For Immediate Release - January 18, 2009

Patrick -Murray Administration Unveils Regional Economic Development Strategy

"Framework for Action" provides basis for shared prosperity and opportunity

LOWELL - January 16, 2009 -Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Daniel O'Connell today unveiled the Patrick-Murray Administration's regional economic development strategy. The Framework for Action is designed to expand the Massachusetts economy, revitalize communities, increase housing choices and provide the basis for shared prosperity and opportunity throughout the Commonwealth.

The Framework for Action was unveiled at an event at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, during which Lt. Governor Timothy Murray presented the city of Lowell with a $3 million check for the Hamilton Canal Growth District. Lt. Governor Murray and Secretary O'Connell were joined by Chancellor Marty Meehan, Senator Steven C. Panagiotakos, and Representatives Thomas A. Golden, Jr., David M. Nangle, and Kevin J. Murphy.

Recent studies by nationally renowned institutes have ranked Massachusetts as a leading center of innovation and entrepreneurship and home to one of the most talented populations in the world. The Patrick-Murray Administration's goal is to build on the existing strength of our export-oriented industries like the life sciences and information technology while broadening the number of communities and people who can participate in the job growth that comes with that expansion. To that end, the Framework for Action provides state and local partners with a clear guide for setting priority investments and initiatives that are most likely to lead to long-term benefits for communities in each region. It is an effective means of connecting the immediate investments foreseen in any federal recovery package with critical long-term needs and opportunities in each region.

The regional focus of the Framework derives from the understanding that people live, work and play across town borders, and regions are the scale in which housing, labor and job markets intersect. Massachusetts regions are unique, and focused actions that improve the health of our regional economies are critical for individual opportunity and community development. The Framework therefore calls for initiatives that respond to the unique needs and strengths of each region of the state, including:

  • Revitalizing our state's downtown areas
  • Education workforce development investments
  • Municipal infrastructure investments and zoning reform
  • Investments to grow jobs in the life sciences and clean energy
  • Rebuilding our schools and public higher education facilities
  • Broadband investments
  • Major transportation investments to increase mobility across the Commonwealth
  • Expanding housing opportunities and housing choices across Massachusetts

"Massachusetts is a 21 st century success story, and the evidence of our state's competitive strengths continues to mount," said Secretary O'Connell. "Our future agenda for housing and economic development is a clear call to action. Now is the time to create the conditions that will lead to broader and more widely shared prosperity in Massachusetts."

In the coming weeks and months, the Administration will unveil legislation and initiatives that will set out concrete reforms and targeted investments that will allow the state and its partners at the local level and in the private sector to focus its dollars in ways that benefit regions in terms of private investment, housing opportunities, innovation and job growth. The Development Cabinet, which includes the secretaries of Housing and Economic Development, Administration and Finance, Energy and Environmental Affairs, Labor and Workforce Development, and Transportation, has already adopted a set of investment principles that reflect the Framework.

The Growth District Initiative launched by Governor Patrick last April is one example of action that the Administration is already taking, with today's award for Lowell's Growth District designed to help a city which is planning for the future.

"Growth Districts are hubs of economic growth and housing development across the Commonwealth," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray. "By identifying these districts and focusing our collective resources on making each one development ready, we are creating the conditions for business growth and community vitalization for years to come."

The full Framework for Action, as well as an executive summary, can be found online at mass.gov/eohed .

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The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development is one of eight Secretariats that make up the Governor's Cabinet. Under the leadership of Secretary Dan O'Connell, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development oversees the following undersecretariats: the Departments of Business Development, Housing and Community Development, and Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.