|DEVAL L. PATRICK|
TIMOTHY P. MURRAY
JEFFREY A. SIMON
April 30, 2010 - For immediate release:
Patrick- Murray Administration Announces Recovery Act Puts Thousands to Work in Massachusetts
Federal government to release state job figures Friday afternoon; Massachusetts Recovery & Reinvestment Office issues Citizens' Update detailing administration's stimulus investments for first quarter of 2010
BOSTON - Friday, April 30, 2010 - In advance of today's quarterly release by the federal government of stimulus-funded job figures for each state, Jeffrey Simon, Director of the Massachusetts Recovery and Reinvestment Office, announced that in the first three months of 2010, state agency awards from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) have funded 6,400 full time equivalent (FTE) positions, a more than 30% increase over last quarter. These positions represent 16,137 individuals at work in Massachusetts thanks to the Recovery Act.
Simon made the announcement on behalf of the Patrick-Murray Administration at Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD) following the graduation ceremony of an ABCD stimulus-funded Careers in Elder Services Class.
"Sometimes people think of the Recovery Act as an abstraction but the positive impact is real," said Governor Patrick. "Ask any one of the over 16,000 men and women who got back to work in the last three months."
"As Governor Patrick and our administration continue to invest in job creation and job retention, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has proven to be an effective resource," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. "The stimulus program is not only putting Massachusetts residents back to work, but the grants are also supporting innovative and efficient infrastructure for businesses, housing, and economic development that will lead to long term growth in the Commonwealth."
The Commonwealth's 6,400 FTE number refers only to those ARRA awards required to be reported to the Office of Management and Budget and granted directly to state government agencies. The total full-time ARRA jobs created and retained by all ARRA award recipients in the public and private sectors throughout Massachusetts will be posted by the federal government at www.recovery.gov later today.
The Massachusetts Recovery and Reinvestment Office also tracks the total number of actual individuals working on ARRA funded projects or programs each quarter. Over 30,000 individuals have been put to work in Massachusetts since the Recovery Act began in February of 2009.
"The information we're announcing today regarding the progress we've made from January through March of this year is very promising," said Jeffrey Simon, Director of the Massachusetts Recovery and Reinvestment Office. "This coupled with the stories I have heard from citizens around the Commonwealth - whose lives have been directly impacted by stimulus funds - show that Massachusetts is well on track to economic recovery."
Last week, the Massachusetts Recovery and Reinvestment Office submitted the state's data to the federal government for the third ARRA reporting period from January 1 through March 31, 2010. Today the office issued its third Citizens' Update highlighting the administration's stimulus investments during this period. The Update is available online at mass.gov/recovery.
"Ted Kennedy and I helped pass the Recovery Act to create jobs and put people back to work, and slowly but surely it's helping our economy climb out of the deep ditch we were in a couple years ago. We've been able to provide over 30,000 people with a paycheck in a little over a year, thanks to ARRA. Ask any Mayor the difference it's made and the choices they were facing about laying off cops and firefighters before these investments were made possible. We've been able to build and repair roads and bridges, weatherize homes and businesses, build more affordable housing and hire first responders - none of which would have been possible without the Recovery Act," said Senator John Kerry.
"Creating a job opportunity for an individual has a positive economic impact far beyond a single salary," said Congressman John Olver. "For each job created, a person is able to provide once again for their family, pay bills, make purchases in the community and make long-term investments in their family's stability, like keeping up health insurance. Every dollar put towards creating a job is multiplied may times over in the marketplace, moving us forward towards our goal of regaining a robust American economy."
Since the enactment of the 27-month ARRA program in February 2009, Massachusetts state agencies have received over $5 billion in stimulus awards. Of that amount, $4 billion, or 80 percent, has been committed and over $3.1 billion has been spent on programs and projects across the Commonwealth. Governor Patrick and his team have met or exceeded every deadline for using recovery money put forth by the federal government, including having obligated the state's entire $437.9 million allotment of ARRA highway funding a full month ahead of schedule.
"The funds released from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Package continue to create jobs by investing in clean energy, critical infrastructure and education, while keeping police, firefighters and other essential personnel on the job in our communities, said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. "The impact of each dollar spent creating jobs multiplies as workers demand local goods and service - strengthening our economy over time as the Recovery package was intended to do."
"This is exactly what the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is supposed to do. These 6,400 new jobs are a direct result of the leadership of President Obama and the Patrick/Murray administration; and while there's still much more work to be done, we are continuing to move in the right direction," said Senator Marc Pacheco, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Federal Stimulus Oversight.
"To have the number of created or sustained full time equivalent positions increase by 30% in three months is fantastic news and something I hope continues to happen in the months to come. This is concrete proof that the stimulus funds are meeting the ultimate goal set forth of creating and sustaining jobs," said Representative David Linsky, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Federal Stimulus Oversight
The Patrick-Murray Administration has wisely invested ARRA funds so that real people like John Call, an Ipswich resident whose once thriving business had gone from $1 million in work two years ago to no work this past year, benefit. Thanks to the stimulus-funded weatherization program, Call now has steady work and has been able to hire additional employees. "We're back in business now," he said. "We're all happy to be working."
Lowell's Kevin Reis was struggling to finish high school but, with help from the stimulus-funded YouthBuild program, he passed his GED and is about to start college. "If I had stayed at Lowell High, I would have been repeating my third year in 9th grade," he said. "YouthBuild has definitely changed my life."