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Middlesex 3 in the News

Middlesex 3 “What’s Happening in Bedford” event was published in News Break,  a regional local news aggregator. After being publsihed in The Bedford Citizen 

Some quotes from the article,  Anchor Line Partners General Manager DeAnna Murphy said, “Bedford has done a wonderful job in setting the stage for a biotech boom,” she asserted last week at an in-person gathering sponsored by the Middlesex 3 Coalition. “Crosby Drive feels important. It feels smart – four lanes with sidewalks on both sides and lab clusters. This corridor is great.”

Stephanie Cronin, executive director, told the audience of more than 40 that the event was designed as “a casual conversation,” a format that she said has proven to be “more meaningful and authentic.”

“What’s Going on in Bedford” was all good news, delivered by real estate owners, a tenant, employers and other business representatives, and town government

Read more Here

MA State House

Updates from the State House

OUTDOOR DINING & “TO-GO” COCKTAILS

Earlier last month, the Governor signed a FY22 supplemental budget that extends outdoor dining and “to go cocktails” provisions to April 1, 2023. I know this topic has been on our collective minds for some months, so I did want to offer this update as we all gear up for the summer season.

SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

Small Business Week is May 1-7, 2022! This year, SBA will hold a 4-day virtual summit – folks can register here. In addition, SBA will hold an in-person breakfast to celebrate the National Small Business Week Awards – register here.

Finally, SBA has announced its 2022 THRIVE Emerging Leaders Reimagined program. This 6-month intensive program helps CEOs and Executives get unstuck and take their business to the next level. Participants will learn leadership skills through an MBA-level curriculum, receive tailored business coaching, and build relationships with a community of business owners, advisors, and experts. Learn more here.

WORKFORCE ROAD SHOWS

This week, we kicked off the Regional Workforce Road Shows at Keefe Technical High School and Bridgewater State University. It’s not too late for employers to register for these sessions! Register or pre-register here. We look forward to seeing you out “on the road.” 

Mass FORWARD Legislation for a Post-Pandemic Economy

The Administration filed a substantial legislative package to support Massachusetts’s path forward into a post-pandemic economy, An Act Investing in Future Opportunities for Resiliency, Workforce, and Revitalized Downtowns (or FORWARD). The legislation would enable new infrastructure and jobs, and invest in every city and town in the Commonwealth.  This legislation contains a significant set of opportunities to advance community and economic development, including a number of shovel-ready projects in cities and towns across the Commonwealth. These projects are consistent with the state’s policy objectives and almost all represent projects recently proposed by municipalities, and would ensure that every community receives at least $250,000 in funding. I encourage you to review the more detailed summary of the bill in the press release.

You can review the bill text to see the projects in your cities and towns that would be funded by MA FORWARD, and express support to your elected officials.

Today, we find ourselves at a unique moment in the Commonwealth’s history. We are facing urgent needs, but are armed with unprecedented collaboration and available funding to address them.

Hire Now: New Hiring and Training Grants for MA Employers

To help employers quickly hire and train new workers amid current staffing challenges, the Baker-Polito Administration recently announced a new HireNow program that provides eligible employers a $4,000 per employee grant

  • What employers can take part? The program is open to all Massachusetts employers, including both for-profit and non-profit, who are in good standing with the Department of Unemployment Assistance and Department of Revenue obligations. While you don’t need to be headquartered in Massachusetts, you must have a Massachusetts business location (employees’ homes are not considered an acceptable location).
  • Who are eligible hires? Eligible hires are those you bring on after March 23, 2022, who are scheduled to work at least 30 hours per week. In addition, they must be paid between minimum wage ($14.25/hour) and a maximum of $42.50/hour for non-exempt employees and $21,375 and $85,000 annually for exempt employees.
  • How do I apply for a grant? To get started, you’ll need to create a HireNow account online at Mass.Gov/HireNow and pre-register as an employer. Once you hire an eligible worker, you’ll complete a newly hired employee registration. This step must take place within 60 days of their first day of employment.
  • What amount will I receive? You can be awarded up to $4,000 for each employee hired, with a limit of $400,000 per employer.
  • Are there limits on my use of the funds? The funds can be used for several hiring and training activities, including:
  • Subsidizing additional time spent shadowing or an extended on-the-job training during onboarding
  • Hiring an external training provider
  • Offering a sign-on bonus
  • Giving a retention bonus
  • Offering tuition reimbursement benefits
  • When do the funds get issued? Once you hire an employee and they remain employed for 60 days, you’ll be prompted to confirm that they retained employment, which will result in grant approval and trigger the payment process. The funds will be made by EFT.

To Learn more and Apply Click here

Women’s Wellness Series

Lowell General Hospital is hosting events throughout 2022 to bring awareness to key issues which women may face with their health and wellness. April’s event will focus on healthier eating habits and women’s gut health. Join them at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center on Tuesday, April 12th from 8:30am to 9:30am. The event’s featured speaker is Dr. Supriya Rao from Integrated Gastroenterology Consultants. To register visit this link. If you have any questions email Kylie Desrosiers, Special Events Coordinator, at [email protected].

Expanding workforce access in the biotech industry: Northeastern BioConnect Phase 2

In response to the EDA’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge, theBioConnects New EnglandPhase 2 Proposal was successfully submitted March 15. With over 125 letters of support (Including Middlesex 3 Coalition) from municipal, state, and federal levels of government, community organizations, academia, and industry across Massachusetts, Maine, and Rhode Island, the coalition is incredibly grateful for your engagement and support throughout the proposal development in Phase 2.

The coalition,BioConnects New England, builds a hub-and-spoke model that supports existing and establishes new biomanufacturing infrastructure and training pathways to increase employment and educational opportunities for low- and moderate-income communities in Massachusetts, Maine and Rhode Island.

The coalition will strengthen the life sciences talent pipeline by providing workers with multiple on- and off-ramps into the biotech industry through high school career-pathway programs, apprenticeships, community college training, college degrees, and entrepreneurship opportunities. Community engagement with residents in Gateway Cities and rural areas across the three states will be a key strategy throughout the initiative to increase STEM career opportunities, particularly for women and people of color.

Until now, the common perception has been that biotechnology is stuck in the ivory tower of academia, inaccessible to all but a chosen few. BioConnects New England will ensure economic opportunities created by this fast-growing industry offer equal access to stable, well-paying jobs with a clear career pathway to prosperity.  After all, in order for the biotech industry to thrive, it needs to realize this as well.

BioConnects New England is co-led by Middlesex 3 Member Jared R. Auclair, associate dean and director of the Biopharmaceutical Analysis and Training Laboratory (BATL) at Northeastern University, and Alicia Sasser Modestino, an associate professor and research director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy atNortheastern University.

Read More Here: https://www.bizjournals.com/boston/news/2022/03/17/viewpoint-expanding-workforce-access-in-the-biote.html

Erland Construction: Achieving New Heights with EMD Serono

Erland Construction Completes New 149,000sf State-of-the-Art Lab & Office Building for EMD Serono.

Erland, in collaboration with FMC, PM Group, and INTEC Group, Inc., have completed a new 149,000 square-foot office and lab building on EMD Seronos growing Research & Development campus in Billerica, Mass. The team worked closely with BR+A, BSC Group, and LeMessurier to design and complete the project with an emphasis on reducing or eliminating occupational hazards and risks, an initiative known as Prevention through Design.

Dubbed the Horizon Building, the 4-story cutting-edge facility provides EMD Serono employees with a vibrant environment to continue shaping the advancement of specialty pharmaceuticals. The building houses flexible lab and open-concept office spaces, conference rooms, huddle areas, and a new caf for the campus.

The vision and purpose of the Horizon Building underscores the value EMD Serono places on fostering innovation and collaboration among its employees. Reflecting on EMD Seronos commitment to the health and safety of its employees and its global sustainability strategy, the building has been designed and constructed to achieve LEED Gold and WELL Platinum certification.

To Learn more about Erland Construction visit their Website

Baker-Polito Administration Launches HireNow Hiring and Training Employer Grant Program

$4,000/Employee Program Aims to Boost Hiring with Labor Force Participation Rates Still Lower than Pre-Pandemic

The Baker-Polito Administration today launched a new hiring and training employer grant program, “HireNow,” which will help employers quickly hire and train new workers and get more people back to work. The new program provides eligible employers with a $4,000 per employee grant, which can be used to cover training costs or as a signing bonus for new employees. By providing employers with these flexible funds to facilitate quick hiring, the Administration is focusing on addressing continued hiring challenges faced by employers and increasing labor force participation. Employers can learn more about the program and apply atwww.mass.gov/hirenow.

The program is open to all Massachusetts employers, including both for-profit and non-profit entities (excluding federal, state, and municipal governments). Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta announced the launch of the program today at LabCentral, a Cambridge non-profit that provides support and working space for start-ups in the biotech and life sciences sectors. LabCentral plans to hire lab operations and other technical and administrative staff this year and will use funds from HireNow to support training costs.

HireNow aims to address hiring challenges faced by employers that have been brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data, there are over 85,000 workers not participating in the labor market compared to pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, employers’ need for workers has continued to increase, with unfilled job postings up 20% compared to pre-pandemic levels and approximately 200,000 open jobs available across the Commonwealth.

The Administration is focused on addressing these challenges through a variety of efforts, including by expanding access and awareness to its existingapprenticeships,incumbent worker training programs, theCareer Technical Initiativeand more.Local MassHire Workforce Boards are also expanding resources to match employers and workers with training programs, and regions are hiring new staff members to serve as regional “Market Makers” to connect companies to graduates of new education and training programs starting up in their areas funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.

The HireNow program will build on these efforts by providing resources directly to employers that make it possible to immediately hire new employees and provide them with necessary training to fill open roles. The program will be supported by $50 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds.

“We are excited to add HireNow to our growing number of grant programs that aim to close job and equity gaps across the Commonwealth,” said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta. “We hope these funds will encourage employers to expand their hiring strategy to include those with potential for learning and growing on the job, over a direct-skills match, as this will widen the candidate pool and help both jobseekers and businesses.”

“Getting people back to work is a key element of our strategy for economic recovery and the ‘HireNow’ program allows us double down on these efforts,”said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy.”I look forward to this program’s success not just in enhancing access to employment opportunities, but accelerating it.””HireNow will be an excellent complement to the Career Technical Initiative we launched two years ago which

Program Details:

        Employer Eligibility: Any Massachusetts employer who is in good standing with Department of Unemployment Assistance and Department of Revenue obligations and is not de-barred by the state is eligible (excluding federal, state, and municipal governments). Applications must be submitted by the employer, not an education or training partner.

        Application Process: Employers must pre-register online at Mass.Gov/HireNow by providing employer information. Following the employee’s hire and 60-day retention period, employers will submit a final application for funding. The Commonwealth will also approve the planned use of the funds (training costs, signing bonus, etc.) when approving the application.

        Eligible Hires: Hires must be made after March 23, 2022, be retained for a minimum of 60 days, and be placed in jobs that are at least 30 hours per week.  New hires need to be Massachusetts residents employed in Massachusetts.  There are also limits on compensation:

o   Minimum eligible compensation: $14.25 / hr (minimum wage)

o   Maximum eligible compensation: $42.50 / hr (~$85K annualized)

        Funding: up to $4,000 for each eligible employee hired, with a limit of $400,000 per employer. Funds will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

SBA Announces Funding Opportunity to Provide Continuation of Boots to Business Entrepreneurship Training

TheU.S. Small Business Administrationinvites eligible non-profit organizations, state and local government agencies, private sector firms, and institutions of higher learning to submit proposals to provide synchronous online entrepreneurship training to transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses. The entrepreneurship training shall be a continuation of the training participants receive as part of SBA’sBoots to Business(B2B) training program.

The awarded organization will develop and maintain a curriculum about entrepreneurship for the veteran and military community as a follow-on to the B2B and B2B Reboot programs. The awardee will also provide counseling, training, technical and financial skill development, as well as comprehensive business assessments and mentoring services.

This award is for a base project period of 12 months, with four 12-month non-compete continuation periods of 12 months each. The funding is available annually for up to five years. The SBA anticipates awarding one cooperative agreement from this announcement. For specific instructions on obtaining, completing, and submitting an application, visitwww.grants.govand search opportunity number SB-OVB2-22-002 or CFDA 59.044.

Proposals submitted via other media, including SBA’s website,will be rejected and will not be evaluated. Submissions must be sent viagrants.govno later than11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, April 11, 2022.

SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development will host an information session to answer questions about the funding opportunity on Friday, March 18, at 2 p.m. EDT. Please dial 202-765-1264 and enter access code: 119 636 209# or join through this Microsoft Teams link: Click here to join the meeting.

Direct any questions about the B2B funding opportunity to Jerry Godwin at[email protected]. Submit questions no later than Wednesday, March 16, at 5 p.m. EDT.

For issues withgrants.gov, please call the Grants.gov Support Line at 1-800-518-4726 or email[email protected].