One of the most important priorities of our government is to help spur community development and economic opportunity in every community across Massachusetts. Everyone should have the opportunity to pursue the American Dream, especially our Commonwealth’s hard working families. Toward that goal, we must actively pursue efforts to create and preserve jobs, while also giving people the skills and education they need to succeed in our changing workforce and economy.
One of my proudest achievements as a Massachusetts Senator is the creation of the Community Development Partnership Act (CDPA), now known as the Community Investment Tax Credit, which was included as a key component of a jobs bill signed by Governor Patrick in 2012. This tax credit enables local residents and businesses to work together to address specific local challenges and opportunities, thereby creating jobs, economic opportunity, and vibrant communities. I am proud to say that the creation of this tax credit has helped to drive innovation in Massachusetts and spur local development in the communities that need it most.
Throughout my tenure in the Senate, I have also been a strong supporter of promoting a business-friendly environment in Massachusetts that helps small businesses open, expand and create jobs. After watching my family run a small business in Cambridge for over 40 years, I have a first-hand understanding of the struggles that many small businesses face. In spite of these obstacles, small businesses have remained the backbone of our cities and towns by helping to keep our neighborhoods vibrant, employ local residents, and provide support to communities across the state. Small businesses are vital job producers here in the Commonwealth, and it is of the highest importance that the Legislature provides them the tools they need to play a central role in our economy.
Furthermore, to ensure that we have an educated and skilled workforce, I strongly believe that we must provide ample support for career training, workforce development opportunities, and youth jobs here in the Commonwealth. Massachusetts career centers provide vital job assistance services that not only connect workers with employers, but also provide prospective employees with the skills they need to succeed in today’s economy. One of my first acts as Senator, in the midst of the recession, was to ensure that career centers had the funding they needed to continue serving our residents. I have continually worked hard over the years to provide adequate resources for these career centers in order to provide training for the unemployed, as well as those seeking new careers.
Providing our Commonwealth’s youth with job opportunities to prepare them for the workforce has also been a top priority of mine as a Massachusetts Senator. Youth jobs provide students with valuable skills that lay the foundation for their future careers, as well as the success of our Commonwealth. Each year, I work hard to secure funding in the fiscal year budget for youth summer jobs, and I will continue to advocate on behalf of these job opportunities in my role as Vice Chair of Senate Ways and Means.