Governor Deval L. Patrick
Economic Development Summit
Boston Marriot Newton
Thursday, April 10, 2014

The first time we gathered together at an economic summit was in 2009, in the midst of a global economic collapse.  I described to you then a strategy for growth by investing time, ideas and money in education, innovation and infrastructure.  

1.     Education because that’s the single best way to prepare our citizens for work and for life.

2.     Innovation because focusing on industries that depend on our kind of concentration of brainpower is the best way to play to our strengths.

3.     And infrastructure because these are the things the public builds as a platform for private investment and personal ambition.

With the help of the Legislature, the universities, business leadership, labor and many others, we have executed that growth strategy with discipline and consistency for nearly 8 years.  And it is working. 

This past year, we added over 55,000 jobs, the largest number of jobs created in a single year in nearly 15 years, and the fourth straight year of adding one percent or more to the state’s total employment.

Our economy is growing faster than the national average, at a rate of 5.5 percent in the fourth quarter last year, compared to 3.2 percent nationally.

Today, our biotech sector is one of the fastest growing in the world, our clean tech sector is seeing double-digit job growth, and we have trained over 100,000 people for jobs in these and other innovation sectors.

Today, manufacturing in our state is growing more than 50 percent faster than in the nation as a whole, and seven times the rate it did during the previous administration.

Multi-family housing starts have tripled and commercial property development is on the rebound.

Young people and families are moving into Massachusetts again, and at a faster rate than the rest of the region.

We’ve added 9 new international direct flights into Boston, and Logan has seen record numbers of travelers in the last two years.

Today, Massachusetts is first in the nation in student achievement, health care coverage, energy efficiency, veterans’ services, entrepreneurial activity, venture funding, and economic competitiveness.

And we have done this and more responsibly: our budgets are balanced, we’ve reformed much of state government and made it smaller, our rainy day fund is one of the strongest in the country, and we have the highest bond rating in Commonwealth history.

That’s what our growth strategy has produced.  We are a more prosperous, more promising and more just Commonwealth for more people today.  And we have worked together to produce these results. 

So, I want to thank you for what we have achieved and how we have achieved it.

Now is no time to rest on our laurels.  I am convinced that we can reach more of our residents and accelerate more job and wealth creation, indeed that we can position ourselves to sustain our growth for many more years.

That’s why today I am filing a Growth Sustainability Bill, a comprehensive piece of legislation that reinvigorates and repurposes some existing tools and provides some new ones, too.

This bill has two goals – to expand opportunity more broadly into communities we have not yet reached, and to accelerate the growth of our innovation sectors.  

How do we expand opportunity?

1.     By focusing more training on middle skills careers in advanced manufacturing and IT;

2.     By creating collaborative workspaces for and more supports for entrepreneurs in Gateway Cities; and

3.     By recapitalizing successful investment programs that benefit Gateway Cities, specifically the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation, the Housing Development Incentive Program, and the Brownfield Redevelopment Fund.

And how do we accelerate innovation?

1.     By broadening eligibility for R&D tax credits and similar business incentives;

2.     By securing visas for talented foreign students who launch innovative companies while they’re students and want to stay here to grow them;

3.     By eliminating non-competition agreements and enacting the Uniform Trade Secrets Act;

4.     By expanding international tourism marketing;

5.     By recapitalizing MassVentures;

6.     By codifying our STEM Advisory Council to continue our educational emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math; and

7.     By providing internships and mentoring for young tech talent.

The Secretary’s staff will circulate a summary of the proposed legislation.  You’ll be hearing additional and complementary ideas from the panelists today and from the Senate President and the Speaker today and in the coming weeks.  Study them all closely, improve upon them, and work with us to deliver them before the Session ends this year.  I’m confident that taken together they will have a meaningful impact in securing our future as an international hub for innovation and job growth, indeed for opportunity itself.

We have shown before – in the face of a great recession, rapid economic changes, weather catastrophes and even a terrorist attack – that we know how to shape our own future.  Let’s keep it going.

Thank you. 

To view the related press release, click here.