Per Section 16G of Chapter 6A of the Massachusetts General Laws:
In the first year of a new Administration, the Secretary of housing and economic development, with the assistance of an economic development planning council appointed under this section, shall develop and implement
- A written comprehensive economic development policy for the Commonwealth, and
- A strategic plan for implementing the policy.
In 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration worked with an Economic Development Planning Council, the legislature, and other stakeholders to develop and implement Opportunities for All, which focused on seven priority policy areas centered on prosperity for residents, vitality for communities, and growth for businesses.
Since 2015, Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito have worked to support and grow Massachusetts’ economy by executing on Opportunities for All, the economic development strategy that guided the Administration’s first term. This plan served as the basis for the economic development legislation enacted in 2016 and 2018, the 2018 life sciences reauthorization, the 2018 affordable housing bond bill, and it helped to guide more than $1 billion in economic development investments, including coastal infrastructure, downtown planning, and business technical assistance.
Four years later, after again working with stakeholders, experts, and a newly appointed 2019 Economic Development Planning Council, the Baker Polito Administration has developed Partnerships for Growth: A plan to enable the Commonwealth’s regions to build, connect and lead. This plan will build on the successes of Opportunities for All.
Over the spring and summer of 2019, the Baker-Polito Administration hosted nine regional engagement sessions across the Commonwealth, soliciting feedback from residents and businesses. Expert moderators led breakout discussions across six areas: Community & Neighborhood Development, Innovation & Start-Ups, Jobs & Workforce Development, Housing, Key Clusters & Industries, and Business Growth. More than 1,200 attendees participated, and their insights serve as the basis of Partnerships for Growth.
Public and Stakeholder Engagement
Following the engagement sessions, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) identified specific topics that warranted additional discussion. During the fall of 2019, EOHED engaged nearly 250 organizations across 17 deep-dive listening sessions to further refine economic development priorities for this plan.
Four strategic pillars emerged. These pillars center on the need for the Commonwealth to produce more housing options for residents, support vibrant communities, strengthen Massachusetts’ economic competitiveness, and develop stronger pathways for workers. While each stakeholder group approached these issues from a different perspective, nearly every group coalesced around these core elements. These priorities reflect the continued importance of the pillars in Opportunities for All, while adding housing to reflect its importance to the economic growth of Massachusetts.
The numerous discussions also highlighted cross-cutting principles that affect each pillar. These convergent issues included opportunities to simplify interactions with state government, mitigate the impact of climate change, provide equitable opportunities across the Commonwealth, enhance public infrastructure, and better reflect the unique characteristics of our regions in state programs and priorities.
Partnerships for Growth aligns the Administration’s economic development programs, funding, and legislative efforts within these four central pillars to address challenges and foster opportunities over the next four years.
Partnerships for Growth will guide and inform the Baker-Polito Administration as it drafts a new economic development legislative package to be filed with the legislature in late winter.