Nearly 5,000 People Work in Devens According to New Study; Devens Contributed Almost $2.5 Billion to Massachusetts Economy

September 15, 2016


Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)

For the fourth time, the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute has analyzed the economic impacts of Devens, a 4,400-acre community in north-central Massachusetts that MassDevelopment manages. The report found that Devens businesses, government organizations, and nonprofits employ nearly 5,000 workers. In addition to these jobs, the economic activities of private and nonprofit Devens entities supported more than 5,800 Massachusetts jobs through indirect and induced spending. Private sector and nonprofit organizations had estimated combined sales of more than $1.4 billion, which supported additional spending of $1 billion in local supply chains to make Devens’s total contribution nearly $2.5 billion to the Massachusetts economy. 

“The increasing number of Devens employees has resulted from significant commercial growth and has led to a demand for a mix of housing types in new Devens neighborhoods like Emerson Green,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We’re pleased to work with the business community, residents, and surrounding towns to continue to advance the redevelopment of Devens as a major driver of the regional economy and make even more sustainable growth possible.” 

“The continued growth in private sector employment at Devens directly benefits the region by providing jobs in a wide range of business activities with average wages significantly above the state average,” said Mark Melnik, Ph.D, Director of the Economic and Public Policy Research group at the UMass Donahue Institute.

  2016 2014 2013 2012
4,977 4,030 3,634 3,208
102 total
76% private
18% nonprofit
6% government
91 total
74% private
20% nonprofit
6% government
87 total
72% private
22% nonprofit
6% government
95 total
66% private
20% nonprofit
14% government
$415.8 million
$300 million
$251 million
(2012 Q3)
$220 million 
MA: $64,094
MA: $60,892
MA: $57,304
MA: $57,799
Private sector 
(about 80%)
(about 75%)
(about 75%)
(about 66%)


As the community celebrates 20 years of redevelopment, Devens has more than 280 acres available for commercial development, and the Towns of Ayer, Harvard, and Shirley are scheduled to vote on October 24 on a proposal to rezone about 32 acres of undeveloped residential land in Devens for innovation and technology business uses. The rezoning would create a large, marketable site suited for biomanufacturing, research and development, and similar industries, adding high-quality jobs to the area. 

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2016, MassDevelopment financed or managed 352 projects generating investment of more than $4 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 8,200 jobs and build or rehabilitate about 4,200 residential units.