(Caption: A Child's Garden, Northampton. Photo by Lynne…
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
Manufacturing is alive and well in the Commonwealth
By Greg Bialecki Thanks to an unprecedented focus by the Patrick Administration and an innovative partnership with the private sector, manufacturing is alive and well in the Commonwealth with nearly 250,000 people now working in manufacturing in the state. These aren’t the factories of your grandparents’ or even parents’ generations; today’s manufacturing employees earn competitive middle-class wages in jobs that challenge their brains and utilize their skills. The Commonwealth’s more than 7,000 manufacturers make some of the best high-tech products in the robotics, medical devices and defense fields, as well as household goods, from food to clothing, in the world. Even economic-development novices know that Massachusetts has become a global leader in the innovation economy due to our strengths in education, technology and entrepreneurship. This intellectual competitive edge has set the foundation for the Commonwealth to assert its leadership in manufacturing as well. In every region of Massachusetts, manufacturers have succeeded by relying on a highly skilled workforce, adopting new technologies, and focusing on innovation. But as Baby Boomers retire over the decade, the manufacturing sector will have tens of thousands of vacant jobs from those losses alone. Recent trends suggest that manufacturers will have to not only fill these vacancies, but will have other job openings to offer as well. The trend extends far beyond the inner core. In September, Nypro celebrated the grand opening of its new medical device manufacturing facility in Devens, the home of 15 manufacturers according to a July UMass Donahue Institute report. In October, AccuRounds in Avon will hold an open house to celebrate its recent expansion. Throughout Massachusetts, and especially in our Gateway Cities, advanced manufacturing is leading to growth and opportunities of all different kinds. The U.S. industrial revolution started in Massachusetts. And the building blocks for a 21st century manufacturing renaissance in Massachusetts are coming into place through a partnership of our state’s educators, the business community and public sector. The Commonwealth has prioritized keeping and expanding the nation’s best educated workforce. Throughout Massachusetts, regional partnerships of manufacturers, vocational schools, community colleges, and workforce leaders are developing innovative programs that allow people of different ages and backgrounds to train for manufacturing jobs. The Patrick Administration and the Legislature recently created a $12 million Middle Skills Trust Fund to accelerate the impact of these programs. A new $10 million capital program will make sure that students are trained on the latest, industry-relevant equipment. MassDevelopment, the Commonwealth’s quasi-governmental economic-development authority, has recently launched two initiatives: an on-line portal that serves as a one-stop center for manufacturers to find the assistance they need and a promotional campaign (AMP it up!) to encourage young people and their adult influencers to pursue manufacturing careers. Thanks to Governor Patrick’s leadership, manufacturing is alive and well in the Commonwealth. We must continue our efforts and expand opportunities throughout the Commonwealth for students to get good jobs that lead to satisfying careers. In doing so, we will ensure the economic prosperity of the Commonwealth for years to come. (This article originally appeared in the Enterprise News on September 29, 2014) Greg Bialecki is Secretary of Housing and Economic Development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Celebrates National Manufacturing Day
(Caption: State officials celebrated National Manufacturing Day in 2013 at Crane Stationary in North Adams.) by Marty Jones If Halloween isn’t your style of celebration, there are plenty of other holidays throughout October. You can reminisce about the contents of childhood sandwiches on National Bologna Day, step away from the computer on Information Overload Day, and bestow a personality on your beloved vehicle on National Name Your Car Day. Or, you can reserve October 3 on your calendar and join hundreds around the Commonwealth to celebrate National Manufacturing Day, a holiday that is less Mad Hatter and more nuts-and-bolts, with a real economic impact for Massachusetts. Manufacturing is the one of the largest sectors in Massachusetts, with more than 7,500 companies employing 250,000 workers. For reasons such as the recession and outdated, negative perceptions of manufacturing, this industry is often overlooked by young people and their adult influencers. That lack of awareness means that while manufacturers will need to hire up to 100,000 new workers in the next 10 years as current employees retire, today’s students aren’t prepared with the highly technical math, computing, and engineering skills required to fill the openings. These jobs pay well – an average salary of $75,000 They’re also exciting, cutting-edge career options for people looking to play an active role in creating some of the world’s most interesting products, from smartphones to wind turbines and life-saving drugs. National Manufacturing Day, which in Massachusetts is part of Advanced Manufacturing Week, can help to banish these cobwebbed perceptions of the industry and highlight the bright future in manufacturing careers. To encourage schools and manufacturers to collaborate, MassDevelopment is celebrating October 3 by launching a contest through AMP it up!, our campaign to promote advanced manufacturing as a viable and attractive career path (stay tuned that day for more details). AMP it up! matching-grant recipients are also hosting events around the state, so check out an open house, tour, or speaking program near you. MassDevelopment manages the redevelopment of Devens, a 4,400-acre community in north-central Massachusetts that has a high concentration of advanced manufacturing companies. To showcase the opportunities and work of those companies, we’re holding a mini manufacturing trade show with businesses such as Vitasoy, Eglomise Designs, FIBA Technologies, and Laddawn. Students, teachers, guidance counselors, and all those interested in manufacturing in Massachusetts are welcome to attend. So, on October 3, grab your bologna sandwich, clear your mind, and drive Pamela the Prius to one of the Commonwealth’s many manufacturing companies. You’ll find a lot worth celebrating. Marty Jones is President and CEO of MassDevelopment.
Employers in 495/MetroWest are Optimistic About the Region’s Economic Future
By Paul Matthews For the second straight year, the 495/MetroWest Partnership’s 2014 Business Climate Survey shows a high rate of optimism in the business community about improving economic conditions in the year ahead. The survey showed that 69% of responding employers believed that the economy will improve over the coming year, and close to one-third plan on hiring, with 12% planning additional expansion. First launched in 2013 by the 495/MetroWest Partnership, Framingham State University, and the business publication MetroWest495 BIZ, the Business Climate Survey was designed to gauge employer confidence in an economically crucial region of the state, with an annual payroll in excess of $19 billion. Due to the interest in the findings by the private sector, developers, municipal officials, legislators, and others, this year’s survey had an even higher response rate and provided greater context on the region’s business climate. The three factors most frequently cited in the survey for locating in 495/MetroWest were proximity to clients, affordability of real estate, and the skilled labor force. To provide context to these points, prior Partnership analyses have shown our region’s commercial real estate to have a 34% price advantage to submarkets closer to Boston, and half of our residents have college degrees, with nearly 20% having graduate degrees. The 2014 survey was conducted in July, with additional outreach by the Corridor Nine Area Chamber, the Marlborough Regional Chamber, the MetroWest Chamber, the Milford Area Chamber, and the United Regional Chamber. For a detailed analysis of survey results by Dr. Michael Harrison, Assistant Professor in FSU’s Business Department, as well as further background on the employer survey, go to www.495partnership.org. Additionally, detailed coverage of the survey results can be found in the August edition of MetroWest495 BIZ. Paul Matthews is Executive Director of the 495/MetroWest Partnership
Massachusetts Proclaims Advanced Manufacturing Week, September 29-October 3, 2014
Commonwealth of Massachusetts A Proclamation His Excellency Governor Deval L. Patrick Whereas: Massachusetts manufacturers are world-class companies that are an essential part of the state’s innovation economy; and Whereas: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is home to over 7,000 manufacturers with 250,000 employees that distribute their products globally; and Whereas: Up to 100,00 new workers will be needed over the next 10 years to fill jobs in the Massachusetts manufacturing industry; and Whereas: The Commonwealth’s “AMP it Up!” campaign has held more than 30 career awareness and manufacturing promotional events that have reached more than 1,000 students, parents, and career counselors; and Whereas: The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development in collaboration with the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative has created programs to support manufacturers Now, Therefore, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim September 29 – October 3, 2014, to be, ADVANCED MANUFACTURING WEEK And urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to take cognizance of this week and participate fittingly in its observance. Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this 29th day of September, in the year two thousand and fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and thirty-sixth. By His Excellency Deval L. Patrick Governor of the Commonwealth William Francis Galvin Secretary of the Commonwealth God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Massachusetts Celebrates Advanced Manufacturing Week, September 29-October 3, 2014
Caption: top left: UFP Technologies; top right: MassMEP; bottom right: Office of Governor Patrick; bottom left: NECCO Factory Governor Deval Patrick today proclaimed September 29, 2014 to October 3, 2014 as Advanced Manufacturing Week in Massachusetts, underscoring the Administration’s support of the robust advanced manufacturing industry and its workforce throughout the Commonwealth. The week-long celebration coincides with national efforts to promote the role advanced manufacturing plays in the economy, with the third annual National Advanced Manufacturing Day being celebrated on October 3. “The Commonwealth is a national leader in Advanced Manufacturing, and we want to keep it that way,” said Governor Patrick. “By working with our partners in industry and academia, we are continuing to enhance the competitiveness of our robust advanced manufacturing industry, for today and the future.” Massachusetts is home to over 7,000 manufacturers with 250,000 employees. Throughout the week, Patrick Administration officials will participate in events that highlight the statewide effort to promote careers in advanced manufacturing and build awareness among manufacturers about the many programs in place to support them. “Investment in advanced manufacturing and clean technology spurs growth, creates high-quality jobs and benefits Massachusetts’s high-tech economy,” said Senator Edward J. Markey. “We must continue to grow our innovation economy by investing in new and emerging technologies that are creating the jobs and industries of the future today. I applaud Governor Patrick’s leadership making Massachusetts a national hub of innovation and applaud all of the companies, programs and initiatives that we will celebrate during Advanced Manufacturing Week.” “From Lowell to Springfield to Fall River, the Commonwealth’s proud history of manufacturing is driving its economic future,” said Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III. “Across Massachusetts, our manufacturing sector is creating jobs, spurring innovation and expanding access to opportunity. I commend Governor Patrick and Secretary Bialecki for their leadership, and look forward to working together to continue to promote growth throughout the state.” The Patrick Administration is committed to supporting the growth of advanced manufacturing in Massachusetts, an industry that is expected to require 100,000 jobs in the next decade and offers careers in a sector with an average annual salary of $75,000. The week’s celebration builds on record investments in workforce training and education made by the Administration in recent years. In 2011, Governor Patrick launched the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative (AMC), a partnership between industry and government to help build a globally competitive manufacturing industry in Massachusetts. Its five-point agenda brings together manufacturers, educators, academia, and other organizations to work on industry-identified priorities including promoting manufacturing; workforce and education; manufacturing innovation; the cost of doing business including energy management and sustainability; and access to capital resources. The AMC’s AMP it Up! Program which launched in September 2012 and is operated by MassDevelopment, works to build awareness among young adults and their families on the opportunities for well-paying careers in manufacturing. Massachusetts-based nonprofit organizations that address education and workforce can apply for funding at www.ampitup.com. Across the Commonwealth in recognition of manufacturing week, the AMC engage manufacturers, schools and colleges to participate in open houses, public tours, roundtable discussions, career workshops and other events hosted by manufacturers. “Massachusetts is on the cutting-edge among states in supporting the growth of 21st century manufacturing,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki. “Together with our regional partners, we are ensuring the next generation is equipped with the skills and knowledge needed for careers in advanced manufacturing.” In June 2013, Governor Patrick announced the creation of the Advanced Manufacturing Regional Partnership Academy, a first-in-the-Nation program designed to meet the manufacturing industry’s future workforce needs. The Academy provides hands-on learning opportunities, and tool and peer-education to regional leaders, helping eliminate one of the industry’s chief concerns of finding well-trained employees to fill available jobs in manufacturing. Last month, Governor Patrick signed an economic development package that included $12 million for the establishment of the Middle Skills Job Training Grant Fund. The fund will provide grants to vocational-technical schools and community college to support advanced manufacturing, mechanical and technical skills, hospitality and information technology industries training. The fund aims to train 4,000 workers over the next four years to address the workforce and talent pipeline needs of employers in Massachusetts. “Domestic manufacturing is critical to building our economy nationally and locally,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. “Massachusetts is a leader in innovation thanks to the unique ecosystem created by partnerships between our academic, business and government resources. Governor Patrick’s efforts to support manufacturing complement the ‘Make it in America’ campaign I have long advocated for in Congress. Smart policies can complement the hard work of local businesses to continue creating advanced manufacturing jobs here in Massachusetts, as well as to provide individuals with the skills they need to fulfill those jobs.” “I am proud that we are committed to supporting manufacturing through the Commonwealth’s vocational-technical high schools, realizing this is an essential area to advance our workforce for the future,” said Secretary of Education Matthew Malone. “We are making strategic investments so that our students graduate highly skilled and prepared to compete in the manufacturing industry.” “Jobs in advanced manufacturing help the Commonwealth build upon its competitive advantages of a diverse economy and highly educated workforce,” said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rachel Kaprielian. “The record investments the Patrick Administration has made in workforce development and skills training in this new sector will create opportunities for generations of workers to come.” “Massachusetts is where America’s Industrial Revolution began 200 years ago. We’re now witnessing a new revolution led by advanced manufacturing leaders such as robotics, fiber optics, laser, and solar energy,” noted Senator Richard T. Moore, Senate Chair of the Legislature’s Manufacturing Caucus. “Manufacturing in the Commonwealth accounts for more than 10 percent of the GSP and encompasses a wide range of industries,” said Representative John V. Fernandes (D-Milford) founder and House Chair of the Legislative Manufacturing Caucus and AMC Board member. “In addition, these manufacturers are constantly generating innovative solutions to challenges, fueling growth not just in the manufacturing sector, but in many other sectors of our economy. I am consistently impressed by the members of this this important and vibrant industry. “ “For too long, Massachusetts took its manufacturers for granted,” said Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative Co-Chair Mitch Tyson, Principal, Tyson Associates. “Thanks to the efforts of the AMC and the manufacturers that it represents, events will take place throughout the Commonwealth on this National Manufacturing Day to showcase top-notch companies, highly-skilled workforces, and cutting-edge offerings. I especially hope that students will participate in National Manufacturing Day and learn about exciting careers in this thriving industry.” “Over the last three years, the Commonwealth and the private sector have worked together in an unprecedented partnership to insure that advanced manufacturing in Massachusetts gets the attention that a sector of its import deserves,” said Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative Co-Chair Ed Leyden, Owner, Ben Franklin Design and Manufacturing Inc. “The AMC has held high-profile public events and produced tangible resources that increase the prospects that advanced manufacturers will continue to thrive by selling their highly-engineered, world-leading products.”
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.
Massachusetts’ Economic Development Plan Should Be a National Model, Writes Two Leading Business Magazines
(Caption: Governor Deval Patrick) Massachusetts’ $80 million economic plan, signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick on August 13, 2014, is getting glowing reviews from two leading business publications, Inc. Magazine and Fortune Magazine. “Massachusetts’ economic development plan is one that other states may want to pay attention to,” writes Inc. Magazine‘s Jeremy Quittner, in “Why Massachusetts’ Plans for Economic Development Could (and Should) Blaze a Trail for Other States.” Quittner describes the state’s plan to “bolster job training in the state’s high-growth industries, provide capital to its start-ups, and support business communities outside of the traditional business thoroughfares of Boston and Cambridge.” The Massachusetts plan, outlined in The Act to Promote Economic Growth in the Commonwealth “provides new tools and training to ensure the Massachusetts workforce meets the needs of employers, invests in our Gateway Cities to promote development across the entire state and provides incentives to create jobs and stimulate the economy,” reads a statement from the Governor’s Office. Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, says that the bill “provides significant new support for the Commonwealth’s economic development strategy. Ensuring the long-term economic prosperity of the Commonwealth means extending growth and opportunity to every corner of the state.” The Inc. Magazine story comes on the heels of an article in Fortune Magazine published last week and written by Karen Mills, former Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration and Senior Fellow at Harvard Business School. In, “How U.S. States Can Get Small Businesses Growing (Again),” Mills writes that “Massachusetts has created a model based on public-private partnership, a promising blueprint other states should follow.” She praises Massachusetts for “taking parts of the playbook for jobs and driving solutions that make sense.” Massachusetts’ ongoing economic development strategy focuses on the state’s long-term investments in education, innovation and infrastructure, and is outlined in the document, “Choosing to Compete in the 21st Century.”
Massachusetts receives $27.5 million in federal grants
(Caption: Governor Deval Patrick announces $27.5 million in federal funds) Photo by Kenshin Okubo Last week 54 cities and towns across Massachusetts got the good news that they’ll receive a total of $27.5 million in federal funds to support housing, rehabilitation, public service projects and local infrastructure. The funds come from the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), the state’s largest available resource for neighborhood revitalization projects. The grants help meet the housing and public service needs of low- and moderate-income communities, while building and repairing infrastructure. In addition to providing important improvements to the cities and towns, the infrastructure projects also help create and maintain jobs. Historically, 40 percent of CDBG funds distributed have been used for these job-creating projects. Governor Deval Patrick made the announcement in Great Barrington, where over $800,000 will be used for housing rehabilitation and an infrastructure design project in the Housatonic Village. “When we invest in infrastructure projects in our communities, we put people to work and leave a better Commonwealth for the next generation,” said Governor Patrick. “We thank the Obama Administration and our Congressional delegation for their continued commitment to investing in our future.” “The beauty of the CDBG program is that towns determine the best investment in their community,” said U.S. Congressman Richard Neal, who joined Governor Patrick at the event, along with other state and local officials. The CDBG program is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), and funds are distributed by Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Among the projects eligible for funding: housing rehabilitation, infrastructure repair or replacement, construction or rehabilitation of public facilities, neighborhood improvement projects, economic development loans and other business assistance programs, social service upgrades, downtown improvement projects and architectural barrier removal and planning. Massachusetts has made over 350 grants totaling $265 million during the Patrick Administration. For every $1 of CDBG funds, an estimated $3.55 is leveraged in non-CDBG funding. You can find a list of this year’s CDBG awards here.
Economic Development Projects Allow Companies to Expand and Add Jobs in Massachusetts
(Caption: SanDisk Corporation in Marlbourough) Here in Massachusetts, companies are growing to scale, expanding their facilities and adding jobs. Just last week, the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) held its quarterly meeting and approved 10 projects for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP). These new projects are expected to create 679 new jobs and retain 699 existing jobs, in addition to leveraging over $642 million in private investment and supporting construction projects across the Commonwealth. Among the 10 approved projects are four manufacturing companies and four projects located in Gateway Cities like Lawrence, Springfield, New Bedford and Brockton. “Supporting companies that are choosing to grow in Massachusetts is one of the Administration’s key economic development objectives to create economic opportunity in every region of the Commonwealth,” said Michael Hunter, Executive Director of Massachusetts Office of Business Development. “These investments help companies expand and continue to enhance the Massachusetts economy by making our communities stronger in the long term.” The ten companies in this round include: Aspen Technology, Inc. in Bedford MK Parcel 7 Development LLC in Boston Vicente’s Liquors and Tropical Grocery, Inc. in Brockton Kennametal, Inc. in Greenfield Asahi America, Inc. in Lawrence Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing, LLC in Lee SanDisk Corporation in Marlborough Kielb Welding Enterprises, Inc. in Springfield Amasdave LLC, in Springfield Om Shri Ambika LLC in Sturbridge Here are fuller descriptions of the projects. The EDIP program was reformed in 2009 by Governor Deval Patrick and Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development, and since then, it has become one of the most effective programs helping business grow in Massachusetts. Since 2009, 197 projects have received approval, leading to the potential creation of 13,983 new jobs, the retention of 40,451 existing jobs and leveraging of over $5.4 billion in private investment. The EACC has assisted 106 manufacturers through the EDIP and has supported 91 projects in Gateway Cities. For more information about the EDIP and the Local Incentive Program, contact the MOBD regional representative in your area.
Massachusetts’ Economy Gets Creative
(Caption: Governor Deval Patrick addresses the Creative Economy Summit) When it comes to the creative economy, Massachusetts gets it! With over 100,000 workers and a $1 billion statewide economic impact, the creative industries in Massachusetts are an integral part of the Massachusetts economy. Building upon this success was the focus of Massachusetts’ recent Creative Economy Summit, held on June 12 at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design in Boston. Leaders from across the state convened to network, collaborate and envision ways in which the creative and innovative economies can intersect and continue to fuel each other. The impressive turnout included experts and advocates from the performing and visual arts, digital gaming, film industry, architecture, publishing and design, alongside entrepreneurs, innovators, and government officials. The morning kicked off with a welcome by Dawn Barrett, president of Mass College of Art & Design, and an introduction by Greg Bialecki, secretary of the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development, followed by Helen Fruscio, the state’s Creative Economy Industry Director. “The focus of the summit was on uniting the creative industries and ensuring interactivity among the attendees” says Fruscio. “We wanted everyone to think of new ways to cross-collaborate.” For example, the morning panel, “Future Trends of the Creative Industries,” was a seminar on cross-collaboration, with experts like Lisa Strout, director of the Massachusetts Film Office, Panos Panay, the head of Creative Entrepreneurship at Berklee College of Music, Jon Radoff, founder of Disruptor Beam and Laura Fitton of HubSpot sharing their insights. At the afternoon session, ”Creative Capital,” Jerry Bird of MassVentures, Dan Sullivan of Crowdly, Anita Brearton of Golden Seeds, Bill Warner of Avid Technology and Neil Martin of Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation talked about strategies for funding and bringing creative ideas to market. The panel discussions were followed by the popular ‘unconference’ gatherings with crowd-sourced themed discussions, allowing the participants to gather into smaller groups and discuss a variety of topics. Governor Deval Patrick gave the closing remarks at the Summit, discussing how the Administration’s investments in education, innovation and infrastructure have supported innovation and the creative economy in Massachusetts. Patrick has led the way in making Massachusetts one of the nation’s most creative states. In 2007 he established the position of creative Economy Industry Director at the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. He helped institute the Creative Economy Council, which develops a statewide strategy for growing the creative economy. He launched the Creative Economy Network, which tracks progress and promotes efforts to support the creative economy on the local, regional and state-wide level, and CreativeNEXT listening tour, a business development program that helps owners of small and medium-sized creative businesses quickly access resources and advice to help grow their enterprises by meeting with an expert panel. At the summit, Governor Patrick reminded participants that “Creativity is central to all that we’re trying to do,” adding, “The innovation economy is also artists, novelists and architects. It’s a source of our growth and civilization.”
(Caption: Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center) By Alex Morse and Greg Bialecki As the nation’s first planned industrial city, Holyoke became a thriving paper and textile manufacturing center powered by the Connecticut River. Like many New England mill towns, the city entered a period of economic hardship during the 1970s and 1980s with the relocation of many textile and manufacturing businesses. Today, city and state officials are joining research universities, local business leaders,and worldwide technology companies to work together to revitalize Holyoke into a city of innovation, entrepreneurship and modern, environmentally-friendly urban living. A central component of this work is the development of the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center and the Holyoke Innovation District — a public-private strategy to make Holyoke a major player in the state’s thriving innovation economy. The product of an unprecedented collaboration among five world-renowned research institutions (MIT, University of Massachusetts, Northeastern University, and Harvard University), the MGHPCC provides world-class computational infrastructure that is vital to both the universities and the state’s innovation economy, bringing opportunities for collaborative research on some of the biggest issues facing engineering, science and society. The $90 million data center was supported by investment from these universities, which was supplemented by a grant from the state to establish the project on a downtown brownfields site, where it would have the greatest economic impact. In addition, two of the Commonwealth’s largest technology employers, EMC and Cisco Systems, provided their support. Local government, business and education leaders and the Patrick administration have since continued the work with the launch of the Holyoke Innovation District, a public-private effort focused on upgrading infrastructure and transportation, expanding opportunities for new careers through workforce training and education, and leveraging the existing talent in Holyoke by supporting entrepreneurship from within the Holyoke community. Just a few of the notable successes of the Innovation District strategy include: new passenger train service in Holyoke scheduled to start later this year; new private investment such as Gateway City Arts; and, an award from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Working Cities Challenge to support SPARK, a community entrepreneurship program in the Holyoke Innovation District. The efforts from the state and the city are attracting entrepreneurial businesses that are already bringing new life downtown. New additions include VertitechIT, a fast growing IT and communications infrastructure company with national reach, Simple Diaper & Linen, a company started by two mothers that uses a chemical-free cleaning process, and Gateway City Arts, an incubator for all types of creative businesses. While there is plenty of work still to be done, Holyoke continues to demonstrate that collaboration among political, business ,and academic leaders, combined with imagination, discipline and perseverance, will overcome the most troubling economic challenges we face as a community. *** Alex Morse is the mayor of Holyoke. Greg Bialecki is the state’s Housing and Economic Development secretary. (This article originally appeared in The Boston Globe on May 29,2014.)
Congratulations Massachusetts Class of 2014
(Caption: Happy Graduates of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, May 9, 2014) Congratulations to the Class of 2014 graduates in colleges and universities across Massachusetts. The entire state is aglow with jubilant students, proud parents and satisfied teachers. Everywhere you turn there are commencement ceremonies, caps flung in the air and stories of eager grads ready to take on the world. This year’s commencement speakers have ranged from public leaders like Governor Deval Patrick, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, to tennis great Billie Jean King, Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and comedian Jay Leno. Here is a list of 2014 Commencement Speakers in Massachusetts, published by Boston.com. Massachusetts prides itself as a bastion of outstanding colleges and universities, medical centers and research facilities that attract students from around the world. With over 110 public and private colleges and universities, Massachusetts’ educational traditions date back to 1636 when Harvard University became the first established university in the Thirteen Colonies. Today, nearly 40% of Massachusetts residents have a college degree, giving it the highest percentage of college graduates in the nation, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Massachusetts (AICUM) reports Massachusetts ranks first in the nation in percentage of students graduating from independent colleges in four years. Independent schools have a $25 billion annual economic impact on Massachusetts. In addition, Massachusetts serves about 260,000 students at 29 public schools, divided into three segments: 15 community colleges, nine state universities and five University of Massachusetts campuses. Here is a full list of Massachusetts’ public colleges and universities. In FY 2008, Governor Patrick and the Legislature obtained passage of a $2.2 billion higher education bond bill as part of the Governor’s 10-year education reform initiative. By FY14 the Commonwealth ranked among the top five states in the nation in the year-to-year increase in the state appropriation for public campuses, Richard M. Freeland, Commissioner of Ma Higher Education, reported recently. The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism has compiled a list of all colleges and universities in Massachusetts, separated by region. You’ll find information about the schools, and also valuable information about local transportation, seasonal activities, and special events that give you a flavor of each school. It’s a great resource for parents making their first trip to Massachusetts to explore potential colleges and universities for their children.
Massachusetts Celebrates Tourism Day on May 14
(Caption: Swan Boats in the Public Garden, Boston) Tourism and hospitality leaders from around Massachusetts gathered today at the State House to celebrate Tourism Day. The annual event showcases the sixteen regional tourism councils across the Commonwealth and fosters awareness of the state’s third largest industry. Exhibiting at the Grand Staircase and Hall of Flags, the regional tourism advocates shared their literature, home-grown products and infectious enthusiasm for their localities that is so welcoming to visitors. The Massachusetts tourism industry has sufficient numbers to back up the enthusiasm. In 2013, visitors spent nearly $17.7 billion and generated $1.1 billion in state and local taxes. The tourism sector supports 126,000 jobs for residents. “The people who work in the tourism industry deserve the credit for making Massachusetts one of America’s most desirable vacation destinations,” says Betsy Wall, executive director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism. Wall is particularly enthusiastic about international tourism, and MOTT has joined forces with BrandUSA, which markets the United States to the world. In 2013, international travel in Massachusetts increased by 12%, totaling over two million foreign visitors. Since 2012, Massport has launched new international air routes between Boston and Tokyo, Japan; Panama City, Panama; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Istanbul, Turkey; and starting June 20, Beijing, China. As part of the ceremonies, the Regional Tourism Councils bestowed their Champions of Tourism Award to Senator Kathleen O’Connor-Ives (D-Newburyport) and Representative Cory Atkins (D-Concord), who are current co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development. For more information about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.
Massachusetts Expands Collaborative Workspaces
(Photo: Greentown Labs in Somerville) Every place you turn, collaborative workspaces are cropping up in Massachusetts, drawing together innovators, entrepreneurs and creative types seeking affordable space, partnering and mentoring opportunities, and just pure inspiration. These workspaces are being hailed as a viable and practical way for individuals, small business and daring thinkers to flourish in an open environment where creative collaboration yields positive results. Massachusetts is at the forefront of encouraging these workspaces, says Helena Fruscio, head of Creative Industries, which is part of the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development. Just this week, Fruscio and her colleagues staged a kick-off event at two collaborative workspaces in Somerville: the Artisan’s Asylum, a 25,000 square foot cluster of physical/manufacturing entrepreneurs, and Greentown Labs, a 24,000 square foot space for the growing community of energy and cleaning technology entrepreneurs. EOHED Secretary Greg Bialecki attended, and expressed Governor Deval Patrick’s support of expanding these workspaces, as stated in the Governor’s bill, An Act to Promote Growth & Opportunity, currently before the legislature. For example, collaborative workspaces would be an ideal solution in many Gateway Cities, where officials believe underutilized buildings could house innovative and creative clusters that stimulate economic growth and help to transform these older cities. The Somerville event kicked off a series of three workshops across the state this month for prospective developers, operators, funders and public officials: Central Massachusetts Thursday, May 8 9:00 a.m. – Noon Becker College Borger Academic Center 9 Washburn Square Leicester Eastern Massachusetts Tuesday, May 13 9:00 a.m. – Noon Quincy Chamber of Commerce 180 Old Colony Avenue Quincy Western Massachusetts Thursday, May 15 9:00 a.m. – Noon Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center 100 Bigelow Street Holyoke For more information about the training series, or to get involved in collaborative workspaces, contact Helena Fruscio at Helena.email@example.com or 617 788-3602.
MassEcon Welcomes 18 Companies to Massachusetts
(Caption: Honorees at the 2014 MassEcon Reception at the Genzyme Center in Cambridge) By Susan Houston The sixth annual Corporate Welcome Reception, held on April 16, 2014 at the Genzyme Center in Cambridge, was MassEcon’s way of saying thank you and welcome to 18 diverse companies that have recently chosen to locate in Massachusetts from across the country and across the globe. The event recognized companies from a variety of industries, including life sciences, technology, energy, healthcare, and manufacturing, who have put down roots in all regions of the state, creating more than 600 jobs in the process. “We know that the world is a very flat place, filled with all kinds of innovative and entrepreneurial people, and when their businesses grow to a point that they’re becoming global businesses, we want them to think about Massachusetts as one of the places where they are going to be,” said EOHED Secretary Greg Bialecki, featured guest at the event. The diverse group of companies recognized at this year’s event include: Attend.com of Boston; BAUM Retec of Methuen; CareCloud of Boston; Cryogenetics of Woburn; Cybereason of Cambridge; Emirates Airline of Boston; EthoSolar of Marlborough; Facebook of Cambridge; Great Wolf Resorts of Fitchburg; Jabil/Nypro of Clinton; Labminds of Boston; McGraw-Hill of Boston; Menck of Chicopee; RapidMiner of Cambridge; Synacor of Westford; Velesco Pharma of Quincy; WeWork of Boston; and Wisetek of Franklin. Each company considered a variety of factors when looking for its new location, and for one reason or another, all settled on Massachusetts. “We looked at a few different options but Boston was quite unique,” said Joe Sawyer, VP of Marketing for Carecloud, which is headquartered in Miami and recently established an office in Boston. “Some cities have large healthcare industries and some cities have large technology industries, but really, only Boston has a large and thriving healthcare technology industry. So we felt that in terms of both the talent and the ecosystem, this was the place to be.” “Our initial market focus was going to be the Northeast, and Western Massachusetts was just an ideal location because there’s so much within a few hundred miles of where we are in Chicopee in terms of both opportunities and population,” said Todd Bachelder of Menck Windows, a German-based company that recently established its US manufacturing facility in Chicopee. “In addition to that, in the greater Springfield area you’ve got a history of manufacturing and in the greater Pioneer Valley you have a wonderful educational infrastructure that really should help us to find the folks we’re looking to employ.” A key goal of MassEcon’s annual event is to introduce new companies to the rich Massachusetts network, and that is something event-host Genzyme has experienced and benefited from first-hand. “Genzyme has developed its success through its own strengths, but Genzyme would be nothing without all the collaborations that were developed over the past 30 years,” said the company’s CFO Marc Esteva. “Just to learn what other people are doing and getting inspired by (it)….that’s worth being here already,” said Ingo Mierswa, CEO of RapidMiner. Special thanks to host Genzyme and sponsor WinterWyman for their role in what was a very memorable evening. Please check out the photos and videos from the event, and contact us if you’d like to find out more about MassEcon. Susan Houston is the executive director of MassEcon, the state’s private sector partner in promoting Massachusetts as the premier choice for business growth.
Advanced Manufacturing Summit in Worcester, April 29
(Caption: Images courtesy of Massachusetts Center for Advanced Design and Manufacturing) By Eric Nakajima Massachusetts is at the cutting-edge of advanced manufacturing, as we continue to lead the nation in growing a 21st century advanced manufacturing sector. In an effort to ensure that we remain at the forefront of growing this sector, we are excited to host our second annual Advanced Manufacturing Summit on Tuesday, April 29 at the DCU Center in Worcester. This collaborative event brings together hundreds of leading executives and managers from the manufacturing industry to share best practices, network, and discuss opportunities and challenges. It also allows us the opportunity to reflect on the significant progress that has been made over the past year. Here in Massachusetts the advanced manufacturing sector has grown more than 50 percent faster than anywhere else in the country. We have worked very hard to earn this, and now we must work even harder to keep growing that number. Advanced manufacturing is a critical part of our strategy to create jobs and drive long-term economic development. Today’s advanced manufacturers offer good-paying, high-skilled jobs that build careers that can last. Last year, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced the launch of the Advanced Manufacturing Regional Partnership Academy (AMRPA) to help our region’s leading educators, businesses and workforce experts build 21st century educational programs to connect qualified workers to high-growth companies across the state. The entrepreneurial and innovative spirit inspired by these partnerships throughout the Commonwealth is driving this industry forward. We are thrilled that many of these very leaders and company representatives will offer their advice and share their success stories at our summit. We are honored to have distinguished speakers lead our workshops and panels, and we look forward to hearing from Governor Patrick; Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development; Timothy Murray, President and CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce; Marty Jones, President and CEO of MassDevelopment; Michael Detarando, President and CEO of INCOM, Inc.; Michael Tamasi, CEO of AccuRounds; Harry Moser, Founder of the Reshoring Initiative, and many others. Eric Nakajima is Assistant Secretary for Innovation Policy at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS ADD NEW JOBS IN MASSACHUSETTS
(Caption: The Great Wolf Lodge of New England, located in Fitchburg, is adding 200 new jobs) The Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) had its quarterly meeting recently and approved 12 projects for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP). These projects are expected to create 638 new jobs and retain 851 existing jobs, in addition to leveraging over $155 million in private investment and supporting construction projects across the Commonwealth. Among the 12 approved projects are 3 manufacturing companies and 5 projects located in Gateway Cities. Three of the projects are hotels, and will positively impact the state’s tourism industry. “Supporting companies that are choosing to grow in Massachusetts is one of the Administration’s key economic development objectives to create economic opportunity in every region of the Commonwealth,” said Massachusetts Office of Business Development Executive Director Michael Hunter. “These investments will help these companies expand and continue to enhance the Massachusetts economy by making our communities stronger in the long term.” The EDIP is the Commonwealth’s investment tax credit program for businesses. In 2009, Governor Deval Patrick and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki, along with the Legislature, reformed the program and, as a result, the EDIP has become one of the most effective programs helping business grow in Massachusetts. Since these changes, 187 projects have received approval, leading to the potential creation of 13,304 new jobs, the retention of 39,752 existing jobs and leveraging of over $4.8 billion in private investment. The EACC has assisted 102 manufacturers through the EDIP and has supported 87 projects in Gateway Cities. Here is a description of the 12 winning projects. Fore more information about the EDIP and the Local Incentive Program, contact the MOBD regional representative in your area.
Pax East 2014 – Future of Gaming is Now
Digital gaming is big business. If you need reassurance on this point, then consider PAX East 2014, which took place at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center over the weekend of April 11-13, 2014. Over 70,000 people attended the three-day show, not just from Massachusetts and New England, but from across North America and indeed, from around the world. Forbes Magazine notes that the coveted three-day passes sold out in less than three minutes! The convention center occasionally looked like a movie set as thousands of participants arrived in elaborate costumes from their favorite video games. Superheroes and fantasy characters blended in with thousands of students, young professionals, gaming designers and industry executives, all there to watch, learn, share, compete, and partake in this massive celebration of games. Massachusetts has a stake in the $67 billion gaming industry, says Helena Fruscio, director of Creative Industries, a state-wide initiative to tap into the growing sector of creative arts blossoming across the Commonwealth. As part of the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development, Fruscio’s job is to identify, unify and strengthen all of the creative industries in Massachusetts, from performing arts and filmmaking to publishing and digital games. This year, 38 Massachusetts companies exhibited at the show, said Tim Loew, executive director of Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDigi). The state-designated organization stimulates collaborative efforts among academia, entrepreneurs, state government and the gaming industry while promoting Massachusetts as a place well-positioned for growth in this burgeoning field. Loew said the MassDigi booth bustled all weekend. “We had drop-in mentoring for aspiring game developers of all ages, game demos from local companies Little Worlds Interactive, gameblyr, Moonshot Games and Catlateral Damage, area college and university students, special international friends in the Swiss Gaming Corner from swissnex Boston and more,” he said. PAX East 2014 wasn’t just about game-playing; there were nearly 200 panel discussions, ranging from “Land My Job! Inside Advice in Getting into the Game Industry,” to “The Sports Video Game Crisis.” And a number of universities – including Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Becker College, Fitchburg State University and other schools – were on hand to discuss their digital gaming courses and programs. One educational program that attracted attention was MassDiGI’s Summer Innovation Program (SIP), a twelve-week long paid internship of interest to college and university students from around the country who are studying game development. “Students work on teams, under the guidance of professional game industry producers and mentors with the objective of publishing a game,” Loew says about the highly competitive internships. “This year SIP received applications from 31 different academic institutions.” Massachusetts ranks in the top five most creative and innovative clusters of game developers in the country, Loew reckons. “With over 125 studios across the Commonwealth, Massachusetts game developers are building games for smartphones and tablets, personal computers and consoles, and for entertainment as well as education and other markets. And, with more people across the world playing more games on more devices than ever before, Massachusetts game developers are well-positioned for growth.”
Massachusetts Hosts Economic Development Summit on April 10
Greg Bialecki, secretary of the state’s Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development, has invited leaders from business, government and academia to convene this Thursday, April 10, 2014, for Massachusetts’ annual economic development summit. Over 200 participants are attending the all-day event at the Newton Marriott Hotel, including a cross-section of business leaders, state and municipal officials and global thinkers who have helped strengthen Massachusetts’ reputation as a world leader in innovation and entrepreneurship. The summit is an outgrowth of Choosing to Compete in the 21st Century, the state’s central organizing framework for measuring its economic development activities. This comprehensive plan, initiated by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2010, builds upon Governor Deval Patrick ’s core strategy of long-term investments in education, innovation and infrastructure, and focuses on five broad categories for action, along with 55 specific action steps. These five categories include Building Talent, Innovation Economy, Empowering Regions, Ease of Doing Business and Cost Competitiveness. Bialecki stresses “collaboration and strategic planning” as key ingredients for sustainable economic growth in the future, so much of the discussion will focus on state initiatives that meet these criteria. Examples include developing advanced manufacturing partnerships and middle-skills training in community colleges; creating innovation ecosystems to spawn startups; strengthening housing, job and educational opportunities across the entire state; and enacting ways to improve cost competitiveness while making it easy to do business in Massachusetts. Here is an online version of the brochure, and of the program and panelist biographies. For more information on the economic development summit, contact ChooseToCompete@state.ma.us. For an ongoing look at the state’s progress, visit Mass.gov/compete.
Agriculture Day at the Massachusetts State House
Caption: Mural on City Feed and Supply in Jamaica Plain, Boston The State House got a genuine Taste of Massachusetts this week as farmers from around the Commonwealth came to celebrate Agriculture Day, an annual event that showcases the rich bounty of food and beverage produced in-state, while giving farmers an occasion to educate public officials about issues affecting their industry. The event was organized by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation and other organizations. On hand was an abundance of locally harvested and produced items, ranging from oysters, cranberry juice and apple pies to cheese, honey and milk shakes. And culinary students from the Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School in Marlboro prepared and served a variety of dishes made from Massachusetts products, such as turkey, lamb, root vegetables, honey and local cheeses. Governor Deval Patrick spoke to the assembly and presented the group with a proclamation declaring March 26, 2014 at Massachusetts Agriculture Day. In turn, the farmers presented the governor with an award in recognition of his support of their issues over the years. The farming industry in Massachusetts generates nearly $490 million in revenues, maintaining about 520,000 acres of open space. There are about 7,700 farms, employing 12,000 works, according to Richard Sullivan, secretary of Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs. Greg Watson, Commissioner of Department of Agricultural Resources, said that “The reliance on our agricultural community to meet the increasing demand for local products continues to grow as the Buy Local movement expands.” Paula L. Murphy, Director of the Massachusetts Export Center, says that the state exported more than $914 million of food and agricultural items in 2013. “Massachusetts is the nation’s number one exporter of scallops and the number three exporter of seafood,” Murphy adds. “And we are the nation’s number one exporter of cranberry juice.” In fact, culinary tourism is yet another reason to visit the state. The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism has developed a a handy overview of culinary activities for visitors, including a culinary calendar of food festivals and fairs. For other farm produce information, check out the Massachusetts Association of Roadside Stands , and this Mass Grown Map of farm products, specialty foods and fun agricultural activities throughout the state. Here is a list of farmers’ markets, but if you can’t wait till summer, check out these 40 winter farmers’ markets.
Massachusetts – A Seafood Paradise
(Caption: Port of New Bedford) Earlier this month 35 of the world’s leading seafood buyers journeyed to New Bedford, to spend a day at one of the world’s great fishing ports. They attended the Whaling City Seafood Auction, toured three local seafood processing companies and met with seafood industries leaders as well as New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell. The buyers came from Belgium, China, France, Hong Kong, Korea, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. The visit was organized by the Food Export USA, a non-profit export promotion group, and Massachusetts Export Center, which has been organizing this yearly visit for a decade now, in the wake of the international seafood exposition that takes place at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in Boston’s Seaport District each March. The Mass Export Center is part of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network “It is really exciting to mark the tenth anniversary of this effort,” says Nancy Lowd of the Export Center. “Seafood is one of the most important exports from Massachusetts and New Bedford is once again our nation’s largest fishing port by catch value.” “The tour of New Bedford seafood operations is the highlight of the trip for buyers, and is instrumental in clinching business deals,” said Coleen Coyne, Seafood Program Coordinator for Food Export USA. “Last year’s mission resulted in more than $22 million in exports of seafood.” Afterwards the international visitors took a boat tour around New Bedford’s working harbor, where they got to appreciate the rich heritage of the city’s maritime traditions. New Bedford is surely the world’s most famous whaling era seaport – thanks to the writings of Herman Melville and others – and now New Bedford Port has become the number one commercial fishing port in America, especially for scallops. “Scallops make up an estimated 80 percent of the $411 million in landings in 2012, and the fishing industry as a whole generates some $1 billion a year in economic activity,” notes The Boston Globe. The fishing industry has long been an important part of the Massachusetts economy; witness the five foot ‘sacred cod’ that has been hanging in the Massachusetts House of Representative Chambers since 1784. Massachusetts and seafood continue to be intertwined. Seafood Expo North America, held each year at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, is the largest seafood trade event in North America, drawing 1,090 exhibitors from 47 countries to showcase their products. “The Seafood Show has continued to grow over the years in Boston to become the largest seafood expo in North America,” said James E. Rooney, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority. “We are proud to see the positive economic impact that the show has on Boston, and the reputation it has around the world as being a go-to marketplace for seafood and seafood processing.” At the same time, state leaders are setting up a Massachusetts Seafood Marketing Program to help promote the state’s seafood industry, and to encourage residents to buy local products. To find out more about New Bedford and business opportunities there, visit the Massachusetts Office of Business Development or the New Bedford Economic Development Council.
Exports Are Up in Massachusetts
(Caption: Conley Terminal, Photo Courtesy of Massport) What do medical devices, semi-conductors, turbojets and fish oil have in common? They are all “made in Massachusetts” products that are exported and sold in 234 countries around the world. Exports are an important component of the Massachusetts economy; in 2013 we shipped $26.8 billion worth of merchandise outside of our borders. That’s an increase of 4.6% from 2012, according to statistics compiled by the US Census Bureau and recently released by the International Trade Administration. That’s good news for the 9,000 Bay State companies that export, says Paula Murphy, Director of the Massachusetts Export Center, adding that more than 90% of those companies are small and medium businesses. The Center is the state’s one-stop resource for export assistance, providing one-on-one technical assistance to Massachusetts businesses, and offering them customized solutions to grow their export capacity. It offers a range of services, such as regular webinars, workshops, and certification programs for getting into the export business. The Center is part of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network, which has offices around the state. The increase in exports is another sign that the state’s economic development strategy, Choosing to Compete in the 21st Century, continues to pay dividends. Having worked its way through the recession of 2008 quicker than most other states, Massachusetts is poised for significant growth, as long term investment in education, innovation and infrastructure continue to strengthen our economy. The international market is a big part of that growth potential. According to the 2013 statistics, Canada is our biggest buyer, purchasing $3.7 billion of our goods, followed by China ($2 billion), Mexico ($1.86 billion), Germany ($1.85 billion), and Japan ($1.8 billion). Massachusetts enjoys a strong brand across the world, thanks to our longstanding traditions of commerce and trade, the reputation of our colleges and universities, medical and research institutions, our cultural richness, and our attractiveness as a vacation destination. In recent years, our innovation economy has also emerged as one of the defining characteristics of what makes Massachusetts so special. For more information about the Massachusetts Export Center and how it can help your business, contact Paula Murphy at Paula.Murphy@state.ma.us
Advancing Manufacturing in Massachusetts
Massachusetts, renowned as America’s manufacturing epicenter in the mid-19th century, is rapidly regaining its spot as a leading manufacturing center, but with a 21st century twist. The state’s robust innovation economy has stimulated a new era of advanced manufacturing that relies on high-tech, precision machinery to produce a range of products including medical devices, robots, military equipment, green-energy technology and video games. Governor Deval Patrick recognizes the potential of advanced manufacturing to create jobs and move the economy forward. In his recent State of the Commonwealth address, Governor Patrick emphasized the strength of advanced manufacturing in our innovation economy. A few days after the address, Governor Patrick traveled to western Massachusetts to tour Advanced Manufacturing Co, Inc of Westfield, a family-owned business that makes precision parts for submarines, jets, helicopters and the International Space Station. Founded in 1962, the company has 200 workers. The governor’s commitment to advanced manufacturing is longstanding. In 2011 he launched the Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative (AMC), a group of leaders from industry, academia and government formed to map out a strategy for this emerging sector. The group created a five-point agenda to Promote Manufacturing, Educate the Workforce, Provide Technical Assistance, Ease the Cost of Doing Business and Gain Access to Capital Resources. See Governor Patrick on the Today Show talking about manufacturing. In its economic development plan, Choosing to Compete in the 21st century, the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development has identified Building Talent as one of five key initiatives. Indeed, one of our biggest challenges over the next decade is to train up to 100,000 skilled workers to enter the advanced manufacturing industry. AMC is working with high schools, vocational schools, community colleges and universities to provide training in computer and engineering courses to meet this demand. In a recent visit to Springfield Technical Community College, EOHED Secretary Greg Bialecki praised western Massachusetts for “deliberately seizing the opportunity” to bring precision manufacturing back. “You’ve got businesses, government, academic and community working together, saying let’s do it.” One program that is creating a buzz about advanced manufacturing is AMP iT UP!, a statewide promotional campaign educating students about manufacturing careers in Massachusetts. In December 2013, Mass Development announced nearly $110,000 in AMP it UP! matching grants to eleven programs across the Commonwealth that promote manufacturing as a career. This spring, the Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative is holding its 2nd annual Advanced Manufacturing Summit on April 29, 2014 at the DCU Center in Worcester. The summit brings together hundreds of executives and managers to share industry best practices and to discuss challenges and opportunities facing the advanced manufacturing industry. Here is a list of manufacturers in Massachusetts
Seaport Economic Council Announces $6.6 Million in Grants to Support Massachusetts Coastal Communities
(Port of New Bedford) The Baker-Polito Administration’s…
International Diplomats and Trade Officials Tour Western Mass to Explore Partnership Opportunities
(Tour of the Green High Performance Computing Center…
Massachusetts Says “Vive la France”
Massachusetts citizens and public officials are standing…
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