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Industrial selection | Pro

Investments play to strengths of Commonwealth

By Greg Bialecki
Globe Correspondent / January 30, 2011

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Governor Deval Patrick has shown that government can effectively partner with business to create jobs and grow our economy by successfully competing in the global economy. His targeted investments in education, innovation, and infrastructure — areas where we already have a competitive advantage — are accelerating Massachusetts’ economic recovery.

Let’s start with our innovation sectors: IT, life sciences, clean energy, health care, and advanced manufacturing. Massachusetts’ strength in these vital and growing sectors is the envy of our competitors, and, thanks to a surge in innovation jobs in recent years, they are leading us out of the recession faster and stronger than the nation. And we’re increasingly manufacturing the things we design, which means more good jobs up and down the production line.

Massachusetts has become an attractive host to these industries because we have aggressively pursued this strategy since the beginning of the governor’s first term. We support innovation in many ways, including through research grants, apprenticeships, and student internships. Some of the impressive jobs gains were also made possible in part by targeted business incentives such as affordable financing and investment tax credits.

But Patrick understands that these focused efforts can succeed only if they are built on a solid foundation. From our kids who lead the nation in student achievement to our world-class institutions of higher learning, education is our calling card around the globe. That is why we have made record investments in our public schools and students — the keys to our future success.

Through state bonding and federal stimulus funds, we are fixing long-neglected roads, rails, and bridges; expanding broadband; and improving public college campuses and housing in one of the most ambitious public works programs in state history.

In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama reaffirmed Governor Patrick’s job growth strategy, imploring leaders to “win the future’’ by investing in innovation, education, and infrastructure. We are a model for the nation because our strategy is working. That’s why Massachusetts ranks sixth in the nation in private sector jobs gained and third in percent of jobs created since December 2009. We will stay on course — and we will continue to fight for every single job — as we meet our generational responsibility of leaving our Commonwealth stronger for those who follow.

Greg Bialecki is the state’s secretary of Housing and Economic Development.