Marlborough, MASS. October 25, 2013 – The Commonwealth has committed to spending more than $20 million to facilitate the growth of Massachusetts’ manufacturing sector in 2014.
The bulk of this funding will come from the Advanced Manufacturing Futures Program (AMFP), which was created by the Legislature and handed over to MassDevelopment to administer.
Speaking at the 2013 Marlborough Innovation Summit held today, MassDevelopment Vice President of Manufacturing Program Initiatives Louis Gaviglia said that the AMFP’s total appropriation of $18.75 million will provide capital for Massachusetts-based advanced manufacturing projects that will support technology innovation, workforce training, industry-specific education, collaboration, and other programs.
“We are excited about the potential of this initiative,” Gaviglia said. “MassDevelopment has just begun accepting proposals for the Advanced Manufacturing Futures Program, and we have already received ten applications. We know that many manufacturers want to create great products, but have no access to services that they can employ to grow. MassDevelopment hopes that through this Program, we can help them get what manufacturers need to succeed.”
The Commonwealth’s Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP) has also been fueling the state’s manufacturing industry. Since 2009, more than 90 manufacturers have received Investment Tax Credit (ITC) through the EDIP. In FY 2013 alone, 28 manufacturing businesses were approved for a total of $10.5 million in ITC.
About 60% of the companies that take advantage of the Workforce Training Fund Programs (WTFP), which is another state support initiative for businesses, are manufacturers. In FY 2013 the WTFP awarded $7.43 million to manufacturing firms, which used it to train 6,172 employees.
These and other government programs available to manufacturers were the focus of discussions at the 2013 Marlborough Innovation Summit on Manufacturing, which was organized by the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and co-sponsored by Mirick O’Connell. Close to 130 government and business leaders gathered for the event, titled “Resources for Keeping Your Gears in Motion.”
A panel of experts, who represented various state organizations, agreed that most manufacturers point to lack of funding and trained workforce as key obstacles to growth. But the panel also highlighted that many manufacturers are simply not aware of the support and resources available to them.
“There are many, many great partners and great resources in this state for businesses, but the problem is that not everybody knows about them,” said Massachusetts Office of Business Development (MassOBD) Regional Director, Rosemary Scrivens, who was part of the four-speaker panel. “So that’s really our job; to help businesses navigate through these ever-changing programs and resources, so they can thrive and create jobs.”
Mike Prior, Director of Business Development/NGM Programs at the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP), and Douglas Kehlhem, Senior Director at MassEcon were also part of the panel that led the summit conversations. Keynote speakers included Greg Bialecki, Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development and Arthur Vigeant, Marlborough Mayor. MEDC Executive Director, Tim Cummings, hosted the event.
“We are very committed to the health of our local and state economy,” said Cummings. “Marlborough is home to many high-tech manufacturing companies, so we wanted to get all of them together in a room to find out what their needs are and how we can be of assistance.”
“This is the third time I’ve been here for this innovation summit,” said Bialecki. “I think this is a measure of the strength and depth of what is happening in Marlborough, and that the success that Marlborough is experiencing is really illustrative of the success that Massachusetts is having. And I believe that the key to our success, the key competitive advantage of our businesses here, is innovation.”
“There are phenomenal companies here in Marlborough, who do incredible things,” said Vigeant. “We don’t have to encourage innovation, because they are already extremely innovative. We simply reach out to them to find out how we can help them get to the next level, and to make sure that when they’re growing, they are growing here in the city. That’s what we’re here for.”
A highlight of the event was the announcement of the winners of the Mirick O’Connell Innovation Award, which recognizes pioneering Marlborough-based companies. While the award has been traditionally presented to a single overall winner, for the first time this year, Mirick O’Connell honored two companies: Qualtré and VCE.
Today’s summit was the fourth in an annual series, which focuses on a different industry each year.
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Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is the state chartered economic development corporation for the City of Marlborough, MA and represents a public-private partnership for planning. We work with municipal and private investors to foster economic development, job growth and community revitalization and development. For a complete overview of MEDC’s activities visit www.marlboroughedc.com.
About Mirick O’Connell:
Mirick O’Connell is a law firm employing more than 60 lawyers and professionals across its offices in Worcester, Westborough and Boston. The firm counsels New England’s leading corporations — private and public — and individuals across a wide range of industries. It is highly regarded for its work in such diverse fields as banking and finance, energy, health care, higher education, insurance, life sciences, manufacturing and technology. For a complete overview of Mirick O’Connell’s activities visit www.mirickoconnell.com.
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