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Kate Phelon Named to Mass. Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative

WESTFIELD — Kate Phelon, executive director of the Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce, was appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker to the Mass. Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative (AMC) in September. This appointment is one of three by the governor; the other two are representatives of advanced-manufacturing companies. Phelon will be part of a commission looking at the future of manufacturing in Massachusetts.

“I am very honored and excited about this appointment and appreciate the state’s leadership in recognizing the role a chamber of commerce representative can have in not only formulating agenda’s for particular industries, but the outreach we have with our membership,” Phelon said.

The purpose of the AMC will be to develop and implement the Commonwealth’s manufacturing agenda with the goal to foster and strengthen the necessary conditions to promote growth and innovation of manufacturing within Massachusetts. The AMC will focus on four areas: workforce development and education; technical assistance, innovation, and access to capital; enhancement of competitiveness, easing cost of doing business, and regulatory review of SMEs; and promoting manufacturing, which will include attracting a talented workforce, and expansion of in-state marketing of the supply chain.

In addition, the AMC works in conjunction with President Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, as well as with seven additional states through the National Governors Assoc. Center of Best Practices Policy Academy on Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation.

Phelon attended her first full meeting of the collaborative in mid-September and learned first-hand what the subcommittees have been working on.

“Right now, the subcommittees are working on a five-year strategic-planning process to develop a strategy to keep manufacturing growing, exciting, inclusive, and innovative,” she said. “I was amazed at the work that has been done by these subcommittees and am very excited to work with stakeholders in the public and private sectors.”

As she gets more involved and acclimated to the work this collaborative is conducting, Phelon will share information as it becomes available and will be in contact with local manufacturers as necessary.

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