The Southeast/South coastal region is rich with history, multiculturalism, the natural beauty of seaports and parks, and a multitude of museums and tourist attractions that make the region a great place to live and work. The region is encompassed by four older but attractive cities from Attleboro in the north, Taunton in the center and New Bedford and Fall River in the Southeastern quadrant. The regional economy has the country's leading fishing port in value of catch, marine science research facilities, a growing medical instruments/medical devices manufacturing sector and a strong, multi-faceted service industry that is growing at a consistent rate. Higher educational opportunities have opened up over the past couple of decades that have increased the region's viability to compete and offer a well trained workforce for the future.
Cities and Towns in Southeast Region
Acushnet, Berkley, Dartmouth, Dighton, Fairhaven, Fall River, Freetown, Lakeville, Marion, Mattapoisett, Middleborough, New Bedford, Raynham, Rehoboth, Rochester, Seekonk, Somerset, Swansea, Taunton, Wareham and Westport.
The fishing industry on the Southcoast goes back to the earliest settlement of this region by European peoples. New Bedford in particular has been an industry leader nationally going back generations and still leads the nation in value fish landings annually at over $250 million. To augment the fishing industry, the region has transitioned to include related business, like marine equipment, storage facilities, processing plants and food service suppliers.
The region has also seen significant growth in medical services and precious metals, and is working hard to nurture these industries.
Education and Training
The region is the home of a broad variety of institutes of higher learning, technical training and vocational educational opportunities. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Bristol Community College, Wheaton College, Massachusetts Maritime Academy and Bridgewater State College are the hub of the higher learning institutions. The opportunity to attend world class colleges and universities in Boston are just 50 miles away.
Regional schools districts have continued to show improvement in graduation rates and offer a ready source of trainable workers to encourage new industry to locate here. Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical, Diman Vocational, Bristol/Plymouth Regional Vocational and Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High Schools allow for the student populations across the region to receive the latest in technical and trade related training. There are five career centers located in the region from Attleboro through Taunton, New Bedford, Fall River and Wareham that allows the adult populations access of a full range of employment related services from testing, career planning and direct job placement.
Infrastructure and Permitting
The region is well situated with access to major interstate arteries I-195, I-95, I-495 and Route 24 to Boston. There is commuter rail service with the Old Colony Line from Lakeville/Middleboro and the Shore Line through Attleboro. In addition the region has easy access to three airports: Logan in Boston, Greene in Providence/Warwick and New Bedford airport. Most of the region's municipalities have adopted some zoning constructed around residential, commercial and industrial categories. The region has industrial parks in Attleboro, Taunton, Fall River and New Bedford with opportunities for development.
The City of Attleboro has adopted the state's expedited permitting program.
Demographics and Culture
The region's population continues to grow at almost twice the rate of the state average according to the 2010 census and all indications are that will continue. Region includes municipalities from Bristol County, as well as Plymouth and Norfolk counties.
According to Bristol County Census 2010 results, the population of the area was approximately 548,285 people. From 2000 to 2010, the Bristol County population growth percentage was 2.5% (or from 534,678 people to 548,285 people). 22.3% of the Bristol County residents were under 18 years of age. According to Norfolk County Census 2010 results, the population of the area was approximately 670,850 people. From 2000 to 2010, the Norfolk County population growth percentage was 3.2% (or from 650,308 people to 670,850 people). 22.7% of the Norfolk County residents were under 18 years of age. According to Plymouth County Census 2010 results, the population of the area was approximately 494,919 people. From 2000 to 2010, the Plymouth County population growth percentage was 4.7% (or from 472,822 people to 494,919 people). 24.1% of the Plymouth County residents were under 18 years of age.
The region's ethnic mix is approximately 24% Portuguese, with Irish, English and French residents totaling 10%. There are also significant African-American, Hispanic, Asian and Cape Verdean populations.
Southeastern Massachusetts is home to numerous recreation and tourist attractions including some major state parks, beaches and forests: (Massasoit, Myles Standish, Demarest Lloyd, Horseneck Beach, Fall River-Freetown, Fort Rodman and heritage state parks in Fall River and New Bedford), the Whaling National Park in New Bedford, and private attractions including Battleship Cove in Fall River, the historic schooner Ernestina, Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford and the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The region also has over 150 miles of coastline allowing for private fishing and sail boating.
Research and Data
Southeast Regional Planning & Economic Development District (SRPEDD) Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy report June 2006
- Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center
- Attleboro Chamber of Commerce
- Fall River Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc
- Fall River Economic Development
- New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce
- Southeast Regional Planning & Economic Development District
- SouthCoast Development Partnership
- University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
- Taunton Chamber of Commerce
- Town of Wareham
Buddy Rocha, Regional Director
Massachusetts Office of Business Development
275 Martine Street, Suite 201
Fall River, MA 02723
Phone: (508) 730-1438
Fax: (508) 730-2702