Today, Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante and members of the Economic Development Planning Council gathered in the Great Hall at the Massachusetts State House to officially release the economic development plan for the Commonwealth entitled Partnerships for Growth: A plan to enable the Commonwealth’s regions to build, connect and lead.
Partnerships for Growth aligns the administration’s economic development programs, funding, and legislative efforts within four central pillars—Respond to the Housing Crisis, Build Vibrant Communities, Support Business Competitiveness, and Train a Skilled Workforce—to address challenges and foster opportunities over the next four years.
Governor Charlie Baker said, “Over the past five years, Massachusetts has achieved enviable growth, and Partnerships for Growth lays out a strategy for addressing opportunities and challenges around housing, business, and workforce in their regional contexts. We are thankful to the members of the Economic Development Planning Council and the more than 1,200 residents who participated and shared their knowledge and wisdom.”
Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said, “I was pleased to meet and engage with people across the Commonwealth throughout this planning process that has resulted in Partnerships for Growth, a framework designed to inform the administration’s economic development approach moving forward. Our administration will continue the state’s strong partnership with all 351 towns and cities so that we can support vibrant communities, which are so key to economic growth, and with employers to better align workforce training with their needs.”
Secretary Mike Kennealy said, “The Baker-Polito Administration is proud of the work done in close collaboration with the legislature to create an environment that promotes economic development, and we are committed to building on those efforts withPartnerships for Growth as a foundation. By focusing on what is in this plan, the Commonwealth will support an innovative business environment to help companies grow, and respond to the housing crisis head-on by working to increase production of all types of housing.”
Over the spring and summer of 2019, the Baker-Polito Administration hosted nine regional engagement sessions across the Commonwealth, soliciting feedback from residents and businesses. Expert moderators led breakout discussions across six areas: Community & Neighborhood Development, Innovation & Start-Ups, Jobs & Workforce Development, Housing, Key Clusters & Industries, and Business Growth. More than 1,200 attendees participated, and their insights served as the basis of Partnerships for Growth. During the fall of 2019, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development also engaged nearly 250 organizations across 17 deep-dive listening sessions to further refine economic development priorities for this plan.
Four strategic themes emerged from this broad engagement centered on the need for the Commonwealth to produce more housing options for residents, support vibrant communities, strengthen Massachusetts’ economic competitiveness, and develop stronger pathways for workers. While each stakeholder group approached these issues from a different perspective, nearly every group coalesced around these core elements.
The numerous discussions also highlighted cross-cutting principles that affect each pillar. These convergent issues included opportunities to simplify interactions with state government, mitigate the impact of climate change, provide equitable opportunities across the Commonwealth, enhance public infrastructure, and better reflect the unique characteristics of our regions in state programs and priorities.
Senator Eric Lesser, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies and member of the Economic Development Planning Council, said, “I am grateful for the outreach and engagement of the administration, business leaders, and stakeholders in the private and nonprofit sectors on this Plan, and I look forward to our continued collaboration as we work to craft economic development legislation next year.”
Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies and member of the Economic Development Planning Council, said, “Chairs of the Economic Development Planning Council, Secretary Michael Kennealy and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito , and their staffs, in partnership with many members across the state, have done a comprehensive job of reaching out to every corner of the Commonwealth to collect ideas on how to drive the Massachusetts Economy forward. As a result, today we accept and acknowledge, this conceptual plan outlining economic development priorities. Going forward, we must make certain that in implementing this plan, we pass legislation that will provide for economic stimulus across the Commonwealth, including traditional industries such as fishing and farming as well as emerging technologies such as cyber security and life sciences.”
In 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration worked with an Economic Development Planning Council, the legislature, and other stakeholders to develop and implement Opportunities for All: The Baker-Polito Strategy and Plan for Making Massachusetts Great Everywhere. This plan focused on seven priority policy areas centered on prosperity for residents, vitality for communities, and growth for businesses. Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito and their administration have worked to support and grow Massachusetts’ economy by executing on Opportunities for All. This plan served as the basis for the economic development legislation enacted in 2016 and 2018, the 2018 life sciences reauthorization, the 2018 affordable housing bond bill, and it helped to guide more than $1 billion in economic development investments, including coastal infrastructure, downtown planning, and business technical assistance.
The council and process are guided by Section 16G of Chapter 6A of the Massachusetts General Laws, which requires a new economic development plan formulated and signed by the governor within the first year of a new administration.
You can read the plan at mass.gov/partnershipsforgrowth.