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Planning jobs of the future

Gov. Patrick speaks at workforce summit

Gov. Deval Patrick addressed an audience of public and private sector representatives at Sturbridge’s Publick House Tuesday, laying out a four-point plan for economic recovery in the commonwealth. Christopher Tanguay. (click for larger version)
June 22, 2010
STURBRIDGE — Gov. Deval Patrick made a return visit to Sturbridge this week, laying out his four-point plan for economic recovery at the Massachusetts Jobs and Workforce Summit.

Tuesday's summit, which was held at the Publick House, featured an audience and panel of speakers representing the public and private sectors as well as unions and other organizations.

Despite the sweltering heat, the 100-plus-member audience enjoyed lunch while listening to an optimistic Patrick speak about Massachusetts' current economic state, and his projections for the commonwealth's fiscal stability in the coming years.

The four tenants of Patrick's plan to strengthen the state's — and residents' — finances are education, innovation, infrastructure and regional equity.

"This is the worst economy in living memory," Patrick said, acknowledging the difficulties many people still face every day despite reports that the economy is improving.

"We've done what you all have had to do," Patrick said, "figure out how to do more with less."

Patrick said in the last two years, the commonwealth has faced approximately $9 billion in budget gaps, and has eliminated 2,600 state jobs with more expected to be cut in the future.

"We have many, many tough budget decisions ahead of us," he said.

To illustrate just how difficult some Massachusetts residents have it these days, Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Joanne Goldstein said training agencies and referral services have been stretched to their limits.

See Thursday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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