For Immediate Release - December 29, 2011

Economic Development Plan Submitted for Approval

Outlines continued investments in education, innovation and infrastructure

BOSTON – Wednesday, December 28, 2011 – The Economic Development Planning Council, chaired by Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki, today submitted a plan to the Legislature outlining five steps that build on the Patrick-Murray Administration's job creation and economic development strategy that has led Massachusetts out of the global economic recession faster than the rest of the nation.

The five initiatives – advancing education and workforce development for middle-skill jobs through coordination of education; economic development and workforce development programs; supporting innovation and entrepreneurship; supporting regional development through infrastructure investments and local empowerment; increasing the ease of doing business; and addressing our cost competiveness – are outlined in the Council’s report mandated by the Economic Development Act of 2010.

“The Patrick-Murray Administration has made strong investments in the innovation economy in Massachusetts, which continues to drive the economy,” said Secretary Greg Bialecki. “The Economic Development Planning Council plan will help continue to support the economic growth we have seen, while identifying ways to make Massachusetts more competitive in the world economy and allow the Administration to work with our partners in the business and academic communities to make the Commonwealth stronger in the long term.”

In August 2010, the Massachusetts Legislature passed an economic development bill that mandated each Administration develop and publish an economic development policy and strategic plan for the Commonwealth through the assistance of the economic development planning council. The council consists of 34 public and private sector representatives who have worked for eight months to develop the plan. The plan submitted today by the Patrick-Murray Administration will help Massachusetts continue to compete in the global economy and by making strategic investments in education, innovation and infrastructure.

The plan builds off the five broad categories that the council identified as most important to the help retain or improve Massachusetts’ competitive position the world economy.  The steps the council points to in each category describe ways in which government, business and academia can work in collaboration to make Massachusetts more competitive and successful. The council’s strategy and plan also supports effective economic development and job creation initiatives for Massachusetts that will continue to give first priority to helping our businesses and entrepreneurs to continue to create and retain jobs here.

“This plan truly embraces Governor Patrick’s core economic strategies of technology, infrastructure and innovation --  a value proposition that is the underpinnings of our knowledge based economy," said John Fish, CEO of Suffolk Construction Company and member of the Economic Development Planning Council.

The Patrick-Murray Administration job creation strategy invests in the Commonwealth’s unique advantages and focuses on education, where Massachusetts continues to lead the nation; innovation, including the Governor’s $1 billion Life Sciences Initiative which has helped make Massachusetts a world hub for innovation; and infrastructure, including the Massachusetts 123 initiative which will bring broadband connectivity to 123 cities and towns with little to no broadband. As a result, Massachusetts’ economy continues to outpace most of the nation and has ranked 11th in employment growth among the 50 states since January 2007, compared to the Commonwealths 45th ranking for the period from 2000 to 2006. Massachusetts ranks first in the Kaufmann Foundation’s New Economy Index, first in Forbes Magazine’s quality of life rankings, and leads the country in percentage of residents with health insurance at 98 percent.

"I am proud to have been a part of an ambitious effort that helps create a roadmap to build a successful 21st century innovation economy," said Treasurer Steven Grossman. "It will enhance our capacity for job creation and sustainable growth so essential to our economic future."

"The Patrick-Murray Administration's commitment to infrastructure improvement has led to the creation of tens of thousands of jobs across the Commonwealth," said Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey. "The Governor's innovative Accelerated Bridge Program has become a model for the rest of the nation not only as a way to jumpstart the economy but as the premier way for meeting the needs of the millions of drivers who travel each day."

"The Governor made expansion of our clean energy economy a hallmark of his first term - supporting policies that propel clean energy technologies from the drawing board to the global marketplace, and yielding tangible results in the form of 6.7 percent growth in clean energy jobs from July 2010 to July 2011," said Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Richard K. Sullivan Jr. "As we near the end of year one of the second Patrick-Murray Administration, this Economic Development Planning Council plan provides a blueprint for building on this success."

“The Economic Development Planning Council plan builds on the Patrick-Murray Administration’s landmark investments in education, innovation and infrastructure that have helped make Massachusetts a leader in the transition to a 21st Century innovation economy” said Secretary of Administration and Finance Jay Gonzalez. “This strategy continues to make critical investments in key industries such as education and workforce development to support the economic and job growth that has helped Massachusetts come out of the recession stronger and faster than the rest of the nation.”

“Creating good paying, sustainable jobs is a top priority for this Administration,” said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, Joanne F. Goldstein. “Workforce training and development programs, as part of our economic development agenda, are key to building a skilled labor force in Massachusetts that will attract businesses here and help existing businesses thrive.”

An Economic Development Policy and Strategic Plan for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

For more information on the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, visit www.mass.gov/hed or follow the office on twitter at @MassEOHED.

###