For Immediate Release - October 03, 2007

GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES A PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CITY OF SPRINGFIELD

State-City Partnership will Boost Public Safety, Education and Housing

SPRINGFIELD - Wednesday, October 03, 2007-Governor Deval Patrick today launched the Springfield Partnership - a new collaboration between the City and the Commonwealth to augment the work of the Finance Control Board to develop a working economy that will sustain a working community.

"Springfield's success is important to the Commonwealth as a whole, and the Springfield Partnership is a great opportunity to work together to energize a great city and a vital region," said Governor Patrick. "Working with local leadership, legislators, businesses and community groups, we can tap the considerable potential of Springfield and the region, and reenergize a vibrant hub for growth in Western Massachusetts."

The Springfield Partnership includes state investments in public safety, education and housing to help spur economic development in the City and the region. Some of those investments and initiatives include:

Public Safety Commitments

  • The state will offer support to increase the number of police officers on the streets in Springfield by committing $560,000 to facilitate City hiring of 10 additional officers.
  • The state has also made a commitment to renovate and expand the police training facility at the Springfield Technical Community College and to site a Western Massachusetts Fire Training Facility in Springfield.

    Education
  • The Readiness Project is the Patrick Administration's state-wide effort to implement the next generation in education improvement pre-K through college. The Governor has directed Education Advisor Dana Mohler-Faria and the Springfield Control Board to create an aggressive plan to use Springfield schools as a laboratory for exciting innovations in early education and care, expanded time for teaching and learning, and better strategies to connect local colleges and universities with primary and secondary schools for tutoring and mentoring.
  • To prepare people for these and other new opportunities, the state will also invest in skills training programs and one-stop career centers. Spending will be targeted based on a comprehensive assessment and strategic plan from the Hampden County Regional Employment Board to ensure the workforce is strong.

    Housing Initiatives
  • The state will match a City contribution to the Worthington Street Shelter Housing Project, which will be a model for the rest of the state with a campus with shelter beds, services and housing units.
  • The Governor has committed to making a significant investment in state-assisted public housing units. Consistent with this broad objective, the state is prepared to make an immediate capital investment that will allow the Springfield Housing authority to meet immediate capital needs, to improve housing and ensure that it public housing is affordable, safe and decent.
  • The state is partnering with local employers to launch a state matched employer assistance housing program. Under this program, the state will match the employer contribution to an employee who purchases a home in the City of Springfield.

    Improvements to the City's Business Environment
  • The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development are working with the Hampden County Regional Employment Board to develop a client-focused strategic plan that can meet the needs of Springfield residents by removing barriers to employment participation and mobility.
  • The state will work with City to identify an area or areas within the City eligible for the state's streamlined permit process to encourage business development and economic growth.

    State Investments and Local Initiatives
  • The Governor plans to reopen the Governor's Office in the State Office Building in Springfield. It will be named the Western Massachusetts Office and will serve the counties of Western Massachusetts.
  • The Main Street North Roadway project, overseen by MassHighway, includes $3 million for pedestrian and streetscape improvements and roadway resurfacing.
  • The Pioneer Valley Transportation Authority (PVTA), in partnership with the City of Springfield and its Redevelopment Authority, has proposed constructing an Intermodal Transportation Center in downtown Springfield to integrate the regional transit system and provide public amenities and opportunities for downtown economic development. The Executive Office of Transportation and Public Works has already contributed more than $6 million to the project.

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