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March is Manufacturing Month

Daniel O’Connell, Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, has announced a series of events during March, Manufacturing Month. The goal is to recognize the many accomplishments of the manufacturing industry in the Commonwealth and promote candid and inclusive conversations about the opportunities and challenges facing this key Massachusetts industry sector in the future.

Events include roundtable discussions across the state. For a complete schedule, see Manufacturing Industry Events.

The manufacturing sector continues to employ just under 300,000 people statewide – making it the 4th largest employment industry sector in the state. With average wages around $65,000 annually, the manufacturing industry continues to be offer good jobs at good wages.

"We want the business community to know that this administration is committed to working with them and seeing the manufacturing industry grow and succeed in the Commonwealth," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray who spoke at the first manufacturing industry roundtable forum on March 7, 2008, in Worcester.  "Massachusetts companies are using an innovative and well-educated workforce to meet the challenges of the growing offshore production markets by creatively transforming their own product line to not only survive, but to grow in an entirely new direction."

Companies like BTU International located in Billerica have successfully used their core technologies to reach into expanded marketplaces. BTU is known for providing equipment to the electronics industry. They are a key supplier for global leaders like Motorola, Nokia, and Solectron. One of BTU’s strategies for continued growth has been to look for complementary, but separate products and markets. They now also manufacture equipment for the solar and alternative energy industries. In 2006 and 2007, this business made up 7% and 15% of their total revenue respectively. The company expects to double their revenues to 30% for products related to the alternative energy markets in 2008. BTU will significantly expand its Billerica-based workforce to meet this market need in 2008-2009.

"BTU has risen to the challenge and has successfully prevailed," said Douglas Lawson, Vice President Alternative Energy. "We have used our core technologies to expand our business into the renewable energy market. Our presence in Massachusetts puts us in close proximity to some of the leading researchers in this field and we are excited that government is reaching out to us to explore ways to help us grow and remain highly competitive in our business," said Mr. Lawson.

Rich Pellagrini, industry director for the Massachusetts Office of Business Development is interested in hearing the concerns of Massachusetts’ Manufacturers throughout the year. He can be contacted at (617) 788-3610 or e-mail [email protected]


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