Broadside: Mass. Gov.’s transportation plan

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NECN.com | January 23, 2013

(NECN) – Wednesday morning’s Green Line fire wasn’t just an inconvenience for MBTA riders – it was also an opportunity for Mass. Governor Deval Patrick to make a point about his new budget.

The budget includes more than $1 billion in new transportation spending, some of which would be used to upgrade the antiquated MBTA system.

The Governor’s transportation plan comes at an average cost of $1 billion more a year in taxes and fees. It includes big-ticket projects, such as a $1.8 billion commuter rail extension to Fall River and New Bedford known as the South Coast Rail.

James Stergios and Stephanie Pollack have been combing through the Governor’s transportation plan with professional eyes.

Stergios is the executive director of the Pioneer Institute, and Pollack is the associate director at the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University, which is part of the Transportation for Massachusetts Coalition. Read More

Manufacturing ‘renaissance’ takes shape in Mass.

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By Ira Kantor | The Boston Herald | September 13, 2012

Massachusetts’ manufacturing sector no longer suffers from “Rodney Dangerfield syndrome” — it finally has respect, according to a new report issued today.

Investments in new equipment and technology; the development of more specialized products; and increased workforce training efforts have helped the industry undergo an “economic renaissance” in just five years, said the report’s chief author, Barry Bluestone of Northeastern University’s Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy.

“Assuming the economy continues to recover, and somehow Europe doesn’t implode, we’re looking real good,” Bluestone said.

Manufacturing currently has the second largest payroll in Massachusetts, behind health care, with an average salary totaling more than $75,000. Despite labor statistics predicting the current statewide 250,000 employment number dropping to about 239,000 by 2018, there could be as many as 100,000 new sector jobs opening up over the next decade, the report said. A whopping 65 percent of the 700 manufacturers surveyed expect to increase production over the next five years, according to the report. Read More

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