The Lowell Connector was busy on the morning of May 21st–but the traffic was for a good cause. Dozens of economic development professionals from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors took part in two events that Tuesday morning with the common theme of the day being economic development in Lowell, the region, and the Commonwealth as a whole.
First up was the annual meeting of the Middlesex 3 Coalition, which was held at the headquarters of Kronos, Inc located at the Crosspoint Towers. Middlesex 3 Coalition is a 501(c)6 non-profit entity comprised of 112 regional stakeholders including leaders in finance, education, medical, real estate development, engineering, non-profits and the community at large, which has steadily grown since its launch in 2012.
The three major target areas of Middlesex 3 are Transportation, Education and Workforce Development, and Infrastructure, Utilities & Real Estate Development. “These are all areas where our cities and towns can work together to really improve the quality of life for all of our people,” Mayor William Samaras noted during his welcoming remarks.
Mayor Samaras gives his welcoming remarks
After a brief presentation on the year in review, Middlesex 3 honored their 2019 Economic Impact award winners in both the private and public sector categories.
The Private Sector Awards went to MilliporeSigma of Burlington and EMD Serono of Billerica, while the Public Sector award went to the Massachusetts Office of Business Development’s Peter Milano.
Peter Milano accepts the award and congratulations from Stephanie Cronin
Following the awards, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito served as the morning’s keynote speaker.
But the morning was only halfway over as the majority of the crowd at the Middlesex 3 meeting took the trip downtown to the campus of Middlesex Community College where the Massachusetts Office of Housing and Economic Development was hosting a community engagement session as part of Governor Charlie Baker’s economic development plan.
Mayor Samaras, Rep. Nangle, Jim Campbell, Karyn Polito, James Mabry, Mike Kennealy
The event was one of a series organized and hosted by Mike Kennealy who is in his first year as the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development following his stint as a deputy to former secretary Jay Ash.
Mike Kennealy, Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
Mayor Samaras welcomed the crowd made up of economic development professionals from all over the region and beyond with an update on Lowell’s recent progress.
“Lowell has certainly seen a great deal of economic development over the past four years. We have seen buildings in the Hamilton Canal Innovation District reach full capacity as public infrastructure has paved the way for private investment. This truly is a once-in-a-lifetime development opportunity in our city and I thank the governor’s administration for being a fully invested partner in its successful progress,” the Mayor began.
“But we also have to look out for small businesses, our entrepreneurs and startups—last week the City of Lowell was honored with the Small Business Friendly City Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors at a ceremony we held at EforAll,” Samaras added, “It was a microcosm of what we’re trying to do in Lowell, just as I think Lowell is a microcosm of the economic development activity in the entire Commonwealth.”
Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism’s Keiko Orrall and EforAll’s Lianna Kushi
Following additional opening remarks by the Secretary and MCC President James Mabry, groups broke out into two sessions of discussions based on the topics of Community & Neighborhood Development, Innovation & Start-Ups, Jobs & Workforce Development, Housing, Key Clusters & Industries, and Business Growth.
All told the economic development engagement sessions will involve over 1000 stakeholders and take place in nine separate regions throughout the Commonwealth.
At the end of the Merrimack Valley session, Lt. Governor Politio thanked the participants and provided closing remarks.
For more information on the Governor’s Economic Development Plan and the planning process, you can visit this page on the EOHED website.