BOSTON — Senator Eric P. Lesser served as the keynote speaker at the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual legislative breakfast on Thursday, where he spoke about the region’s advantages in education and opportunities in the growing life sciences industry.
“Together, we’re focused on making Western Mass a hub of life sciences jobs and education in the Commonwealth and empowering our people to build and grow our economy. Maybe one day, we’ll hear the Pioneer Valley compared side by side with Silicon Valley. It just takes guts and vision to make it happen,” Sen. Lesser said.
As Senate Chairman of the Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, Sen. Lesser helped craft two major bills this year that invested millions of dollars in the state’s workforce.
One bill extended the state’s investments in companies, research centers and schools engaged in life sciences work, authorizing millions of dollars in grants to community colleges and vocational schools to increase employment opportunities. It also directed millions more toward innovative new programs at each UMass campus across the state.
The other, the economic development bonding bill, directed funds to regional workforce training programs and advanced manufacturing education, as well as MassWorks infrastructure projects.
The Amherst Area Chamber includes Belchertown.