LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR MURRAY HIGHLIGHTS ADVANCED MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY IN WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS
WEST SPRINGFIELD – Thursday, May 16, 2013 – Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today participated in EASTEC, the largest annual manufacturing event in the Northeast, and highlighted how the advanced manufacturing industry is growing in western Massachusetts by embracing innovation and creating strong workforce development ties.
“Advanced manufacturing in western Massachusetts and throughout the Commonwealth has embraced new technology and workforce training initiatives, building a stronger industry than it was before the Great Recession,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray. “At EASTEC, companies from up and down the East Coast can see and hear first-hand how advanced manufacturing has been able to innovate and become a key part of our economy.”
EASTEC is an annual event being held this year at Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield. Organizers anticipate 14,000 attendees and more than 500 exhibitors at the conference, which runs May 14-16. The conference includes tours of manufacturing facilities, like B&E Precision Aircraft Components in Southwick, and a focus on the importance of workplace development as a key driver for future growth in the industry.
During today's conference, Lieutenant Governor Murray met with manufacturers who are exhibiting at EASTEC in the Manufacturing Brilliance Theater and discussed issues related to workforce development, the manufacturing skills gap and the Administration's support of the industry. The conference includes a keynote presentation, “Challenges and Solutions for a Qualified Workforce Pipeline” that will include a panel of officials and industry leaders moderated by Edward Leyden, the President of Massachusetts-based Ben Franklin Design & Manufacturing. The panel will include Housing and Economic Development Assistant Secretary for Innovation Policy Eric Nakajima and representatives from Westfield Vocational-Technical High School and the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County.
The Patrick-Murray Administration has been committed to supporting the growth of advanced manufacturing in Massachusetts, an industry that is expected to fill 100,000 jobs in the next decade and offers good jobs and careers in a sector with an average annual salary of $75,000.
In western Massachusetts, the Patrick-Murray Administration has supported the Precision Manufacturing Regional Alliance Project which helps veterans, Gateway City residents and others learn the skills they need to thrive in manufacturing. The Administration’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget recommendation includes funding for similar programs in other regions of the state, along with funding for small-to-medium enterprise lending and competitive grants to facilitate growth and competitiveness.
The Administration is also committed to improving the workforce pipeline between workers, training institutions and the industry. Regional programs in central and northeastern Massachusetts are strengthening connections between manufacturers and schools. The Amp It Up! program announced in October 2012 by Lieutenant Governor Murray and operated by MassDevelopment was created to increase awareness among young adults and their families on the opportunities for good jobs and solid careers in manufacturing.
In 2010, Governor Deval Patrick created the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative, which brings together government, academia and industry leaders to lead the sector forward. The Collaborative will hold the first statewide Advanced Manufacturing Summit on June 25 in Foxboro, which will bring together hundreds of leading executives and managers from the manufacturing industry to share best practices, network and discuss future opportunities and challenges.