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Sustainable Prosperity: An Agenda for New England

By Jack Healy, Director, MassMEP

Competition is fierce these days, and our 50 states are not immune. New England provides many obstacles to living and working in the area, from an astronomical cost of living to wages that put this area of our reach for many businesses. But before we can fix the problem, we need to know what’s broken.

For the past two years, A.T. Kearney, a global management consulting company and a member of the New England Council, has undertaken a comprehensive study of the New England economy. The purpose of the study is to identify the region’s strengths and weaknesses and to focus attention on those areas that require the immediate attention of public and private sector leaders.

This year’s report, “Sustainable Prosperity – An Agenda for New England,” compares New England to areas of the nation with whom we are in direct competition for industries, jobs, and people: Raleigh/Durham, NC; Atlanta, GA; and the Baltimore/DC area.

The report shows us that New England has been resting on its laurels. The result is that we are now falling behind. Massachusetts is losing population, more graduating students are leaving than staying, and infrastructure costs are a burden to the region’s employers.

While we face many challenges in New England, capitalizing on our strengths will move us forward. This report identifies five economic levers and the challenges facing New England as it competes with other regions for jobs, people, and prosperity. These economic levers include: infrastructure and structural costs; education; regional networks and collaboration; “brand;” and demographics and immigration.

This is a call to action for private and public sector leaders to work together to take the steps necessary to meet the changing needs of businesses and individuals. If we do not, we won’t succeed in our quest for “sustainable prosperity.”

Take a look at the data yourself, then let me know what you will do to help. I can be reached at [email protected].


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