Governor Deval L. Patrick
MassEcon Impact Awards
Seaport Hotel, Boston
Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Good afternoon.  Thank you, Susan, for the warm introduction, and for your and Bob’s and the whole team’s extraordinary partnership to promote Massachusetts all around the world.  MassEcon has been a fantastic partner to me and Secretary Bialecki and our whole team.   

I’d like to recognize and congratulate my friends Jerry Sargent of Citizens Bank and Diane Hessan of Communispace.  Well deserved! 

To all of us together here today, a word about ‘togetherness.’  When I was with you last year, I reminded you of that old coach’s adage:  “winning teams win.”  We are winning because Massachusetts is a great place to do business.  Why?  Because our natural resource is a high concentration of brainpower.  That’s where the global economy is going.  So good for us.  In state government, we are committed to making the most of that with investments in education, in innovation and in infrastructure.

We invest in education to make sure our students are prepared for the jobs and the society of tomorrow.  We invest in innovation to grow new ideas and stay on the cutting edge of growth industries.  We invest in infrastructure to strengthen the foundation for everything else. 

That’s our strategy.  And it’s working.

Massachusetts is growing jobs today faster than most other states.  Our economy is expanding more than twice as fast as the national growth rate.  The clean tech sector, for example, grew jobs at a rate of 6.7 percent last year and is expected to grow at twice that rate by July of next year.  Of the top cities in America for job growth, Boston ranks first, Worcester ranks third.  Because we are streamlining permitting processes and working to reduce business costs, as well as investing in our future, we have come from the bottom 3rd to sixth best place in America for which to do business.  I have to tell you, sixth is hard to say.  First is easier to say.  That is where we are headed. 

None of this is by accident.  It’s because we are investing in education, in innovation in infrastructure -- in effect, in our future.  And we are not sacrificing sound fiscal management to make those investments:  not only have our budgets been consistently responsible, balanced and on time; but our strong bond rating has been upgraded, in this economy, something no other state in America can boast of today.

I’ve had the opportunity to visit many of the companies being recognized here today, and it’s always so gratifying.  I’ve toured Jessica’s Brick Oven and smelled, and tasted, their extraordinary products.  I’ve met with the innovative analysts at Communispace and cut the ribbon on the new facility at Coca-Cola’s Northampton expansion.  I celebrated with General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems when they added 108 new employees in 100 days, and I tried out the robotic distribution systems at Kiva Systems in North Reading.  And I’m proud of the fact that in every one of those cases, the Commonwealth played a role in supporting and enabling those expansions.

So we have a great story to tell, and we are taking it on the road to leverage opportunities elsewhere.  Building on our previous successes in China, Israel and the UK, in December I am traveling to Brazil and to Chile on an innovation economy mission.  We plan to build relationships with key business leaders and encourage them to make Massachusetts their “home away from home.”

Why?  Because we have it all right here in Massachusetts.  We have a great story to tell.  So, let’s tell it.  And let’s tell it together.  Let’s work together to invest in ourselves and attract companies.  Let’s work together to expand opportunity and grow jobs right here in the Commonwealth.  Let’s work together to compete for every job in every corner of the Commonwealth and across the globe. 

Congratulations to today to all of the award winners and thank you for choosing Massachusetts as a place to build a future.  God bless and Happy Thanksgiving.