Photo courtesy of Sam Doran/SHNS
On economic development, education and workforce development, Governor Baker said:
“For the first time we’re directing capital grants to vocational technical schools to upgrade equipment and expand popular programs. Providing students with real world skills and experience and employers with job ready workers.
“Public/private partnerships with colleges, researchers, businesses and the federal government in materials, advanced manufacturing, robotics and digital health are incubating the next generation of great commercial clusters.
“Partnerships with our colleagues in local government and the private sector have translated into billions of dollars of downtown and economic development projects. Creating thousands of jobs and preserving and creating thousands of units of affordable and workforce housing.
“Working with you we’ve allocated more than $700 million in local road and bridge funding – the largest investment in years. And another $3.6 billion has been spent on hundreds of road re-surfacing and improvement projects.
“All in we’ve repaired or replaced 80 bridges and paved enough miles of roadway to crisscross the Commonwealth five times….
“Economically, we’re hitting on all cylinders.
“In 2017 we had more people working than at any time in state history. Our economy has added 180,000 new jobs since we took office. And best of all, the number of people looking for work has dropped in every county over the past three years in most cases by more than 35%.
“The progress we’ve made together has been noticed and it should be.
“Bloomberg ranked Massachusetts #1 in innovation for the past two years.
“The United Health Foundation called Massachusetts the healthiest state in the nation.
“In a 2014 national survey, Thumbtack gave Massachusetts a D+ for small business friendliness. Last year, they gave us an A-.
“U.S. News and World Report ranked Massachusetts the best state in the nation in which to live, work and raise a family.
In closing, Governor Baker said, “We’ve done great work with you on many important issues. But our work has just begun. We stand ready to do so much more. On housing. Economic development. Life sciences. Education. Criminal Justice. Community Building. Transportation. And Addiction.
“But most of all, we all gather here tonight as the grateful recipients of a profound opportunity to serve the great people of this great state. Let’s make the most of it.”