Governor Charlie Baker’s proposed $500 million extension of the life sciences initiative put in place by his predecessor in 2008 will put a greater emphasis on workforce building to support industries that have taken root in Massachusetts. On Monday, Baker put forward a plan to spend heavily over the next five years on capital grants and tax incentives tied to private sector job creation. The proposal re-ups the 10-year, $1 billion program put in place early in Gov. Deval Patrick’s first term that is largely due to expire after next year.
“We are going to focus a lot more on what I would call the workforce development piece this time and a little less on the brick and mortar. A lot of the money that went into the first set of investments associated with this really built a lot of capacity. This is going to be a lot more about more targeted pursuit of enhancing the workforce here in Massachusetts, working with colleges and universities and other skill-building organizations.”
That doesn’t mean the administration is turning its back on infrastructure or corporate recruitment. “We will continue to make smart investments in the expansion or the relocation of companies to Massachusetts as long as we think they work for us,” Baker said. The governor also said that the nature of the life sciences industry made the five-year commitment, as opposed to another 10 years, more attractive. (Source: Worcester Business Journal Online, 20 June, 2017)
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