WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS RECEIVES ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL GRANT
M A S S A C H U S E T T S H O U S E OF R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S
COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS STATE HOUSE, BOSTON 02133-1054Representative Joseph F. Wagner Committee on Economic Development8th Hampden District and Emerging Technologies333 Front Street, Suite 3 ChairmanChicopee, MA 01013 Room 42Tel: 413-592-7857 Tel: 617-722-2370Fax: 413-592-1354 Fax: 617-722-2215
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Andrew Keegan, 617 722 2370
WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS RECEIVES
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL GRANT
EOHED distributes $65,000 to Western Mass EDC in first round
State Representative Joseph F. Wagner (D-Chicopee) and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development announced today that the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts has received $65,000 through a competitive grant program made available to regional economic development councils and partnerships around the Commonwealth.
“I am pleased to announce that with this grant to the Western Mass EDC, the Commonwealth is taking another step forward in its commitment to help businesses locate and thrive in Western MA,” said Representative Wagner, who is chairman of the Economic Development and Emerging Technologies Committee.
The $65,000 grant is part of the first round of an $800,000 competitive grant program authorized by the Legislature in 2010 to promote the eight regional economic development corporations, councils, and partnerships across the commonwealth. The first $400,000 will be awarded today, with the next $400,000 expected to be released later this year. The Economic Development Council of Western Mass is one of two regional councils to receive the most funds in the first round.
The Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts was formed in 1996 as a private not-for-profit organization by the business community to stimulate economic development in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties.
“We appreciate the Legislature for placing value on the regional initiatives and our efforts to partner with the statewide economic development strategy,” said Allan Blair, President and CEO of the Western Mass Economic Development Council. “We are happy to receive this funding from the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, which will be used to enhance the marketing of the region, both externally and internally,” continued Blair.
"Western Mass is a great place to do business, and with this grant we will be able to further our goals of retaining and attracting new businesses, in order to create much needed job opportunities throughout our region," said Senator James T. Welch (D-West Springfield).
"I am pleased the Patrick Administration has recognized the importance of developing unique strategies for each of the Commonwealth's distinct regions," Senator Michael R. Knapik (R-Westfield) offered. "Western Massachusetts and greater Springfield have different strengths and different needs than other regions of our state and I am confident that with this funding, the EDC will develop an effective plan to draw investment to our region," he continued.
“Regional investments in economic development are a crucial component of a healthy Massachusetts economy,” said Representative Thomas M. Petrolati (D- Ludlow), “I am glad to hear that the EDC will be receiving a grant to further boost their efforts in developing businesses in Western Massachusetts.”
"This is terrific news for the region. Western Massachusetts is a great place to do business, and we need to promote this fact," said Representative Sean Curran (D- Springfield).
The Legislative delegation expressed their appreciation to both Governor Deval Patrick and Secretary of the EOHED, Gregory Bialecki, for their ongoing commitment to an agenda of economic development in Western Massachusetts.