For Immediate Release - April 13, 2011

Patrick-Murray Administration's Economic Development Planning Council Focuses on Job Creation Agenda

State's prominent business leaders, government officials convened to build on progress of first term by laying out growth strategy, implementation plan for next four years

BOSTON - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - In keeping with the Patrick-Murray Administration's commitment to growing jobs and accelerating the Commonwealth's economic recovery, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki today convened a council of the state's prominent business leaders and government officials to develop a second term economic development policy and implementation. The Economic Development Planning Council, created under the Economic Development Reorganization Act of 2010, will be responsible for building on the progress of the past four years during which, due in large part to the work of the Administration and Legislature, Massachusetts led the nation in job creation and economic performance.

"We have come a long way but have more to do," said Secretary Bialecki. "As Governor Patrick has said, we can not rest until every single resident who seeks work can find it. I am confident this diverse and knowledgeable group of leaders will help us devise a plan that recognizes our strengths, tackles some of our barriers to growth and ultimately creates jobs and investment in every corner of the Commonwealth."

As part of the Economic Development Reorganization Act of 2010, the Governor must appoint an Economic Development Planning Council within the first year of each gubernatorial term to advise the Administration on an economic development policy and a strategy to implement the plan. The policy must include long term goals, measurable benchmarks and consider any impacts on small businesses. The council is required to seek public input on their proposal before adoption and submission to the Legislature. The plan is due by December 31, 2011.

Today's first meeting of the council, which comes as the Commonwealth's economy has added jobs for five straight months - more than 15,000 in February alone - and the unemployment rate remains well below the national average, occurred at the State House. Members discussed a draft framework designed to achieve the following objectives over the next four years:

  • Continue to lead the nation in the transition to a 21 st Century innovation economy;
  • Continue to produce the best educated workforce in the country, at every level of educational attainment;
  • Give first priority to helping existing Massachusetts businesses retain and add jobs, especially by supporting small businesses growing to scale here;
  • Grow the number of good jobs for people at all education levels in every region of the state and make those jobs accessible to residents in every community; and
  • Continue to outperform the nation in employment with the aim of exceeding the Commonwealth's peak total employment in 2001.

The draft framework identifies six categories for action: advancing education and workforce development; supporting innovation and entrepreneurship; making infrastructure investments; addressing cost competitiveness issues such as health care and energy; improving business development and support services; and creating economic opportunities in every region. The council discussed the framework, established sub-committees for each action category and a timeline for future meetings and focused on ways to conduct public outreach on the council's work.

The council is made up of the following leaders:

Greg Bialecki, Chairman and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development
Jay Gonzalez, Secretary of Administration and Finance
Joanne Goldstein, Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development
Rick Sullivan, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Jeff Mullan, Secretary of Transportation
Representative Joseph Wagner
Senator Karen Spilka
Wayne Burton, President, North Shore Community College
Mike Hogan, CEO of Makepeace
Mayor William Scanlon, Beverly
Bonnie Biocchi, President & CEO, Metrowest Chamber of Commerce
Jeff Bussgang, General Partner, Flybridge Capital Partners
Treasurer Steven Grossman
Donna Cupelo, Regional President, Verizon
Jerry Sargent, Regional President, Citizens Bank
John Fish, President, Suffolk Construction
Eric Hagopian, President, Hoppe Technologies
Luis Yepez, Mainstream-Global
Mayor Scott Lang, New Bedford
Travis McCready, Executive Director, Kendall Square Association
Janelle Chan, Executive Director, Asian CDC
Mark Erlich, President, New England Carpenters
Ranch Kimball, former CEO, Joslin Diabetes Center
Robert Thomas, MLK Business Empowerment Center, Worcester
Helena Fruscio, Director, Berkshire Creative Economy Council
Maria Gooch-Smith, Executive Director, SEED Corporation
Colleen Keating, Starwood Properties
Barry Bluestone, Northeastern University
Rosabeth Kanter, Harvard Business School
Tom Glynn, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Lynn Browne, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Jordan Krasnow, Goulston Storrs
Ellen Zane, Tufts Medical Center