AS DELIVERED:
Governor Deval L. Patrick
Advanced Manufacturing Summit
DCU Center, Worcester
Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Thank you, Michael (Tamasi), for that warm welcome. It’s good to be with you again, as it was in 2012 when we visited AccuRounds to release the Staying Power II report. Thank you for your continued strong voice for manufacturing, both here in the Commonwealth and nationally. 

That report forecast the need to fill 100,000 new manufacturing jobs over the coming decade. Since then the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative, working with those of you in the manufacturing industry, have stepped it up in so many ways to position our Commonwealth for growth. I thank you all for your leadership.

For nearly eight years, we have pursued a strategy of investing in education, in innovation and in infrastructure – playing to our strengths and promoting our advantages to investors, inventors and innovators around the world. 

That strategy is the reason why Massachusetts is a global economic leader. Innovation in Massachusetts industries such as life sciences, clean energy, digital technologies, financial services and defense is the reason we have emerged from the Great Recession faster than most other states and stronger than we were. 

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.

We are first in the Nation in student achievement, health care coverage, energy efficiency, economic competitiveness, venture funding, entrepreneurial activity, veterans’ services and much more. We are rebuilding our roads, rails, bridges, housing and laboratories. And we are doing it responsibly, balancing our budgets and achieving the highest bond rating in Commonwealth history.

Because we are making more of the things we invent, Massachusetts has experienced a quiet renaissance in advanced manufacturing. 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.

But our work is not done.

We launched the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative – to focus on workforce development, access to capital, energy management and innovation itself in the manufacturing industries.

Through the work of the Collaborative:

  • We created the Workforce Training Fund, which so far has awarded more than $18 million to 257 manufacturers to train over 16,000 workers;
  • We promote the industry through the Advanced Manufacturing Futures Fund at MassDevelopment;
  • We launched the AMP it up! Campaign to introduce young people and their parents, teachers, and guidance counselors to careers in manufacturing; and
  • We launched a first-in-the-Nation Advanced Manufacturing Regional Partnership Academy to improve the effectiveness of regional manufacturing sector strategies through increased hands-on education.

Massachusetts manufacturers face a generational opportunity to make the Commonwealth an epicenter for advanced manufacturing just as we have other centers of innovation like clean tech, life sciences and robotics. So, let’s keep it going.

I want to mention here comprehensive economic growth legislation I filed earlier this month to reinvigorate and repurpose some existing tools and provide a few new ones, too.

This bill has two goals – to expand opportunity and to accelerate growth, especially in Gateway Cities like Worcester. 

Just as it has been in the past, advanced manufacturing remains a point of emphasis. In this legislation specifically, we propose to invest $20 million in the next four years to train 4,000 more manufacturing and IT middle-skills workers.

I’m confident that this legislation will have a meaningful impact in securing our future as an international hub for innovation and a leader in advanced manufacturing. And I ask for your public support for passage of these measures before this legislative session ends in July.

Meanwhile, I am pleased to announce three new initiatives that build on the great work that we have done so far together.

First, the Life Sciences Center will offer a new program to train manufacturers in how to participate in the medical device sector. This free course will take place in June across the state in the Central, Northeast, Pioneer Valley and Southeast regions.

Second, we are kicking off a new energy initiative to help decrease the energy costs of manufacturers across the state through bulk power-purchasing.

Finally, we have been awarded a Defense Department grant which we will use to help our defense supply chain manufacturers diversify into alternative markets, as a way to mitigate uncertainty from cuts in federal defense spending.   

I invite you to take advantage of whichever of these initiatives can help you strengthen and expand your business. Details will be forthcoming from the Collaborative.

We are committed to choosing growth and enhancing the competitiveness of the state’s advanced manufacturing industry, for today and the future. But government cannot do it alone. Industry cannot do it alone. The universities or the trade groups cannot do it alone. But working together, we can all flourish. That’s why this summit and the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative are so important. Make the most of them and let’s keep this industry thriving (and the job growth coming) in the decades to come.

Thank you and enjoy the rest of the summit.