For Immediate Release - September 13, 2012

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION HIGHLIGHTS STRENGTH AND FUTURE OF MASSACHUSETTS MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY DURING VISIT TO ACCUROUNDS IN AVON

Report by The Boston Foundation finds manufacturing sector has strengthened since 2008

Future of Mass. Manufacturing
Governor Patrick addresses the crowd at AccuRounds in Avon. (Photo Credit: Eric Haynes / Governor's Office.) View additional photos.

AVON – Thursday, September 13, 2012 – Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today joined industry leaders and state and local officials at Avon-based precision manufacturer AccuRounds to announce a number of initiatives designed to strengthen the manufacturing sector in Massachusetts.

"Massachusetts is recovering faster and stronger than the rest of the nation because of our strategic investments in sectors that create jobs in the 21st century global economy,” said Governor Patrick. “I am proud of the work the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative has accomplished, creating opportunities for workers with a range of skill levels that will strengthen our economy for years to come."

The new initiatives include $5 million in state funding to improve workforce competitiveness and the creation of access to capital workshops designed to promote awareness of capital and technical assistance for companies. Lieutenant Governor Murray also launched "AMP It Up!," a new statewide careers promotional campaign that will increase awareness about available job opportunities within the industry.

“Manufacturing is the fifth largest employer in the Commonwealth, and we are making critical investments and building public-private partnerships to boost this industry and our growing economy,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray. “As we address the skills gap within the industry, the ‘AMP it up!’ campaign will increase awareness about job opportunities for the next generation of workers as we also continue to promote workforce training and other initiatives to support those currently seeking employment.”

Preserving and improving the manufacturing industry has been, and continues to be, a priority of the Patrick-Murray Administration. The industry is a part of Massachusetts’ innovation economy and is internationally competitive through a new generation of advanced manufacturing that is known for precision, customization, high value and technological innovation.

“Our manufacturing industry has embraced new technology and a competitive spirit, and has been able to become a thriving, innovative part of our economy,” said Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. “The Administration’s long-term economic plan includes goals that will enable us to work with the industry and ensure companies are finding the well-trained, middle-skill employees they will need in the future.”

The Boston Foundation unveiled a report by Northeastern University Professor Barry Bluestone, Staying Power II, that finds the Massachusetts manufacturing industry suffered job losses during the recent recession, but has found its footing and through investments in new technology is solidifying its position in the Commonwealth.

The report illustrates that after a period of job loss in the industry – particularly in the last five years through the nation’s significant recession – the number of jobs is starting to level off. Significantly, through companies adding jobs and replacing an aging workforce, The Boston Foundation estimates as many as 100,000 manufacturing jobs may be available in Massachusetts over the next decade. Additionally, the report found the positions will be good jobs with good wages, with the current average annual salary in the industry over $75,000.

One of the initiatives that will help the manufacturing industry connect with employees is the reform of community colleges signed into law by Governor Patrick in July. Through the changes, community colleges will be more responsive to the needs of businesses and help fill the skills gap that can often leave employers with a shortage of well-trained job prospects.

“Having a robust manufacturing sector is vital to our state’s economic wellbeing. The initiatives announced today will encourage manufacturers who create good jobs and quality products, such as AccuRounds, to remain in Massachusetts and for new companies to establish themselves here,” said State Representative William C. Galvin.

In August, Governor Patrick also signed into law legislation that codifies the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative, which was created in 2011. Through the Collaborative, government and industry officials will work together to move manufacturing forward in Massachusetts. The Collaborative will take an active role in a promotional campaign targeting parents, teachers and guidance counselors that will help build awareness of manufacturing job opportunities. The Collaborative will produce materials and offer challenge grants to local and regional programs touting the industry and its potential to workers. As part of that effort, today's launch of the “AMP it up!” campaign will build awareness statewide of manufacturing’s resurgence.

Additionally, in the Fiscal Year 2013 budget, the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership funding was increased to $1,225,000. The economic development bill signed by Governor Patrick creates the Advanced Manufacturing Futures Fund, which will receive future revenues as outlined in the Expanding Gaming Act and will be dedicated to supporting new projects and initiatives to improve the competitiveness of manufacturers.

“Everyone at AccuRounds was grateful, excited and proud to host such an important event for manufacturing,” said Michael Tamasi, President and CEO of AccuRounds. “The cooperation amongst the Governor’s team, industry representatives and all the event participants was tremendous. The report card on manufacturing in Massachusetts proves that our industry is alive and well. Spread the word.”

“Manufacturing in Massachusetts has come out of the recession faster than before because of its strong competitive position, and we are trying to accelerate that growth by strengthening the manufacturing infrastructure in the state as we bring highly innovative products and manufacturing processes to global markets,” said Mitch Tyson, Principal at Tyson Associates and Co-Chair of the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative. “As we move forward with Governor Patrick and his team, we anticipate getting even stronger as our industry works more closely with the amazing workforce training and academic institutions in the state.”

“The Northeastern University report supports the increasing focus of MassDevelopment on the vital manufacturing sector,” said Marty Jones,  President and CEO of MassDevelopment. “Working with the Patrick-Murray Administration, MassDevelopment invites everyone to check out the AMP It Up! campaign launched today at www.ampitupma.com where young people, parents, and guidance counselors can find more information on how to pursue worthwhile manufacturing careers.”

“We are proud to engage in the public-private collaborations that bring manufacturers together to develop a roadmap for expanding this vibrant economy across Massachusetts,” said Pamela Goldberg, CEO of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.

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