SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Some western Mass voters sometimes feel left out by lawmakers and funding based closer to Boston. Governor Deval Patrick spoke with 22News on Wednesdy morning about his administration’s investments in our region.
Governor Patrick said in his speech, “I’ve always believed in Springfield. I’ve always believed in western Massachusetts.”
With just two months to go in his two-term tenure, Governor Deval Patrick was in Springfield Wednesday to talk with business leaders about how his administration has supported economic growth in Western Massachusetts. From funding for education and research centers, to investments in transportation and infrastructure, he said western Massachusetts plays a role in a statewide hub of innovation.
Governor Patrick told 22News employment is at a nearly 25-year high in Massachusetts, and the state has added jobs faster than most of the country since 2007. But he did acknowledge some people are still waiting to feel that recovery.
“It hasn’t gotten to every kitchen table,” said the governor. “There are still people who are worried including some people who are working. They’re worried whether they’re going to keep the job they have.”
The governor said the next administration needs to focus on industries that will continue to propel the commonwealth forward with bio tech and life sciences, the clean and digital technologies, and advanced manufacturing.
Jeff Daley, Director of Development for the O’Leary group, told 22News, “We can compete with the Bostons and Cambridges of the world and outside of our state. Lower cost of living, higher education. It’s a great place to start.”
Daley, who’s worked in economic development for the state and the city of Westfield, said he’d like to see more workforce training so that people in western Massachusetts are skilled and prepared for opportunities in those newer industries.