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The Lowell Sun, by Matt Murphy

Governor Patrick Launches Manufacturing Initiative

May 24, 2010

BOSTON – Gov. Deval Patrick convened a meeting of his cabinet in Devens yesterday to launch a new partnership between his administration and companies to create jobs in the once-thriving manufacturing industry.

Patrick and his administrative team sat down with industry leaders and academics at the global headquarters of American Superconductor to discuss the alliance between government and the private sector in hopes of identifying opportunities for manufacturing growth and competitiveness.

“The manufacturing sector is important to the commonwealth’s economic strength,” Patrick said in a statement. “Today, I am calling on members of industry and academia to form a collaborative body that can work closely with this administration to support the competitiveness of this sector throughout the state.”

The initiative comes as the state is celebrating the creation of more than19,000 new jobs in April that help facilitate a modest drop in the unemployment rate to 9.2 percent, from 9.3 percent.

The manufacturing industry, the sixth largest employer in the commonwealth, added 1,500 jobs in April and 2,800 jobs since January with three consecutive months of growth.

To continue that trend, Patrick also announced that MassDevelopment will begin offering reduced-interest loans on to manufacturers for real estate and equipment to encourage expansion and investment in new technology.

The Manufacturing Innovation Initiative will offer loans of up to $50,000 for planning and $500,000 for growth initiatives.

“These new targeted loan funds will help manufacturers from bread baking to textiles and paper to plastics and medical equipment improve their production processes and expand their reach,” said Robert Culver, CEO and president of MassDevelopment.

© Copyright 2010 The Lowell Sun.