EDC Names Sullivan New President, CEO
SPRINGFIELD — Richard Sullivan, former mayor of Westfield and currently chief of staff for Gov. Deval Patrick, has been chosen to become president and CEO of the Economic Development Council of Western Mass., succeeding Alan Blair, who will retire Dec. 31. Sullivan prevailed in a lengthy search for Blair’s successor that began when Blair announced his intention to retire almost a year ago. Sullivan, an attorney, brings to the job a résumé that includes a lengthy stint as Westfield’s mayor as well as work with the Patrick administration, first as commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, then as secretary of the Mass. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, and then as chief of staff, a position he assumed in June.
Massachusetts Adds 1,200 Jobs in October
BOSTON — The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) reported that preliminary estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show Massachusetts added 1,200 jobs in October for a total preliminary estimate of 3,424,600. The October total unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.0%. Since October 2013, Massachusetts has added a net of 52,600 jobs, with 50,400 jobs added in the private sector. The total unemployment rate for the year is down 1.2% from the October 2013 rate of 7.2%. BLS also revised its September job estimates to a 7,800-job gain from the 9,400-gain previously reported for the month. Here’s an October 2014 employment overview:
• Information added 1,900 jobs (+2.0%) over the month. Over the year, the sector added 7,900 jobs (+9.1%);
• Construction gained 1,300 jobs (+1.1%) over the month. Over the year, the sector has added 2,400 jobs (+2.0%);
• Education and Health Services added 800 jobs (+0.1%) over the month. Over the year, the sector gained 16,000 jobs (+2.2%);
• Professional, Scientific and Business Services gained 200 jobs (0.1%) over the month. Over the year, the sector added 14,500 jobs (+2.9%);
• Other Services had no change in its jobs level over the month. Over the year, Other Services are up 1,100 jobs (+0.9%);
• Trade, Transportation, and Utilities lost 1,800 jobs (-0.3%) over the month. Over the year, the sector gained 7,200 jobs (+1.3%);
• Leisure and Hospitality lost 1,500 jobs (-0.4%) over the month. Over the year, the sector added 100 jobs (0.1%);
• Financial Activities lost 500 jobs (-0.2%) over the month. Over the year, the sector added 1,900 jobs (+0.9%);
• Manufacturing lost 400 jobs (-0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing lost 700 jobs (-0.3%); and
• Government added 1,200 jobs (+0.3%) over the month. Over the year, the sector gained 2,200 jobs (+0.5%).
The October 2014 estimates show 3,334,800 Massachusetts residents were employed and 211,000 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,545,800. The October labor force increased by 14,100 from 3,531,700 in September, as 16,400 more residents were employed and 2,300 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. The labor force was an estimated 61,800 above the 3,484,000 October 2013 estimate, with 100,600 more residents employed and 38,800 fewer residents unemployed. The unemployment rate is based on a monthly sample of households. The job estimates are derived from a monthly sample survey of employers. As a result, the two statistics may exhibit different monthly trends.
Baystate Health Opens TechSpring Center
SPRINGFIELD — Representatives from companies that are developing new products to improve healthcare joined leaders from Baystate Health, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, and a host of elected officials on Nov. 14 to celebrate the opening of TechSpring, Baystate Health’s technology innovation center based in Springfield’s emerging innovation district. The facility will match private enterprises with partners and expertise from Baystate to take on some of healthcare’s most difficult challenges.
TechSpring owes its existence in large part to a $5.5 million grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, an investment agency charged with implementing Gov. Deval Patrick’s 10-year, $1 billion Life Sciences Initiative that supports life-sciences innovation, research, development, and commercialization. “Being part of the innovation ecosystem that’s developing in downtown Springfield was a major incentive for us in locating here,” said Joel Vengco, Baystate Health’s vice president of Information & Technology and chief information officer. “There is very real potential and a strong foundation in our community for real progress in creating employment and economic opportunities in the areas of healthcare technology and informatics. The fact that these innovators and companies have come here to invest time and resources is a testament to the potential here, and we’re thrilled to be part of it.” TechSpring, which is housed at 1350 Main St. in downtown Springfield, is already hosting work between Baystate and private-industry partners to create new technology solutions and products that could be used to improve health outcomes. TechSpring’s founding sponsors and innovation partners are IBM, Premier Inc., Cerner Corp., Dell, Medecision, and Mainline Information Systems. All are engaging in collaborative work and product development in the new space. “In this space, my colleagues and their industry partners are putting information technology to work in service of better health outcomes for people here in our community and across the nation,” said Dr. Mark Keroack, president and CEO of Baystate Health. “They’re also working toward bringing opportunity — a real potential for better economic health — for our city and our community. We’re very proud to be here downtown, and we’re proud of the partnerships on display, with industry, with academia. and with government.”
Patrick Announces $1.5 Million for Water-technology Innovation
AMHERST – Gov. Deval Patrick announced $1.5 million in funding to build on his administration’s efforts to make Massachusetts a hub for the emerging water-innovation sector. Patrick was joined by UMass Amherst and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials as they announced $4.1 million in federal funding for a national center for drinking-water innovation at the university. “All over the world and right here at home in the Commonwealth, water challenges are threatening the environment and the economy,” said Patrick. “Investing in the development of water-innovation technologies not only protects precious natural resources and public health, but creates high-quality local jobs.” The Water Infrastructure Bill, signed by Patrick in August, calls for $1.5 million in investments from the Mass. Department of Environmental Protection for water innovation. The federally funded center will be one of two national research centers focused on testing and demonstrating cutting-edge technologies for small drinking-water systems. The Patrick administration, through MassCEC, matched the federal investment with a $100,000 grant. “Under Gov. Patrick’s leadership, Massachusetts has pursued cost-effective innovations to address environmental concerns,” said Curt Spalding, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s regional administrator for New England. “We are very pleased to join the governor as both the EPA and the Commonwealth announce investments in further research and technology development at UMass Amherst that will help continue to provide clean and safe drinking water to people.” Providing safe, clean drinking water is critical for maintaining the health and security of the Commonwealth, said UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy. “Researchers here at UMass Amherst are on the front lines of efforts to make sure that clean water is a reality for all our communities and citizens. This new funding will help the Commonwealth’s flagship campus make an important contribution to this key public need.” During the Massachusetts-Israel Innovation Partnership (MIIP) mission in May, Patrick announced the winners of the first MIIP water-innovation challenge. The governor made this announcement with Israeli Chief Scientist Avi Hasson during the U.S.-Israel Connected Summit “Going Global with Water Tech” forum. The MIIP was launched in 2011 as a direct result of Patrick’s first innovation-partnership mission to Israel. During that 10-day trade mission in March 2011, a coalition of the state’s leading business executives and senior government officials explored growth opportunities of common interest to Massachusetts’ and Israel’s innovation industries. During that mission, Patrick and Shalom Simhon, Israeli minister of Economy, signed a memorandum of understanding in Jerusalem resulting in this partnership. “Safe, reliable drinking water has always been a critical need. In the 21st century, we will need to develop new technologies to meet growing demand,” said U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern. “I’m pleased that the federal government is joining with the Commonwealth and UMass Amherst in this promising effort.”
Women’s Fund to Issue $240,000 in Grant Funding
EASTHAMPTON — The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts (WFWM) announced the availability of $240,000 in grant funding for organizations that serve women and girls in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties. Grant recipients will each receive $60,000 over three years to deploy innovative programs that help shift the landscape for women and girls within the agency’s focus areas of educational access and success, economic justice, and safety and freedom from violence. Grant applications will be available on the WFWM website on Jan. 10 and will be due on March 23. “Due to renewed and expanded investments from community members in the Women’s Fund mission, we are thrilled to be able to offer another round of multi-year grants in 2015,” said Elizabeth Barajas-Román, chief executive officer of the WFWM. “Multi-year grants allow us to partner with organizations in a sustained way that helps make a significant impact in communities. This funding will increase our ability to scale up and positively affect the lives of women and girls.” Successful applications will demonstrate meaningful partnerships among two or more organizations, agencies, or projects. “We know that effective solutions require creative collaboration,” said Barajas-Román. In addition to the financial award, the Women’s Fund will invest an additional $20,000 into each grantee by giving each project the opportunity to select two staff, constituents, or board members as participants of the Women’s Fund’s Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact (LIPPI). LIPPI, a Women’s Fund program, has equipped 200 women from across Western Mass. to become civic leaders in their communities; to impact policy on the local, state, and national levels; and to seek and retain elected positions. Since 1997, the WFWM has awarded more than $2 million to more than 150 nonprofit organizations, impacting more than 80,000 women and girls.