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$950,000 in State Aid Benefits Massachusetts Economic Development Councils


Nearly one million dollars in economic development grants were awarded to organizations across Massachusetts designed to assist in outreach and business expansion. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

Last week, the Massachusetts Office of Business Development announced a new round of funding in the Regional Economic Development Organization, or REDO, grant program. Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, says that the grant program, which started in 2010, is aimed at providing a partnership between the public and private sector in spurring economic growth.

Bialecki said that the grant program aims to help regional economic development organizations reach out and communicate to the Commonwealth what it would take to attract business.

1Berkshire Strategic Alliance is the economic development center designated for the Berkshires. According to Mike Supranowicz, Vice President and COO, the $75,000 awarded to 1Berkshire is the third grant the agency has received from the REDO program. Supranowicz said that the money will be used in a variety of ways.

Allan Blair, President and CEO of the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts, which serves Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden County, says that the Pioneer Valley region plays host to a strong workforce in financial services. He also identified precision manufacturing, including manufacturing of medical devices, to be an important part of the Western Massachusetts economy.

The EDC of Western Mass received $115,000 through the program, the largest amount awarded in the group.

All areas of the state received funding through the REDO grants program, but Secretary Bialecki said that there is an intentional focus on pushing economic development in areas outside of Boston.

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.
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