN or SSN associated with the business; • Tax Form Type used when filing your latest Massachusetts taxes; • Number of full time equivalent (FTE) employees reported to the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA); • Year and Quarter of your latest DUA filing; • Gross annual revenue using three-year average of your most recent Department of Revenue tax filing. Non Profit and Not for Profit entities should use gross operating budget. Exclude commas and dollar sign when entering the information. Learn more about SBPP via our webcast, or contact the COMMBUYS Help Desk at 1-888-627-8283 or COMMBUYS@state.ma.us.
MASSACHUSETTS PARTICIPATES IN 2016 NATIONAL CONSUMER PROTECTION WEEK
As part of National Consumer Protection Week, which takes place March 6-12, 2016, the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation is proud to announce its efforts on behalf of the Commonwealth’s consumers over the last year. In 2015, the Office of Consumer Affairs and its five regulatory agencies received more than 44,000 inquiries and more than 6,100 formal complaints from consumers. Through complaint resolutions, arbitration awards, examination reimbursements, and litigation settlements, nearly $7 million was returned to Massachusetts consumers. John Chapman, Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs, said, “During this National Consumer Protection Week, we want consumers to understand their rights under the law, take time to educate themselves before making big decisions, and know that both our Office and our regulatory agencies are in their corner to ensure their rights and fair marketplaces.” The Office of Consumer Affairs Home Improvement Contractor program made significant strides in 2015, registering 3,600 new contractors and renewing nearly 9,000 contractor registrations. The Home Improvement Arbitration Program awarded more than $330,000 to consumers and the Home Improvement Contractor Guaranty Fund paid-out more than $215,000 to aggrieved consumers. “Our Office is engaged in a full-on effort to get all home improvement contractors registered in the Commonwealth,” said Chapman. “Ultimately, it’s a tremendous consumer protection, because consumers who hire unregistered contractors cannot qualify for the arbitration program or access the Guaranty Fund if they have problems with their contractors.” Other Notable Consumer Recoveries: • Banking – $1.2M • Insurance – $724,000 • Lemon Law – $253,000 • Telecommunications & Cable – $1.08M (includes $900,000 consumer refund for Charter Communications subscribers) • Weights & Measures – $765,000 In October, the Division of Banks and the Office of the Attorney General reached a settlement with Western Sky Financial, LLC and CashCall over predatory lending practices. The settlement provides for $2.4 million in direct consumer refunds and a $17 million write-down in the interest on loans made to Massachusetts consumers. As part of the Baker-Polito Administraion, the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation is committed to protecting consumers through consumer advocacy and education, and also works to ensure that the businesses its agencies regulate treat all Massachusetts consumers fairly. Follow the Office of Consumer Affairs through its blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter @mass_consumer.
Baker-Polito Administration Announces $9.3 Million in Workforce Skills Capital Grants
This week, Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito announced $9.3 million in workforce skills equipment grants to 35 high schools, community colleges and vocational training providers across the Commonwealth. The grants support vocational-technical education and training equipment purchases that connect Massachusetts students and residents to economic opportunities in high-demand industries. Governor Baker said the grants “will help build stronger communities and a more competitive business environment that ensures more residents have the skills they need to succeed in and support the Commonwealth’s economic future.” Lt. Governor Polito said the grants “will build bridges between residents seeking careers to build a future on, and the employers who need a skilled workforce to grow the state’s economy.” The Workforce Skills Capital Grant Program is a new initiative of the Governor’s Workforce Skills Cabinet, which seeks to align education, workforce and economic development strategies across the state. It is headed up by Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald Walker II, Education Secretary James Peyser, and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. The inaugural round of the Workforce Skills Capital Grant program received 68 applications, requesting a total of $18 million in funding. Here is a list of the winning grant applications. Secretary Walker said the goal is to use available public dollars and “funnel them into places that can provide the skills and job training that residents need for the jobs that are available.” Secretary Peyser said the grants “will immediately transform the quality of vocational programs and cutting edge technological opportunities.” Secretary Ash said that by closing the skills gap, “we are equipping residents with the skills needed to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow, and setting the stage for future economic growth.” Consistent with the Baker-Polito Administration’s support for expanded workforce development opportunities, the Governor’s recently filed economic development legislation requests an additional $75 million in capital authorization for additional training equipment grants that strengthen workforce skills, and create strong employment pipelines.
Seaport Economic Council Announces Grants for Ten Massachusetts Communities
(Photo: Mass Maritime Academy) This week the Baker-Polito Administration’s Seaport Economic Council announced $5.15 million in grant awards to support the maritime economy by facilitating economic growth, supporting coastal infrastructure and increasing educational opportunities. Dartmouth, Gloucester, Harwich, Hingham, Nahant, New Bedford, Plymouth, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth all received grants. The projects include infrastructure improvements that focus on long-term resilience, planning efforts that can unlock significant economic growth potential, and research that can make clean energy more affordable for coastal communities. Governor Charlie Baker said the administration “is committed to helping coastal communities achieve sustainable growth by supporting the thousands of residents that drive our marine economy. Investing in community planning, infrastructure improvements, and locally directed actions that meet our standards of resilience and sustainability will keep these communities strong while supporting the Commonwealth’s economy.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Chairwoman of the Seaport Economic Council, said the grants “will help coastal communities unlock economic growth and job creation on their waterfronts and beyond. The investments made will support local jobs and reinforce Massachusetts’ leadership in diverse sectors of the maritime economy, from commercial fishing to clean energy generation.” Carolyn Kirk, Deputy Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, said, “The maritime economy has driven economic growth and job creation in Massachusetts since its foundation. These grants help ensure that our coastal communities have diverse and strong economies.” Kirk is Vice Chair of the Seaport Economic Council and former Mayor of the port city of Gloucester. The Seaport Economic Council was re-launched in August 2015. Its mission is 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. Grant Recipients Cape Cod Commission – $180,000 The Cape Cod Commission will use Seaport Economic Council funding to develop a plan for maritime economy expansion. This plan will focus on leveraging existing strengths, including a well-developed research community and a long history of entrepreneurship, to create regional economic growth and increase the number of non-seasonal skilled jobs. Dartmouth – $1,000,000 Dartmouth’s grant will allow the town to purchase a parcel on its Upper Harbor for development as a welcome center, addressing a community-identified need for public waterfront access. The area will provide educational and recreational opportunities, and will complement the Town’s investment in Padanaram Village by drawing people to new restaurants and local businesses. Gloucester – $151,000 Gloucester’s grant is focused on sustaining and improving the 40 percent of the City’s economy that relies on fishing, processing, shore-side services, and related businesses. It will allow to city to exhibit its seafood locally, regionally and nationally, and will support a branding campaign for “Gloucester Fresh Seafood.” Funding will also help the Fishermen’s Wives Association to procure additional contracts for Gloucester’s seafood with restaurants and institutions. Harwich – $1,000,000 Harwich’s Seaport Economic Council grant supports the town’s efforts to repair the East Dock of the Municipal Marina. This includes significant repairs to the dock’s basic infrastructure, and the replacement of 74 boat slips. The investment supports residents and local businesses. Hingham – $700,000 The Seaport Economic Council’s grant will allow Hingham to build a Maritime Center on Bathing Beach that will support local recreational, commercial, and educational activities. It will allow the town the more effectively promote the Hingham Farmer’s Market and related events, will facilitate boat and paddleboard rentals to residents and tourists, and will provide space to highlight Hingham’s rich history. Massachusetts Maritime Academy – $1,000,000 Funding for the Massachusetts Maritime Academy will support the Pier Extension for Marina Dockage. This will increase the Academy’s capacity to deliver effective training, support educational opportunities, and partner with educational institutions to perform research and development. It will also allow the Academy to provide secure dockage for federal and state emergency response vessels. Nahant – $410,000 The Seaport Economic Council grant to Nahant will reconstruct and stabilize protective walls around Tudor Wharf, to protect the livelihood of Nahant’s commercial fishermen and lobstermen. It will also replace the aging boat ramp and improve associated areas used for boat and equipment storage, support their recreational and commercial use. New Bedford – $250,000 The grant will support planning efforts on the New Bedford waterfront and help identify opportunities for investment in infrastructure and site improvements. This will supplement efforts by the City to reduce barriers to private development along the waterfront and draw new business and jobs to New Bedford. Plymouth – $219,322 Seaport Economic Council funding will help Plymouth to finalize engineering and permitting on its proposed Maritime Facility, and develop a harbor plan. As the second busiest state port and boat ramp in Massachusetts, Plymouth has the potential to leverage untapped economic growth in its harbor and build on a previous Seaport Economic Council Planning Grant awarded in 2009. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth – $239,898 The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth will use Seaport Economic Council funding to support research and development in wave energy. The research has the potential to dramatically reduce manufacturing and deployment costs associated with traditional wave energy generators, making devices smaller, easier to use, and more cost effective. Here is more information on the Massachusetts Seaport Economic Council.
Massachusetts is one of 17 states to join the Accord for a New Energy Future
This week, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker joined 16 other governors from around the nation in a bipartisan effort to promote clean energy, clean transportation choices and a modern electrical grid. Over 127 million Americans are represented in the participating states. The Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future provides participating governors with a platform through which their states can collaborate, learn from one another, and leverage partnerships in energy planning and policy making. Governor Charlie Baker said the Accord “highlights the tremendous opportunities to create a shared clean, affordable and resilient energy future. Massachusetts will continue to lead the way on clean energy, energy efficiency and the adoption of innovative technologies such as energy storage. These efforts, and our legislative proposal to bring additional hydroelectricity and other renewable resources into the region, will ensure we meet our ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets while also creating a stronger economy for the Commonwealth.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said the Accord “allows us to collaborate with like-minded governors to create innovative clean energy policy and ensure a stronger national energy future. Joining the Accord reaffirms our commitment to diversifying the Commonwealth’s energy portfolio, supporting new energy technologies, and meeting our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% below 1990 levels by 2020.” Senior advisors to the participating governors will convene shortly to discuss initial steps to pursue their shared priorities and commitments contained in the Accord. Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton said the Accord allows “clean energy leaders to strengthen our economy, protect public health and natural resources, and increase energy security. This new commitment builds on the Commonwealth’s forward-thinking leadership in promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy, and addressing the pressing threat of climate change.” The Baker-Polito Administration has been working to stabilize and reduce the cost of energy for residents and businesses, strengthen the clean energy economy in Massachusetts and help meet greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements set forth under the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA). Through the filing of hydropower and solar legislation, the Administration hopes to diversify Massachusetts’ energy portfolio and encourage the development of renewable energy resources. The Administration’s 2016-2018 energy efficiency plan, recently approved by the Department of Public Utilities, sets nation-leading savings levels for both electricity and gas and is estimated to achieve $8 billion in economic, environmental, and energy benefits. The Administration also launched a $10 million Energy Storage Initiative to support the continued growth of renewable power generation and make Massachusetts a national leader in the deployment and effective use of innovative energy technology solutions. Last month, Governor Baker added $2 million in funding to the state’s electric vehicle (EV) rebate program, an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector by increasing the use of zero emission vehicles in Massachusetts. A recent update to Massachusetts’ Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020 concluded that the Commonwealth is well-positioned to meet, or exceed, a greenhouse gas reduction goal of 25% by 2020 through the full implementation of the Baker-Polito Administration’s energy policies. The Administration’s commitment to action on climate is also demonstrated by signing the Metro Boston Climate Preparedness Commitment, endorsing the Subnational Global Climate Leadership Memorandum of Understanding (Under2MOU) and joining Eastern-Canadian Premieres and New England Governors in signing a climate change resolution calling for a 35-45% greenhouse gas reduction, below 1990 emission levels, by 2030. Click here to access the full text of the Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future.
Mark Sullivan to Head up Mass Office of International Trade & Investment
On February 8, 2016, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development welcomed Mark F. Sullivan as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI). “Mark brings a wealth of international business experience to this role,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “We look forward to his contributions, as we strengthen our international office in their work with the global business community.” “Growing the Commonwealth’s economy requires strong partnerships with international companies” said Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary for Business Development. “Mark’s leadership will enhance MOITI’s ability to attract investment from the international business community, and open overseas markets for Massachusetts companies.” “The Commonwealth is home to a growing number of international companies,” said Mark Sullivan. “I look forward to serving the people of Massachusetts, as MOITI works to unlock new opportunities for trade and growth.”
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.”
The Finest Hours Depicts Massachusetts at its Finest
The Finest Hours is a new Disney film about courage, resolve and heroics here in Massachusetts. The film depicts a daring rescue on the high seas by the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Chatham, Cape Cod, during the winter of 1952, when an oil tanker split in two during a severe nor-easter storm off the coast of Cape Cod, putting 32 sailors at risk of being washed away. Four men from the Coast Guard went to save them in 60 foot high waves. The movie was filmed in Chatham, Cohasset, Duxbury, Marshfield, Norwell and Quincy in 2014. The film crew built an 800,000 gallon water tank, measuring 110 x 80 feet, at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, where much of the storm effects were replicated. The Finest Hours joins an illustrious marquee of films that have been made in Massachusetts dating back to 1903, when the Rip Van Winkle Series was shot on Cape Cod and Buzzards Bay. Over the decades, hits like the Thomas Crown Affair, The Verdict, Jaws, Witches of Eastwick, Glory, A Civil Action, Good Will Hunting, Perfect Storm and Fever Pitch have put Massachusetts front and center in the minds of movie lovers everywhere. Here is a chronology of films made in Massachusetts since 1903. To find out more about Cape Cod, visit the Cape Cod Chamber. To visit Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.
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 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
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.
Massachusetts Honors its Veterans at the State House and at Events Across the Commonwealth
(Caption: Massachusetts honored its veterans at a State House ceremony today. Photo by Joanne DeCaro.) Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced a program that will provide homeless veterans with housing services. Under the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program, the administration is allocating 65 rental vouchers to chronically homeless veterans who were identified by the local veterans’ committees across the Commonwealth. These vouchers can be used to pay for rental units and will assist the Commonwealth in its goal of ending veteran’s homelessness. “Veterans Day is not only a day to recognize the invaluable contribution our veterans have made to our state and our country, but to consider the services necessary to enable their success later in life,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “What better way to repay our veterans for their sacrifices than to ensure they have a place to call their own.” To receive vouchers, individuals were identified by the local Continuum of Care’s (CoC)’s veterans’ committees. The CoC’s worked closely with the Department of Veterans Services to create accurate lists of individuals who would immediately benefit from this community-based response to veteran homelessness. The announcement took place at a Veterans Day Ceremony this morning at the Massachusetts State House honoring our nation’s veterans. Governor Baker was joined by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Major General L. Scott Rice, and Secretary of Veteran’s Services Francisco Ureña. Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Thomas Hudner was recognized for his acts of heroism above and beyond the call of duty during the Korean War. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts also proclaimed November 11, 2015 as Veteran’s Day. Earlier this week, Governor Baker convened a monitoring committee for the Massachusetts Fallen Heroes Memorial project, which honors all Massachusetts veterans who have died in service to their nation since September 11, 2001. Finally, the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism has compiled a selection of veterans events and other activities taking place throughout Massachusetts this week. For more information about programs and services available to veterans, visit the Massachusetts Office of Veterans Services.
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 Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
(Caption: Participants at the Partners in Transportation Hispanic Month Celebration. Photo Courtesy of Jerry Kelleher, Mass DOT) Massachusetts is celebrating its 27th annual Hispanic Heritage Month September 15-October 15, 2015. This year’s celebrations kicked off on September 14 with an event at the Massachusetts Transportation Building hosted by the Partners in Transportation. Pablo Calderon, Community Outreach Specialist for MassDOT and MBTA, presented a Community Recognition Award to the Veronica Robles Cultural Center in East Boston, which also provided the entertainment in the form of a traditional dance. Jose Masso, Director of Community Relations at Massport and well know radio host of Con Salsa, was the keynote speaker. Other events taking place across the Commonwealth include: September 29 Panel Discussion on the Voting Rights Act and its implication on Latinos, with special guest Daniel Hernandez Joseph, NE Consulate General of Mexico. Federal Reserve Bank, Boston. Hosted by Get Konnected. October 7 Entrepreneurship for All/Emprendimiento para Todos presents Hispanic Month Heritage celebration, featuring Juan Vega, Assistant Secretary for Communities and Programs at EOHED. The Relief’s Inn, Lawrence. October 8 Hanscom Airforce Base in Bedford is celebrating Hispanic Americans: Energizing our Nation’s Divisity all month. On October 8 there is a food tasting event at the Base Chapel, open to the Hanscom community. October 9 El Mundo Hispanic Heritage Month Breakfast, featuring Governor Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. Revere Hotel, Boston October 9 The Holyoke Latin Jazz Festival features top Latin musicians for a night of music, culture and celebration. War Memorial Auditorium, Holyoke. October 14 Elms College in Chicopee features presentation by Elizabeth Barajas-Roman, CEO, Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts. Find out more about National Hispanic Heritage Month. For more information on immigrant communities in Massachusetts, visit the Office of Refugees and Immigrants.
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 email@example.com for information on the Middleboro event, and Debra Boronski at firstname.lastname@example.org for details on the Pittsfield event.
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
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.
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 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.
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 email@example.com
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 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.
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. ###
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.”
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 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.
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