Governor Patrick Announces Recovery Act Puts Thousands to Work in Massachusetts
Federal government to release state job figures; Massachusetts Recovery & Reinvestment Office issues Citizens' Update detailing administration's stimulus investments for last three months of 2009
Last week, the Massachusetts Recovery and Reinvestment Office submitted the state's data to the federal government for the second ARRA reporting period from September 30 through December 31, 2009. Today the office issued its Citizens' Update highlighting the administration's stimulus investments during this period. The Update is available online at . All data provided to the federal government by the states will be posted at www.recovery.gov later today.
"Today's jobs announcement is another example of the ongoing impact and importance of the federal Recovery Act in terms of community health, infrastructure improvements and - most importantly - jobs," said Governor Patrick. "Through our strategic investments in projects across the state, the Commonwealth is getting back to work."
"Thirteen thousand jobs created since October is a big benchmark of progress towards getting people back to work while strengthening our infrastructure for the long haul. With the new high-speed rail funding for the Northeast Corridor we secured just this week, we will build on this foundation," said Senator John Kerry
"I commend Governor Patrick for his impressive leadership in targeting federal stimulus funds to preserve existing jobs and create new jobs for the people of Massachusetts during this extremely difficult economic period," said Senator Paul Kirk. "Although far too many of our citizens are still out of work and much still needs to be done, the Commonwealth is on the road to economic recovery."
"Creating jobs is a top priority and today's announcement is precisely the type of news we were hoping to hear when we passed the Recovery Act," said Congressman John F. Tierney. "We are now losing fewer and fewer jobs monthly, seemingly and hopefully being on the cusp of positive employment numbers in the coming months. Through these investments we will continue our efforts to develop the local economy and sustain long-term growth."
Since ARRA's enactment in February 2009, Massachusetts state agencies have received $4.3 billion in stimulus awards. Of that amount, $3.1 billion, or 72 percent, has been committed and over $2.4 billion has been spent on programs and projects across the Commonwealth. Governor Patrick and his team have met or exceeded every deadline for using recovery money put forth by the federal government. In fact, by next week, the administration will have obligated its entire $437.9 million allotment of ARRA highway funding, a full month ahead of schedule.
"The fact that there are nearly 21,000 people who collected a paycheck thanks to Recovery Act funds during this last three month period is a tremendously positive sign. I understand the frustration that comes with this long period of economic recovery, but there is no question that the Recovery Act program is making a positive impact on people's lives here in the Commonwealth," said Jeffrey Simon, Director of the Massachusetts Office of Recovery and Reinvestment.
Senator Marc R. Pacheco, Senate Chair, Joint Committee on Federal Stimulus Oversight, said, "This jobs report, which shows successful and sustained job creation, is a strong indication that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is having a positive impact on the Commonwealth. Job creation is without a doubt the only way back to a truly thriving economy, and the jobs numbers in this report are very encouraging. While we have not yet seen a total economic recovery, it is becoming increasingly clear that the ARRA funds were crucial in preventing an unparalleled economic calamity. I look forward to working closely with the Patrick Administration, the congressional delegation, and my colleagues in the state legislature to stimulate job creation and facilitate continued economic recovery."
Representative David P. Linsky, House Chair, Joint Committee on Federal Stimulus Oversight, said, "Massachusetts continues to be among the top states in the Nation in effectively spending its federal stimulus dollars. The bottom line is the Stimulus Bill is working, and as a result the economy is steadily improving. We have a lot more work to do, but people are starting to go back to work, and the Stimulus Bill is a part of that."
The Patrick-Murray Administration has wisely invested ARRA funds so that real people benefit - preserving and creating jobs while improving our infrastructure for the short- and long-term.
Brendt Gonsalves, the project superintendent for the Wind Technology Testing Center in Charlestown - the largest of its kind in the world - thought such a center was only a dream until stimulus funding came into the picture. "Stimulus is fantastic," he said. "Without it, this project would not exist. And it's creating jobs for years to come."
The Patrick-Murray Administration's clean and alternative energy initiatives set national standards, increasing wind power 10-fold and solar power 15-fold by next year. Within the solar industry, the Administration's priorities have already more than doubled the number of jobs and quadrupled the number of companies.
Construction projects like Assembly Square in Somerville, the Route 7 improvements in Pittsfield, the Route 24 ramp in Fall River and dozens of other projects have been made possible by ARRA and by the Commonwealth's solid credit rating. These projects are putting people to work now, creating more jobs in the coming months, and will improve the quality of life for residents across the state for years to come.
In the first federal reporting period, which covered February 17, 2009 to September 30, 2009, the state reported stimulus spending had created or retained 8,792 FTEs, representing 23,533 individual citizens put to work.