September 09, 2019
September 6, 2019 at 11:08 am
There’s no time to rest on your laurels if you aim to stay on top of your game.
That’s the mantra for success in every endeavor, including the Massachusetts economy.
But with an employment rate hovering around 3%, it might seem appropriate for this state to pause and take a bow.
But in business as well as other competitive pursuits, if you’re standing still, you’re losing ground.
That’s why we’re encouraged by recent developments in the Merrimack and Nashoba valleys that showcase employee skills and business expansion.
The state’s economy can’t continue to grow without the highly skilled workers that businesses require. Technical high schools and community colleges recognize this need, and have made it their priority.
Thanks to a $381,000 Skills Capital grant it recently received from the Massachusetts Workforce Skills Cabinet (WSC), Greater Lowell Tech – which serves the communities of Dracut, Dunstable, Lowell, and Tyngsboro — hopes to nearly double the number of graduates from several allied health services over the next three years.
It also plans to increase the number of adult graduates of Health Services Programs — medical assisting, nursing assisting, pharmacy technician certification and the post-secondary nurse program — by 25%.
Another example of business in motion occurred at the recent “Open for Business” breakfast hosted by the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce.
The 16-community Chamber includes Pepperell, Townsend, Littleton, Westford and Ayer among its members.
The agenda highlighted two companies that have helped revitalize Ayer’s business community.
Previously based in Devens, American Semi Conductor now operates out of the former Cain’s plant in Ayer. According to John Kosiba, senior vice president and chief financial officer and treasurer, the building has undergone a $1 million renovation, making it a “world-class innovation and technology” facility.
Founded in 1987 by two MIT scientists, the company set out to “revolutionize” the transmission of power worldwide, with a system that is “10 times more efficient” than existing networks, Kosiba said.
When its 400,000-square foot building in Devens no longer met its needs, the company embarked on a nationwide search for a new site before finding the right match in Ayer – a boost for both the town and the company’s employees.
Ayer Family Pharmacy is another contributor to the town’s economy. The Park Street pharmacy, owned by Tracie Ezzio, has played a key role in the ongoing transformation of that area.
The pharmacy, with branches in Pepperell and Tyngsboro, took over a small brick building that had been vacant for some time. The building has since been restored and remodeled, and opened for business last winter.
And there’s no need to feel sorry for Devens. That economic development dynamo recently welcomed QinetiQ North America, which opened a manufacturing facility on Queenstown Street.
The new facility is the fifth location the company, which has been providing world-class technology development, engineering research and development, and revolutionary products to the defense, security, commercial and consumer markets for 50 years.
The Devens facility, able to house about 50 employees, will continue with QinetiQ’s research and development of large military ground vehicles that can be operated by remote control.
Public and private initiatives like these will help ensure that the Massachusetts economy continues to grow by meeting the needs of its employers and employees.