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Healey Sees ‘Better Path Forward’ in Massachusetts Economic Development Plan

Addressing housing and transportation challenges, investing in infrastructure, consistent branding, attracting talent, and doubling down on climate technology innovation are all featured priorities in a long-term economic development plan filed by the Healey administration.

Gov. Maura Healey’s plan takes aim at Massachusetts’ “unique opportunity to demonstrate to the rest of our country a better path forward,” according to a copy of the plan filed with the Senate.

Massachusetts has faced a “complex economic landscape” defined by the COVID-19 pandemic, global conflicts, high inflation, and the threat of climate change, Healey and Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll wrote in a letter to the House and Senate clerks.

“In the face of these bold macroeconomic forces, Massachusetts stands poised to adapt, innovate, and lead future generations,” the letter said.

State law requires each governor to draft and sign an economic development plan in the first year of their administration that sets “long-term goals and measurable benchmarks.”

Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao plans to discuss the document during a Wednesday afternoon hearing hosted by the Legislature’s Economic Development and Emerging Technologies Committee.

Healey administration officials said they focused the plan on three main priorities — “fundamentals,” “talent,” and “sectors,” with specific initiatives for each area. Fundamentals covers housing and transportation challenges and investing in infrastructure and “competitiveness,” the plan said.

The state will also look to retrain and “attract the world’s best talent across all backgrounds,” according to the plan, including by launching internships for college graduates and immigration pathways for internationals.

Supporting businesses that “power” the state’s economy falls under the “sectors” priority, which also focuses on lengthening the state’s lead in life sciences and healthcare, advanced manufacturing and robotics, and artificial intelligence, the plan said.

Healey wants Massachusetts to become a global leader in climate technology innovation and boost tourism by taking advantage of the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution.

The administration said it plans to measure the progress of the plan by looking at whether the overall population in Massachusetts increases, more talent stays here, and the state becomes “one of the highest GDP per capita states,” among other things.

“We believe Massachusetts can be an innovative, mission-driven, high-growth economy that solves the big problems facing our world by curing disease, addressing climate change, improving health care, and educating our young talent,” the administration said in the plan’s introduction.

Source : BostonHerald