For Immediate Release - April 28, 2010

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION HOSTS REGIONAL ECONOMIC SUMMIT TO ACCELERATE RECOVERY, CREATE JOBS IN NORTHEAST MASSACHUSETTS

DANVERS - Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's continuing efforts to promote job growth across the Commonwealth, Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray, in partnership with regional hosts, today convened a cross-section of business, financial, education, and public policy leaders from the Northeast region of Massachusetts for a Regional Economic Summit. The half day-long summit, co-hosted by the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Northern Essex Community College, North Shore Community College, Salem State College, and Middlesex Community College, focused on ways to promote long-term economic recovery and job growth throughout the region.

"By convening representatives of commerce, industry and academia from each region of the state, the Lieutenant Governor and I are expanding on the great success of the statewide summit last fall," said Governor Patrick. "It is important to continue to pursue collaborative efforts that will develop new and creative ways to recover our economy."

"After the Economic Summit in October we pledged to work diligently with industry and academia to continue the important discussion on a regional scale," said Lieutenant Governor Murray. "These regional summits have allowed us to work with regional partners to reach our common goal, ensure that our efforts are inclusive and continue to encourage development in all parts of the Commonwealth."

The Governor first hosted a statewide Economic Summit last fall at the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston. The Northeast Regional Economic Summit is the third in a series of regional events designed to help Massachusetts develop a strategic roadmap to recovery for the entire state. The first took place in January in Leominster, in cooperation with Fitchburg State and Mount Wachusett Community College, and was followed by a Pioneer Valley summit in March in Amherst, held in cooperation with the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Today's summit included discussions on the current state of the national, statewide and regional economies; the Administration's multi-pronged strategy for growth through supporting small business growth; regional economic development; investments in education, infrastructure and innovation that will create conditions for maximum job growth; and public-private collaborations that can move the local economy forward. Participant working groups also strategized around finding long-term solutions to creating access to capital and advice for small businesses, clearing the way for business expansion and supporting innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the Northeast region.

This summit was organized by leaders from the five co-sponsoring colleges and universities, the North Shore Alliance for Economic Development, North Shore Chamber of Commerce, Merrimack Valley Economic Development Council, Cell Signaling Technology, Southwick and local officials in partnership with the Patrick-Murray Administration's Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (HED), led by Secretary Greg Bialecki.

"The only way for Massachusetts to fully recover from the effects of the current recession, and position itself to withstand future recessions is to have a solid long -term economic development strategy," said Senate Majority Leader Frederick E. Berry. "I am proud to be participating with the Patrick-Murray Administration and various sectors of the North Shore economy to identify and address the particular needs of our region."

"The Governor, in the last couple of years, has committed $20 million towards the North Shore Technical High School - Essex Aggie merger, $30 million towards a new Allied Health building, and another $30 million ramp project in my district. All of these have been on drawing board for last 10 years and are now being done or about to be done thanks to the stimulus bill and related investments. These projects, especially the allied health building, will mean good jobs on the North Shore now and for decades to come," said Representative Theodore Speliotis

"That the Patrick-Murray Administration not only values planning by region but actively seeks the opinion of regional leaders, speaks to the reason Massachusetts will attain a complete recovery," said Wayne M. Burton, President of North Shore Community College. "The five institutions of public higher education in the Northeast are proud to participate in the Summit and pledge our full support in both the planning process and the strategies adopted to achieve success."

"The Merrimack Valley, known for its history of invention and innovation, is a major force in the economic growth of the state and UMass Lowell, through its collaborations with business, communities, and other academic institutions, helps drive progress," said UMass Lowell Chancellor Martin T. Meehan.

"The information shared among the participants will help determine the path that our colleges and universities must follow to provide our students with the competencies and knowledge necessary to compete successfully in the future workforce," said Salem State College President Patricia Maguire Meservey.

On February 10, 2010, the Governor filed legislation designed to continue to foster economic growth and job creation in the Commonwealth. The Governor's bill provides tax credits for employers that create new jobs, eases healthcare and unemployment insurance costs for small businesses, and creates a new organization dedicated to providing businesses with the financial capital and resources they need to grow. The Administration's Division of Insurance has been on the forefront of the effort to stop the double-digit increases in health insurance costs for small businesses and working families. On April 1, the Division disapproved 235 rate filings that were deemed excessive or unreasonable in relation to the rate provided.

Recent reports indicate that Massachusetts is posed to emerge from the global economic downturn more quickly and stronger than other states, thanks in large part to Governor Patrick and the Legislature's focus on long-term economic development and investments in key industries, such as life sciences, health care, education and clean energy.

For more on the Patrick-Murray Administration's Economic Summit efforts, go to www.mass.gov/governor/economicsummit. For more information on the Administration's small business jobs bill, go to www.mass.gov/governor/jobs.

###

Follow us on Twitter – View our Photos – Watch our Videos