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Winter 2013 Letters – Amp It Up!

January 15, 2013 : CommonWealth Magazine, Letter by Mark Sternman

Thank you for mentioning, if not by name, “AMP it up!” You called it the “new promotional campaign to make young people, schools, and families aware of opportunities in manufacturing,” in your lead-in to the excellent interview with Barry Bluestone of Northeastern University and Michael Tamasi of AccuRounds (“Making it in Massachusetts,” Conversation, Fall ’12).

Since your article appeared, MassDevelopment has announced matching grants for Massachusetts non-profit, educational, and workforce organizations to hold innovative programs focused on educating students and the adults in their lives about advanced manufacturing careers. The grants represent a significant step forward in the new AMP it up! campaign.

Through the community-based programs and activities that grant recipients will develop, MassDevelopment will work with these organizations to dispel common misconceptions about today’s manufacturing and bolster the prospective employee base for these quality jobs. Interested readers should visit for the latest on this exciting effort.

The campaign complements MassDevelopment’s efforts in financing manufacturing projects from the predevelopment stage through permanent financing. MassDevelopment has long offered loan guarantees and tax-exempt industrial development bonds that deliver the absolute lowest interest rates on loans to manufacturers for facility and equipment projects. Over the last two years, MassDevelopment has provided $78 million in funding to 58 manufacturing projects, but we need to do more.

Accordingly, MassDevelopment, under the leadership of its board of directors chaired by Gregory Bialecki, the secretary of housing and economic development, has introduced new programs, including planning and implementation loans, as well as reduced interest rates on equipment and real estate loans.

Planning loans pay for manufacturers to engage consultant services to evaluate and improve operations, demand, marketing, and finance and administration. Implementation loans with low rates and terms of up to seven years are available to implement growth strategies recommended by consultants or business owners. Expenses financed can include reconfigured operations, upgrades to plant and equipment, product development, and new staff. Finally, equipment and real estate loans help keep Massachusetts manufacturers competitive by financing their capital investments at preferential interest rates.

MassDevelopment hopes that the AMP it up! campaign will encourage more young people to prepare to be the workers of tomorrow for great Massachusetts companies like AccuRounds, which has grown in part by taking advantage of financing offered by MassDevelopment.

Mark S. Sternman
Director of Marketing & Communications