Life science is a life saver for Bay State, MetroWest

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By Cole Chapman | Daily News Correspondent | GateHouse News Service

BOSTON – Gov. Deval Patrick’s $1 billion investment plan for life science industries has added 2,537 jobs in its first five years, offering new opportunities for job growth in MetroWest and other regions around the state, a report released Tuesday says.

“Our research suggests that the state will benefit from fully funding the remaining five years of the initiative in order to maintain the lead the life sciences established in the commonwealth,” said Barry Bluestone, director of Northeastern University’s Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center and author of the report.

Bluestone told a gathering of scientists, academics and industry officials at the Boston Foundation offices that the state is “the world leader in life sciences.”

“The life sciences are kind of like the auto industry in 1910. This is the place to invest,” he said. Read More

Massachusetts Plan Starts Small for Big Upgrade to Rail System

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By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE | The New York Times

BOSTON — Later this spring, Bostonians eager to flee to Cape Cod for the weekend will have an option other than sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic for 70 miles and fuming along with everyone else.

Starting May 24, they can hop a train to Hyannis, where regional buses, ferries and rental cars will await to whisk them out to the beaches, islands and wind-swept dunes.

The train, the first passenger service to the cape since 1995, is one small piece of a major $13 billion transportation overhaul envisioned by Gov. Deval Patrick. That overhaul is aimed chiefly at repairing and upgrading worn-out bridges, roads and commuter lines in Massachusetts, but about 20 percent of it would go toward reviving train service to the cape and elsewhere in the state.

Mr. Patrick said that upgrading these in-state routes would spur economic development. It would also provide important links for Amtrak’s long-range plans to establish high-speed train service throughout New England. Read More

Patrick vows new funds for roads, rail

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By Eric Moskowitz | The Boston Globe | January 4, 2013

Governor Deval Patrick said Friday that he will unveil a proposal later this month to raise the necessary money through taxes or fees to fix the state’s financially beleaguered transportation network.

Patrick declined to say how he would raise the money or how much he would seek. Past reports have identified an annual gap of roughly $1 billion between what the system needs and what the state raises and spends.

But his comments add to a growing sense of inevitability on Beacon Hill that residents will be asked to pay more to repair the state’s crumbling infrastructure and confront years of red ink.

Legislative leaders who previously embraced a policy of “reform before revenue” appear to be shifting from asking whether more money is needed to asking how to raise that money and where to spend it. Read More

Mass. jobless rate rises slightly; Sluggishness across sectors

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By Bob Salsberg | The Worcester Telegram | September 21, 2012

The Massachusetts unemployment rate edged up two-tenths of a point in August while preliminary figures showed the state losing about 4,800 jobs during the month, the office of Labor and Workforce Development said Thursday.

The jobless rate stood at 6.3 percent in August, up from 6.1 percent in July. The rate is down from 7.4 percent a year ago, and Massachusetts remained below the August national average of 8.1 percent.

In addition to the preliminary job losses for August, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics revised downward job gains in the state for the previous month. The new figures show an increase of 300 jobs in July, compared to an earlier preliminary estimate of 1,600 jobs gained during the month.

Alan Clayton-Matthews, an economist at Northeastern University, said Massachusetts has now experienced three consecutive months of slow or negative job growth, which isn’t surprising given weakness in the information technology market both domestically and abroad. Read More

Gov. Deval Patrick announces new program for vocational schools

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By Erin Shannon | Enterprise News | September 14, 2012

AVON — Welding. Mechanical drafting. Metal layout. Machining.

Those are among the skills taught to students at Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School in Easton to prepare them for future jobs.

So school Principal David Wheeler was pleased to hear that Gov. Deval Patrick announced plans Thursday to ramp up efforts to draw more vocational high school students into manufacturing jobs – and the governor made the announcement at a company in Avon where some Southeastern Voke students learn their trade.

“Working inside for a good salary, for a stable company, with benefits, is where we want our kids to be,” said Wheeler.

According to a new study, titled “Staying Power II, A Report Card on Manufacturing in Massachusetts 2012,” the manufacturing industry in Massachusetts is alive and well. Read More

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