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Gregoire Votes for Economic Development Legislation

Bill focuses on emerging industries, invests in workforce and regional development; moves to the state Senate.

State Rep. Danielle Gregoire. Courtesy
State Rep. Danielle Gregoire. Courtesy

State Rep. Danielle Gregoire, D-Marlborough, joined her colleagues in the House of Representatives last week in approving a comprehensive economic development and jobs bill.

The bill aims to further strengthen Massachusetts’ innovation industries and position the state as a global leader both economically and culturally through forward-looking solutions including a focus on emerging industries, investments in workforce development and education, and promoting targeted regional growth. 

“This legislation will play a crucial role in strengthening our economy as it puts forth the policy initiatives necessary and the critical investments towards job creation, workforce development,” said Representative Gregoire.  “The passage of this legislation will allow Massachusetts to compete and succeed on a global level.” 

The 2014 Economic Development package will provide $1.5 million for MassVentures, an organization that supports the innovation economy by funding early-stage, high-growth startups in Massachusetts as they move from concept to commercialization.  In addition, the bill will establish the Middle Skills Job Training Grant Fund, funded at $15 million, to provide grants to vocational-technical schools and community colleges that will support advanced manufacturing and IT training. The fund seeks to train 4,000 workers in the next four years to meet the talent needs of Massachusetts employers. 

The bill also funds a matching grant program for small manufacturing companies to provide technical assistance and avert layoffs and closures.  Further, the bill improves two existing housing programs, the Housing Preservation & Stabilization Trust Fund through a $5 million investment, and the Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP) which provides developers with tax credits for mixed-income, market rate projects and eliminates the cap on the number of units permitted per HDIP development and doubles the amount of existing tax credits to $10 million for the next four years.  Finally, this bill invests $1.5 million in the Working Cities Challenge, a public-private initiative in partnership with the Boston Federal Reserve Bank, to advance cross-sector collaboration and create lasting economic improvement. 

The bill now moves to the Senate where debate will continue.

Submitted by State Rep. Danielle Gregoire's Office.

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