Secretary Beaton Addresses
Region at IBM's MASS Lab
On August 11th, as part of the Partnership's Meet the Baker/Polito Cabinet forums, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton addressed the region at IBM's MASS Lab facility in Littleton, their largest software lab in North America.
As a Shrewsbury resident, environmental engineer, sustainability consultant, and former state legislator, Secretary Beaton has been a longtime leader on environmental and energy issues regionally and statewide. Secretary Beaton has worked with the Partnership for years on a wide range of issues, and intimately understands our region's needs and the interconnectedness of energy, the environment, and the economy.
The event was generously hosted by IBM and Bob McDonald, Vice President of Common Support and Services, and the MASS Lab Senior Location Executive. In a brief introduction, Bob shared an overview of their operations in Littleton, summarized their direct and indirect economic importance, and discussed the importance of leadership on energy issues. He highlighted the need for stability of power to support economic growth in Massachusetts
Secretary Beaton's presentation touched on all aspects of the Baker/Polito Administration's leadership on energy and environmental affairs, as well as the importance of preserving open space and encouraging recreational uses of state parks and conserved land. He commented on the synergy of energy and environmental affairs and noted that the only subject all six New England Governors have met to discuss was energy. He addressed questions from legislators, municipal officials, and private companies on water resources, alternative energy, the cost and stability of energy, and net metering, as well as the challenges of overseeing such a wide range of environmental agencies.
Regional Employer Confidence
For the third straight year, the Partnership conducted a regional employer survey with Framingham State University and MetroWest495BIZ to provide regional leaders and policymakers with hard data on the business conditions facing our employers and top concerns for the year ahead.
This year's survey continued the trend of optimism from our regional employers. About 71% of the respondents feel that the regional economy will continue to improve, and nearly 40% plan to hire over the coming year. This optimism is an important message for our policymakers on the local, state, and federal levels, as well as for other companies considering 495/MetroWest as a business location, so the Partnership is integrating these findings into our business development initiatives on behalf of the region.
We would like to thank our partners from MetroWest495BIZ and Framingham State University, especially Professor Michael Harrison, the survey’s author, and our outreach partners – the Corridor Nine, Marlborough Regional, MetroWest, Milford Area, and United Chambers of Commerce – as well as all of you who took the time to participate in this invaluable initiative.
For more information on the survey results, the August edition of MetroWest495BIZ features extensive analysis, as well as a guest column by Partnership Executive Director Paul Matthews.
Partnering in the Region
Briefing the Lt. Governor: At the invitation of Rep. Hannah Kane, Partnership staff and leaders met with Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito to brief her on the Partnership's ongoing initiatives and discussed regional infrastructure and policy needs.
Women in Transportation: Partnership Deputy Director Jessica Strunkin attended a meeting of Women in Transportation and participated in a roundtable discusssion with the authors of Boots on the Ground, Flats in the Boardroom.
Addressing the State Treasurer's regional forum: Partnership Executive Director Paul Matthews was on a panel for State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg's Office of Economic Empowerment, along with Kristin Lewis of Tufts Health Plan, Joyce Murphy of UMass Medical School, Maeghan Silverberg Welford of the Mass Tech Collaborative, Steven Tolman of the Mass. AFL-CIO and Roxbury Presbyterian Church Pastor Rev. Liz Walker.
State Listening Session: Partnership staff supported the MA Office of Business Development's Listening Session on the economy soliciting input for the state's economic development plan, generously hosted by Framingham State University. Attendees included State Senator Karen Spilka, State Representatives Carolyn Dykema, Carmen Gentile, and Chris Walsh, along with the CEO's of the Corridor Nine, Marlborough Regional, MetroWest, and Milford Area Chambers of Commerce.
Economic Assistance Coordinating Council: Partnership Executive Director Paul Matthews is a Gubernatorial appointment to the EACC, which oversees the state's Economic Development Incentive Program. He represented the region in their September meeting in Worcester, which approved thirteen participating projects across the state.
Addressing Leadership MetroWest: Partnership Deputy Director Jessica Strunkin addressed the Annual Meeting of Leadership MetroWest, participating in a panel discussion on regionalization with Dennis Giombetti, staff for Senator Karen Spilka and former Framingham Selectman, Mark Fine of MAPC, and Craig Davis, Chief of the Ashland Police Department, moderated by Ashland's Assistant Town Administrator Michael Herbert.
Touring GE Healthcare in Marlborough: Partnership Executive Director Paul Matthews was part of a tour of GE Healthcare's new space under construction at Atlantic Management's Marlborough Hills development.
Crosstown Connect Community Compact: Partnership Deputy Director Jessica Strunkin attended the signing of the Community Compact with Lt. Governor Karyn Polto and representatives from Acton, Boxborough, Littleton, Maynard and Westford .
Touring Maynard with Congresswoman Tsongas, Senator Eldridge, and Rep. Hogan: Partnership's Executive Director Paul Matthews was part of a tour of Maynard's Downtown and the MIll & Main project, hosted by Rep. Hogan and Sen. Eldridge for Congresswoman Tsongas.
MassDOT Board meeting: Partnership Deputy Director Jessica Strunkin attended MassDOT's Board meetings to provide regional perspective on the challenges facing our transportation system.
Participating in MassEcon: Partnership Deputy Director Jessica Strunkin participated in their Location Support Committee's deliberations, providing regional perspective on site selection initiatives and attended their meeting with the new DCAMM Commissioner.
Meeting with municipal officials: Partnership staff briefed municipal officials from Holliston, Maynard, Hudson, Westford, and Southborough on the Partnership's ongoing initiatives and their municipal priorities.
Addressing the Milford Area Chamber's Government Affairs Committee: Partnership Deputy Director Jessica Strunkin spoke to the Milford Area Chamber's Government Affairs Committee about issues of regional significance and recent legislative developments affecting the region.
Participating in Westford's EDSAT process: Partnership Executive Director Paul Matthews participated in Westford's EDSAT process to provide regional economic development perspective and technical assistance.
SWAP Legislative Breakfast: Partnership Deputy Director Jessica Strunkin attended the annual event for the South West Advisroy Planning Committee of MAPC which includes several 495 MetroWest communities. Topics ranged from transportation to opiod addiction to open space preservation and zoning reforms. The delegation answered many questions and the event was well attended.
Providing assistance to towns on development issues: Partnership staff provided techncial assisance and support for meetings between municipal officials and the MA Office of Business Development on the potential redevelopment of Raytheon's property in Sudbury and a bottling plant in Littleton.
MA Manufacturing Month: Partnership Deputy Director Jessica Strunkin attended the launch of Manufacturing Month at the State House, with 495/MetroWest's own Representative John Fernandes hosting the event as Co-Chair of the Manufacturing Caucus. Speakers included Governor Baker, Senate President Rosenberg, Speaker DeLeo, and Housing & Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. Manufacturing continues to play an important role in Massachusetts and in the 495/MetroWest regional economy.
Supporting regional partners: Partnership staff provided technical assistance and support by serving on the boards of the MetroWest Tourism and Visitors Bureau, the MetroWest/495 Transportation Management Association, Partners for a Skilled Workforce, T4Mass, and attending meetings for MetroWest Regional Collaborative, SWAP, and MAGIC.
Not Following the Partnership Yet?
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Special thanks to our state legislators for securing state funding for regional economic development, and the Office of Business Development for their support.
Special Thanks to Our Champion Investors:
Bose Corportation | Bowditch & Dewey LLP
Carruth Capital LLC | EMC² | IBM
Special Thanks to Our Partners:
Alexander, Aronson, Finning & Co. PC
Cisco Systems | Genzyme, a Sanofi Company
Special Thanks to Our Advocates:
Beals + Thomas | DayPitney LLP
Dean College | Framingham State University
Mirick O'Connell | NAIOP Massachusetts
Patriot Place | Sam Park & Co. Ltd.
Staples | Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc
TJX Companies | TransAction Associates
VHB/Vanasse Hangen Brustlin
Private Sector CoChair: Gerry Preble, Beals + Thomas
Public Sector CoChair: Joseph Nolan, Town of Wayland
Private Sector ViceChair: Bill Pezzoni, Day Pitney LLP
Public Sector ViceChair: Henry Fitzgerald, Town of Shrewsbury
Treasurer: Chuck Dwyer, Middlesex Savings Bank
Clerk: Peter Martin, Bowditch & Dewey
Paul Matthews, Executive Director
Jessica Strunkin, Deputy Director