Governor Baker Signs Economic Development Legislation
$1 billion initiative will advance community development, workforce training, and innovation
BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker today signed comprehensive economic development legislation into law, providing up to $1 billion in new investments in communities, workforce training, and innovation across Massachusetts, and deepening the state’s economic competitiveness.
The new economic development law, An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development (H. 4569), advances job creation by expanding the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to building a skilled workforce and connecting residents to economic opportunities, strengthening community and housing development efforts, and investing in the emerging technologies that will underpin the Commonwealth’s economic future.
“This legislation unleashes valuable opportunities for investments in the development of revolutionary new technologies and community-based innovation, connecting every region of the Commonwealth to the innovation economy,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “By pairing those investments with a growing commitment to workforce development in high-demand fields like advanced manufacturing, computer science, and robotics, we will deepen our efforts to build the nation’s most competitive workforce. I am proud this bipartisan legislation will support the growth of our state’s nationally-leading innovation economy, and help develop the jobs of tomorrow.”
“Strong communities are the cornerstone of our Commonwealth, and this economic development legislation provides a robust set of tools that will allow state government to partner with communities, and advance our common goals,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “By providing critical funds for public infrastructure, site cleanup, and Gateway City redevelopment, this legislation will unlock local and regional economic development priorities, and connect citizens across Massachusetts to economic opportunity.”
“This bill will help our communities and businesses work together to build our economy,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg. “More and better jobs are on the way.”
“The 2016 economic development law will help Massachusetts remain a national leader and position us for growth,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. “The programs in this bill complement one another and, in doing so, support residents from all backgrounds, encourage growth in every region of the Commonwealth, and provide opportunities for businesses in diverse industries. Additionally, I believe the college savings plan will provide vital support to our students and families as they prepare for a bright future.”
An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development provides new capital funding for local infrastructure, Brownfields site cleanup, Gateway Cities development, site assembly and site readiness, workforce development, emerging technologies, and community-based innovation. The legislation also reforms the state’s smart growth housing toolbox, streamlines the state’s Economic Development Incentive Program, and allows for the expansion of Boston’s Conley cargo terminal. And it updates obsolete liquor laws, ensuring that Massachusetts farmer-wineries will continue to be able to sell their products on their own premises.
“This legislation reflects the collaborative spirit that drives our economic development efforts,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “It is the result of more than a year of conversations with scores of legislators and administration officials, as well as thousands of conversations with business leaders, municipal officials, educators, community advocates and other stakeholders. And it reflects our shared vision of creating economic opportunities, economic prosperity, and economic mobility throughout the Commonwealth.”
“The Workforce Skills Capital grants established in this legislation will make a vital difference to many of our educational institutions across the state, which are training and educating tomorrow’s workforce,” said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II. “These grants will enable vocational schools, career and technical schools, community colleges and other organizations focused on skill-building to purchase the most up-to-date equipment. These investments will lead to more skilled workers who are able to get good-paying jobs, and help businesses meet their increasing needs for a pipeline of trained workers.”
“This new Workforce Skills Capital Grant program will help give schools and community colleges the equipment and infrastructure they need to train students and current workers in high need occupations on the latest technology,” said Education Secretary Jim Peyser. “We’ve already seen the impact this year’s capital investments have had on our ability to increase institutional collaboration and industry partnerships and we are thrilled to be able to expand this critical program thanks to this important piece of legislation.”
“Smart growth housing helps build stronger communities, and stronger families,” said Undersecretary for Housing and Community Development Chrystal Kornegay. “This legislation contains several powerful new levers for supporting the creation of workforce housing in all types of communities, from Gateway Cities, to town centers and urban neighborhoods, to suburban communities. I’m proud that this legislation will help working families across Massachusetts access more moderately-priced housing.”
An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development is organized around four main themes: community development, workforce development, innovation, and economic competitiveness. Highlights of the legislation include:
The Massachusetts Innovation Initiative