NEEDHAM – Tuesday, March 5, 2013 – Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray met with some of the state’s top business and community leaders today, reviewing the first year of the Commonwealth’s long-term economic development plan and continuing the conversation on how investing in education, innovation and infrastructure will spur job growth and economic opportunity and create a better Commonwealth in the near-term and for the next generation. Since his State of the Commonwealth address in January, Governor Patrick has traveled throughout the Commonwealth meeting with legislators, local officials, business leaders and residents to discuss the future of the Commonwealth, and what we will leave for the next generation.
“Americans rarely leave what’s important to chance,” said Governor Patrick in his remarks. “When we decided that educating our children was important, we created public schools and land grant universities. When we decided settling the west was important, we built the transcontinental railroad. When we decided freedom was important, really important, we freed the slaves and gave women the right to vote. It’s a journey. Right now, we’re going to have to decide whether accelerated growth is important enough to invest in or leave to chance. Fortunately for us, our grandparents didn’t leave the Mass Pike or I-95 or that MEMA bunker to chance. They made choices that shaped a better future. Now it’s our turn.”
“By investing in education, infrastructure and innovation, we are following a blueprint that has proven successful in Massachusetts,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray, who offered remarks in the morning. “Our long-term economic development plan calls for collaboration with government, businesses and academia that will make our vision for growth and opportunity a reality.”
Approximately 250 people attended the annual economic development summit, including business leaders, state government officials, community organization heads and municipal officials.
The Commonwealth’s long-term economic development plan, “Choosing to Compete in the 21st Century,” was published in December 2011. The Economic Development Act of 2010 mandates every gubernatorial administration to create a long-term plan outlining the state’s growth plan. “Choosing to Compete” was created with input from a 34-member advisory council that included representatives from business, government and academia.
The plan focuses on five main areas of growth, building talent, supporting the innovation economy, empowering regions, making it easier to do business and improving cost competitiveness. The plan includes 55 action goals, almost all of which have seen progress made in the last year.
“Through our long-term economic development plan, we are making the investments that will improve our infrastructure, provide educational opportunity to our workforce and support the continued growth of our innovation economy,” said Secretary Bialecki. “In order to compete in the 21st Century and create economic opportunity for everyone, we must follow through on these principles.”
“The Massachusetts Business Roundtable believes in a very simple premise to promote economic competitiveness in the Commonwealth: Invest in our competitive advantages; and refocus on our disadvantages,” said Massachusetts Business Roundtable Executive Director JD Chesloff. “The Commonwealth’s Economic Development Plan, Choosing to Compete in the 21st Century, is consistent with that theme and offers a terrific blueprint for growth. Business leaders from all industry sectors value the importance of having a strong strategic plan to foster new economic activity across the state.”
The Governor’s proposed FY14 budget includes investments in education, innovation and infrastructure to spur job growth and unlock economic opportunity. His plan includes a $1 billion annual investment in the Commonwealth’s transportation system to maintain the current transportation assets and launch a number of high-impact transportation projects across Massachusetts that, if built, will create thousands of jobs throughout the state. The plan also includes a $550 million investment in education, reaching $1 billion over four years, to expand access to high quality educational opportunities and make higher education more affordable for all students in Massachusetts.