By Chelsea Feinstein
LOWELL -- Gov. Deval Patrick touted his administration's commitment to creating jobs in technology and life sciences in a trip to Middlesex County Tuesday.
Patrick gave the keynote address at the Merrimack Valley Sandbox's Sandbox Summit 2014 in Lowell, and also spoke at the expansion ceremony for Masy Systems, Inc. in Pepperell, a company that provides calibration and storage services to life science companies.
At the Merrimack Valley Sandbox, an incubator group that encourages the development of start-ups in the region, Patrick outlined his vision for a strong commonwealth, which was based on increasing opportunity.
"That vision was then and is now deeply rooted in the American Dream, that idea that you can imagine a different circumstance for yourself and your family, which is so unique and so remarkable about this country. I think the American Dream is worth fighting for, worth serving and sacrificing for," Patrick said.
To expand opportunity, he said, there needs to be economic growth that extends to everyone, not only to well-connected individuals.
Patrick said his administration, with the help of the legislature, had focused on investments in education, innovation and infrastructure to encourage this growth.
"As I see it growth is a choice. It's a choice, not something we leave to chance, not simply something we hope for, it's something we work for and choose to bring about," Patrick said.
He also highlighted the importance of maintaining a diverse work force, and encouraging students attending colleges in Massachusetts to stay and work here after graduation.
"We have proven in this commonwealth to be the innovation state because of the rich diversity of our entrepreneurs and their ideas. Our goal is to ensure that all citizens of the commonwealth have the opportunity to become entrepreneurs, no matter where they live or work, whether their ideas are large or small and regardless of their background," he said.
At Masy Systems, Patrick helped to celebrate both the company's 30-year anniversary and the groundbreaking of its new facility, which will allow its metrology lab to expand tenfold.
He discussed the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative, a 10-year, $1 billion investment in the state's life science companies.
"I do think it's enormously important for us to govern for the long term, not to do just what we can in time for the next election season or the next media cycle, but what we can do for the next generation," Patrick said.
The commitment to investments in life sciences has paid off, he said.
"Over the past five years we've established Massachusetts as the recognized global leader in the life sciences and biotech, with companies from across the globe choosing this commonwealth as their place to do business," Patrick said.
In February, Masy Systems was awarded a tax incentive through the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center designed to encourage job growth. President and CEO Laurie Masiello said tax credits and other incentive programs had been a major factor in Masy Systems' success.
"Our town and state supported us with tax incentive financing agreements, encouraging our growth in Pepperell," Masiello said.
State Rep. Eileen Donoghue commended Masy System's for its success in bringing jobs and economic growth to Pepperell.
"You have defied the odds, not just here in the commonwealth, but across this country. You have proven that American work, ingenuity, stick-to-it-iveness, intelligence can thrive a business, can grow a business in this economy, despite the odds that may have been against you, and this is really a wonderful success story for this company, for the commonwealth, for Pepperell and for small businesses all across this commonwealth," Donoghue said.
A groundbreaking ceremony that the governor was expected to speak at in Methuen Tuesday was postponed due to scheduling conflicts with some of the invited speakers, according to Massachusetts Department of Transportation spokesman Michael Verseckes.
The ceremony was to mark the beginning of an overhaul of the Route 110/Interstate 93 interchange, intended to ease traffic congestion and increase safety at the busy rotary. Verseckes said the rotary there is going to be eliminated and traffic lights will be installed for motorists exiting of I-93.
"This would be designed to accommodate a higher volume of vehicles through the interchange, making it safer and reducing congestion overall," Verseckes said.
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