Sen. Eric Lesser Appointed Senate Chair of Joint Legislative Manufacturing Caucus

BOSTON–Senator Eric Lesser announced today that he is the new Senate Chair of the Joint Legislative Manufacturing Caucus, which aims to inform, implement, and evaluate state policies to support the competitiveness of Massachusetts manufacturers.

“Precision manufacturing is an important economic driver for the residents of Western Massachusetts,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “With Senator Lesser’s leadership of the Joint Caucus on Manufacturing, we will continue working to close the skills gap to fill these good paying jobs in our region.”

“The strength of our economy is intricately tied to the manufacturing sector,” said Senator Lesser, who published an op-ed on MassLive.com last week on advanced manufacturing in Massachusetts.

“Now is the time to develop 21st Century strategies for fostering its growth and expansion, especially in Western Massachusetts, where manufacturing has been a backbone of our economy for over two centuries,” he added.

“The manufacturing sector is driving economic growth across the Commonwealth,” said Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland), Chairwoman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. “Senator Lesser will do a terrific job highlighting opportunities for continued collaboration with this important industry and help us find ways to prepare our workforce for these in-demand jobs.”

“I welcome Senator Lesser as Senate Co-Chair of the Joint Legislative Manufacturing Caucus,”  said Rep. John Fernandes (D-Milford), who serves as House Chair of the Manufacturing Caucus.  “The Caucus is a valuable tool in linking legislators with manufacturing businesses in their districts, providing resources to those businesses, and advocating public policy and budgetary priorities that solve problems hampering businesses and advance manufacturing growth across Massachusetts. I look forward to Senator Lesser bringing his energy and leadership to the Caucus.”

Manufacturing in Massachusetts encompasses  nearly 7,700 companies and generates $43 billion in annual revenue. 54% percent of all manufacturing jobs in Hampden and Hampshire Counties are in advanced manufacturing, but more than 44,000 advanced manufacturing job vacancies are expected to go unfilled in Massachusetts by 2015, according to a new report by the New England Council.

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