(Caption: Governor Deval Patrick announces $27.5 million…
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 Architecture 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
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Massachusetts Invests in its Cultural Facilities
(Caption: Lexington Historical Society Building) Massachusetts…
- Congrats to 4 Mass companies that won EPA funding.
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