To: Interested Parties
Fr: White House Communications
Da: April 22, 2009
Re: The Obama-Biden economic plan: creating jobs, strengthening the economy for Massachusetts families
Facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, President Obama started his Presidency with decisive action -- proposing and quickly passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Since the bill went into effect, the ARRA has already helped put money back in the pockets of 95 percent of working Americans, created and saved jobs across the country and made key investments in our community to help kickstart the economy. To ensure that the funds are spent efficiently and effectively, President Obama tasked Vice President Biden with overseeing the implementation of ARRA, and projects have already begun to come in under budget across the country. As the President prepares to introduce the details of his budget and further plans to revitalize the economy, here’s a look at how his policies have impacted Massachusetts in the first three months of his administration.
IMPACT OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ECONOMIC POLICIES ON MASSACHUSETTS
- Making Work Pay: The President’s tax-cut – which covers more Americans than any in history – is putting more than $1.2 billion back in the pockets of more than 2.4 million hard-working Massachusetts families.
- $23,966,942 to support child care for working families.
- $42,230,600 in block grants to foster energy efficiency in building, transportation, and a wide range of other improvements.
- $122,077,457 to support the weatherization of homes, including adding more insulation, sealing leaks and modernizing heating and air conditioning equipment.
- $54,911,000 to the State Energy Program, available for rebates to consumers for energy saving improvements; development of renewable energy projects; promotion of Energy Star products; efficiency upgrades for state and local government buildings; and other innovative state efforts to help save families money on their energy bills.
- $1,535,042,259 potentially available to Massachusetts to lay the foundation for a generation of education reform and help save thousands of teaching jobs at risk due to state and local budget cuts.
- $1,300,000 to fund 1 new Community Health Center, which will serve an estimated 7,060 patients and create a projected 50 jobs.
- $8,618,594 to expand services at 36 existing Community Health Centers, which will expand service to an additional 61,787 patients and create or save a projected 245 jobs.
- $2,094,570 to provide meals to low-income seniors.
- $302,502,000 made available in Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) to protect health care for the families hit hard by the economic crisis and some of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.
- $4,266,874 in vaccines and grants to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need.
- $425,065,255 in highway funds to help build and repair roads and bridges.
- $319,718,084 to repair and build public transportation infrastructure.
- $5.4 million to address airport safety and security, infrastructure, runway safety, increased capacity, and mitigation of environmental impacts.
- More than $40.7 million for state and local law enforcement assistance available through the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. The JAG Program supports a variety of efforts such as hiring and support for law enforcement officers; multijurisdictional drug and gang task forces; crime prevention and domestic violence programs; and courts, corrections, treatment, and justice information sharing initiatives.
REAL RESULTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
Thanks to the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, real impact is already being felt across the state.
Because of the Stimulus Bill and New Contracts, Green Energy Companies Are Looking to Hire Many New Employees. "The clean-tech and green industries in Massachusetts are hiring. Companies looking to add employees include Aeronautica Windpower in Plymouth, lithium-ion battery maker Boston-Power Inc. in Westborough, and Conservation Services Group, also in Westborough… The workforce expansions are being partly spurred by the federal economic stimulus package, which includes billions for home energy-efficiency upgrades and an extension of a tax credit for renewable energy technologies such as wind power… Because of the stimulus bill as well as several new contracts, Cowell plans to add 200 more jobs this year. The company currently employs about 400 and does business in 22 states. At least 30 to 40 of the new jobs will be in Massachusetts, he said. ‘We’re sort of the tip of the iceberg,’ Cowell said. ‘A couple of hundred people will be hired here, but that means that 2,000 people will be hired at the local level to do the work that we spec out and help facilitate.’ … At Boston-Power, which makes the Sonata battery used in Hewlett-Packard's notebook computers, vice president of marketing Sally Bament said she is looking to hire about two dozen people in marketing, sales, and other areas. Evergreen Solar, the Marlborough-based maker of solar panels, also is hoping to hire 90 to 100 people at a manufacturing plant in Devens, said Gary Pollard, vice president of human resources. Aeronautica Windpower, meanwhile, hopes to bring on between 50 and 100 employees to begin producing midscale wind turbines at a facility that the company hopes to open somewhere in the state this spring." [The Boston Globe, 3/6/09]
Clean-Tech and Green Industries in Massachusetts Are Hiring, Partly Spurred by Stimulus Package. "The clean-tech and green industries in Massachusetts are hiring. Companies looking to add employees include Aeronautica Windpower in Plymouth, lithium-ion battery maker Boston-Power Inc. in Westborough, and Conservation Services Group, also in Westborough. Eco-friendly experience is a plus, but not required. The workforce expansions are being partly spurred by the federal economic stimulus package, which includes billions for home energy-efficiency upgrades and an extension of a tax credit for renewable energy technologies such as wind power."
Boston-Power Was About to Hire Two Dozen People in Marketing, Sales and Other Areas. "At Boston-Power, which makes the Sonata battery used in Hewlett-Packard's notebook computers, vice president of marketing Sally Bament said she is looking to hire about two dozen people in marketing, sales, and other areas." [Boston Globe, 3/6/09]
Evergreen Solar Was Hoping to Hire 90 to 100 People for Its Manufacturing Plant. "Evergreen Solar, the Marlborough-based maker of solar panels, also is hoping to hire 90 to 100 people at a manufacturing plant in Devens, said Gary Pollard, vice president of human resources. The plant, which opened last summer, is expected to employ more than 800 when it reaches full capacity." [Boston Globe, 3/6/09]
Aeronautica Windpower Planned to Add 50 to 100 Employees to Produce Wind Turbines. "Aeronautica Windpower, meanwhile, hopes to bring on between 50 and 100 employees to begin producing midscale wind turbines at a facility that the company hopes to open somewhere in the state this spring. Potential jobs include technical positions that mechanics, assembly line workers, and others might fit into, as well as positions in business development and customer relations. The company currently has a 10-person staff refurbishing wind turbines." Boston Globe, 3/6/09]
GreatPoint Energy Inc. Is Teaming Up With a University to Start a Paid Internship Program, Hopes to Hire Trained Program Graduates as Full-Time Employees."And at GreatPoint Energy Inc. in Cambridge, executive vice president Daniel Goldman, said his company wants to hire more people, and also is teaming with the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth to start a paid internship program that will give students an on-the-job opportunity to learn how to turn materials like coal, wood chips, and even trash into natural gas. ‘What we'd probably like to do is train the people,’ Goldman said, ‘and then as they graduate, make them full-time analysts.’" [Boston Globe,3/6/09]
Conservation Services Group Planned to Hire 200 People Because of the Stimulus, Expected 2,000 More Would Be Hired to Execute Work Facilitated By Firm’s Work. "Soon after Congress passed the nearly $800 billion bill last month, Stephen Cowell, chief executive of Conservation Services Group, said he told his staff, ‘Get the resumes together.’ In the last six months, the energy-efficiency company has hired about 50 employees in its main office. Because of the stimulus bill as well as several new contracts, Cowell plans to add 200 more jobs this year. The company currently employs about 400 and does business in 22 states. At least 30 to 40 of the new jobs will be in Massachusetts, he said. ‘We're sort of the tip of the iceberg,’ Cowell said. ‘A couple of hundred people will be hired here, but that means that 2,000 people will be hired at the local level to do the work that we spec out and help facilitate.’" [Boston Globe, 3/6/09]
Massachusetts Will Receive $21.1 Million For Work Force Development, Which Will Create An Estimated 10,000 Jobs Statewide. Stimulus funding for summer jobs was initially announced March 27 by Gov. Deval Patrick, though specific allocations were not provided. According to a release from Patrick’s office, $6.67 million from the state’s YouthWorks summer jobs program is being combined with $3.1 million in public safety funds and $21.1 million in work force development funds provided American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to increase options. The money is expected to result in 10,000 jobs statewide." [The Herald News, 4/5/09]
More than 500 Workers Built New Green Macallen Building in Boston’s Southie Neighborhood. "The traditionally tough, blue-collar neighborhood of Southie in south Boston is on the forefront of a ‘green’ revolution and serves as an example of a blooming work force. Steel-toed construction workers helped erect the city's first green building and now the Macallen building stands as a revolutionary, eco-friendly structure. It also represents a bridge to a greener future -- one in which the president said is essential to America's economic success in the 21st century…More than 500 men and women built the Macallen building and many of those jobs ran the entire length of construction." ["Good Morning America," ABC News, 4/15/09 (WITH VIDEO)]
Unions Are Retraining Members for Green Jobs & Approximately 1,200 Community Colleges are Offering Courses at Reasonable Prices. "The good news is that the retraining is already starting to happen, Ellis said. With construction workers, their unions are showing them new green ways to build and how to use recycled steel and new materials. At the same time, there are about 1,200 community colleges around the country offering courses in green retraining at prices that most people can afford, he added. Some workers are being retrained right now on the job site for such tasks as sorting material for recycling, but other more complicated jobs such as wiring solar arrays and welding on a wind turbine 200 feet up can take up to a couple of years of community college training, he said. For unemployed workers who already have the basic skills -- plumbers, electricians and welders -- they just need to gain extra knowledge like working with low-flow toilets or a new, efficient electrical system, Cheney said." ["Good Morning America," ABC News, 4/15/09 (WITH VIDEO)]
Two "Massive" Repaving Projects In Western MA Funded With Recovery Act Dollars Are Expected To Begin Soon; "These Job-Creating Projects, Which Get Underway in the Spring, Will Help Jumpstart the Economy and Make Our Roads Safer," Said MA Transportation Secretary. "Work is expected to start soon on two massive repaving projects in Western Massachusetts that are funded with federal stimulus money. The two projects were advertised for bid on Saturday. One project includes $5 million for resurfacing 14.3 miles of Route 9 in Belchertown and Ware, according to the Patrick administration. A separate $4 million project calls for repaving three sections of Routes 5 and 10 in Westfield, Greenfield, Southampton, Easthampton and Northampton. ‘These job creating projects, which get under way in the spring, will help jump-start the economy and make our roads safer,’ said Transportation Secretary James Aloisi Jr." [The Republican (Springfield, MA), 4/8/09]
Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino Announced Plans to Use Stimulus Funds to Create 10,000 Summer Jobs for Young People, Targeting the 60 Neediest Communities. "Boston Latin School senior Meghan Sutherby, 18, is struggling to find a job to help pay for college this fall… But help may be coming soon for thousands of Massachusetts teenagers like Meghan from the federal economic stimulus bill. Governor Deval L. Patrick and Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston have plans to use $30 million dollars from economic stimulus funds to create 10,000 jobs, targeting the 60 neediest communities around Massachusetts. In Boston, a $9 million combination of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and state and local funding sources will allow the city to expand the summer jobs program to hire people as old as age 24, instead of just 14-18 as in previous years, officials said. Menino said his goal is to create jobs for 10,000 youth this summer, including 3,500 to 4,500 in private-sector positions." [NECN.com, 3/26/09]
Stimulus Funds Will Clean Up Sites Contaminated By Chemical Wood Treatment Plants. "Foxboro and Mansfield's redevelopment plans for the former Hatheway-Patterson Superfund site got a huge boost Wednesday when the cleanup got $10 to $25 million in federal stimulus funds. This final cleanup funding should facilitate Foxboro's plans for a 120-space, Foxboro-only parking lot for the Mansfield MBTA commuter rail station and restore at least five acres to Mansfield's tax rolls, said state Rep. Jay Barrows, R-Mansfield…Foxboro Finance Director Randy Scollins called the parking lot project ‘shovel ready.’ ‘I'm thrilled for the Foxboro commuters that use the commuter rail service,’ he said. ‘We're thrilled that we're actually going to be able to bring that to fruition, because parking is at a premium down there.’ The cleanup started during the mid-1990s, [EPA Remedial Project Manager David] Lederer said. Mansfield officials have spent years trying to get the contaminated former chemical wood treatment plant cleaned up. Mansfield owns about 38 acres of the site. Foxboro officials took 1.77 acres in their town in the summer of 2007. Both towns took the sites for nonpayment of taxes. ‘I didn't think I would see it in my lifetime,’ Mansfield Town Manager John D'Agostino said of the final cleanup." [Foxboro Reporter, 4/16/09]
Southwick-Tolland School Superintendent: District Employees Will Keep Their Jobs Thanks To Federal Stimulus Money. "Southwick-Tolland Regional School District employees will keep their jobs thanks to federal stimulus money, Superintendent John D. Barry said Tuesday. District officials don't know yet exactly how much money they will receive, but the district's proposed fiscal 2010 budget puts the stimulus line number at $363,692, although the district could receive a little bit more… ‘Basically, it's been the same budgeting process that we had had in the past, but this time we have three basic components, instead of just two,’ Barry said, referring to the district's share of the federal stimulus money. Those funds, along with the towns' contributions and the state Chapter 70 money, will make up the bulk of the system's revenue next year. Thanks to the money, Barry said the system, which was considering layoffs and program cuts, would be able to save several positions. ‘We do what we can to save jobs and we are saving jobs with this money,’ Barry said. ‘We are fortunate to be one of 160 school districts that are getting this financial help.’ At some point in the process, five full-time job cuts were considered." [The Republican (Springfield, MA), 4/8/09]
Massachusetts Will Use $764 Million in Stimulus Funding to Prevent Further Cuts at Hospitals That Serve the Poor – Gov. Said Recovery Funds "Softened Some of the Blow." "Massachusetts will use $764 million from the federal stimulus package to shore up healthcare services and prevent further job and program cuts at hospitals that serve large numbers of poor patients, Governor Deval Patrick said yesterday. The money, which is coming to the state through the Medicaid program, will also enable the state to preserve current benefits and eligibility levels for MassHealth recipients, and for residents who get subsidized health insurance under the 2006 law mandating insurance coverage. A reserve fund will be set up to meet anticipated increases in demand for the programs driven by the economic downturn… ‘We've had to make cuts, that's true. But thanks to the recovery funds, we have softened some of the blow,’ Patrick told an overflow crowd yesterday afternoon at Cambridge Hospital. ‘We can't avoid every tough decision in health and human services . . . but we are doing everything we can to minimize the impact on the populations that depend on you and your government more in times like these.’" [Boston Globe, 3/26/09]
Braintree, Mass. School Department In Line For Nearly $3 Million In Stimulus Money That Will Help Offset Looming Layoffs. "The school department could be getting some financial relief with the help of nearly $2.9 million from the federal stimulus package. Democratic state Sens. Brian A. Joyce of Milton and Michael Morrissey of Quincy, whose districts include parts of Braintree, and state Rep. Joseph Driscoll, D-Braintree, reported Friday that Gov. Deval Patrick has earmarked $168 million Massachusetts will receive for education. Braintree is in line for the additional money for the fiscal year beginning July 1 because it is among 166 school districts that are below funding levels. The state’s historic 1993 education reform law established foundation budgets for communities, setting a minimum funding threshold districts must meet so students receive a ‘fair and adequate’ education. The Legislature would still have to approve the measure before Braintree gets any money. ‘This is obviously very good news for us if these figures are finalized,’ school Superintendent Peter Kurzberg said Friday in a telephone interview. Kurzberg said he wants to know if there is a restriction on how the money can be used. ‘We are hopeful that we will see a portion or all of the money coming to Braintree,’ he said. ‘It certainly makes our picture look much brighter.’ Only recently, school officials said layoffs were looming to help offset hikes for special education and step increases for teachers. The proposed $47.3 million school budget for the next fiscal year reflects a 4.75 percent increase from current spending. Meanwhile, the town is looking at a likely reduction of $2.1 million in state aid during the next fiscal year. A public hearing on the school budget is set for 7 p.m. Monday at town hall. ‘I am very encouraged by this proposal,’ Joyce said. ‘It means the world to our families, students and teachers in Braintree that we can maintain a high level of academics.’ Joyce, a member of the state’s Committee on Federal Stimulus Oversight, said he looked forward to working with the governor and other lawmakers as they strive to help communities during difficult financial times. Joyce, who also represents Canton, said the town’s school department would receive an additional $237,322 in funding under the same proposal." [Patriot Ledger, 3/21/09]
Boston Mayor: A Plan To Spend $3.3 Million on Long-Planned Improvements to Public Housing Will Create About 700 Jobs Over the Next Few Years. "The city plans to put its first millions in federal stimulus cash to work as early as next month as part of the redevelopment of the Washington-Beech housing development in Roslindale, Mayor Thomas M. Menino said yesterday. The Boston Housing Authority outlined plans yesterday to spend $33.3 million of the funds flowing to the city from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act over the next year on long-planned improvements to public housing and on the energy efficiency of some residences. The mayor's office said yesterday that the spending plan will create about 700 jobs over the next few years…" [The Boston Globe, 3/12/09]
Fall River Will Open A Career Center Using Stimulus Funds. "Federal stimulus funds are once again funneling into the city, this time to help create jobs for the city’s young people. Mayor Robert Correia and Jim Calkins, director of the Bristol County Training Consortium, will announce the opening of a career center aimed directly at young people looking for summer jobs…The Youth Connection will be opened in the historic building and serve as a place where youths aged 14 to 24 can find information on employment opportunities specific to them…Calkins said supplying youths with employment takes on additional significance when considering the current economic climate. It [sic] think we’ll find this is more significant than ever in our area," Calkins said. "Many youth’s parents are experiencing layoffs and family incomes are substantially decreased, so this may be the only type of income coming into the family." [The Herald News, 4/5/09]
Stimulus Will Help Brockton Keep or Rehire At Least a Dozen Police Jobs. "Federal stimulus money is starting to flow into the region, giving communities hope there may be some relief from the budget crisis that cities and towns are facing. Brockton learned this week that $5.5 million is headed to the city for various programs, and Mayor James E. Harrington said there’s more to come. ‘The money is starting to trickle down,’ Harrington said Friday. ‘We’re hoping this is the tip of the iceberg. They’ve been talking about this for weeks, now we’re starting to see some details.’ Of the $5.5 million announced this week, $675,256 is headed to the Police Department and will ease layoffs, the mayor said. Other funds are earmarked as Community Development Block Grants to be used at the mayor’s discretion on roads and other public projects. Additional money is coming to Brockton for homeless prevention and for the Housing Authority…The $675,256 in law enforcement funding will save 12 to 15 police jobs or if it comes after the layoffs, allow for rehiring, he said." [Wicked Local Brockton, 3/6/09]
Stimulus Funds To Aid Local Massachusetts Road Construction and Transit Projects. "Gov. Deval Patrick announced Friday that Massachusetts can spend $437.9 million on transportation projects that will include three local projects…The local projects include a new Route 24 interchange with an exit between exits 8 and 9 off Route 24 in Freetown, and resurfacing Route 6 in Swansea and Westport. The Route 24 interchange already includes a $4.7 million earmark from Congress and $1.2 million in state funding. The remaining cost of the project, $66.9 million, will be funded by the federal highway stimulus package. The Westport repaving costs $5.4 million and the Swansea resurfacing costs $4.1 million. Federal officials have also announced an additional $319 million in recovery funds will go toward regional transit authorities and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Southeastern Regional Transit Authority will receive about $4.5 million to replace seven buses, six vans, fareboxes and support equipment, New Bedford terminal improvements, facility and office building, security gates and transit enhancements." [Herald News, 3/6/09]
Laid Off Software Engineer Found a New Job in the Green Tech Sector, Looked There Because He Expected the Stimulus to Help the Industry. "Some, like Del Sian, are already benefiting from the expected injection of cash. Sian, a software development manager, lost his job of three years at Fidelity in November and didn't know where he'd find work. His previous employer, a company in the medical field, had just gone through a round of layoffs. So, he called a recruiter, who had previously helped him find work, and also posted his resume online. He was hoping for an energy-related job, he said, because he knew it was a ‘hot industry.’ Then the recruiter called him about Conservation Services Group. He's been on the job about five weeks, working again in software development. ‘I'm very happy,’ Sian said. When he first researched the company, he recalled, ‘I said, 'Wow, this has a lot of potential - especially with the stimulus package coming down the road.'’" [Boston Globe, 3/6/09]
South Shore And Cape Cod Will Receive $674,794 To Expand Services At Community Health Centers. "U.S. Rep. Bill Delahunt today announced the release of $674,793 to expand services offered at community health centers on the South Shore and Cape Cod. ‘These grants will aid health centers on the South Shore and Cape Cod in their efforts to provide care to an increasing number of patients during the current economic downturn,’ said Delahunt. The grants will be distributed to a number of health centers on the South Shore and Cape Cod, including: $203,851 to Manet Community Health Center in Quincy, $128,237 to Duffy Health Center in Hyannis, $197,295 to Outer Cape Health Services of Orleans and $145,410 to the Cape Cod Community Health Center in Mashpee." [US Fed News, 4/10/09]
Stimulus Funding Will Help Support Students In Low-Income Districts While Updating School Technology And Curriculum. "Millions in federal stimulus dollars are expected to flow to high-poverty school districts under a plan announced Thursday by Gov. Deval L. Patrick to prop up local schools. The grants will come from the federal Title I program, designed for schools and districts with a high concentration of low-income students. The money will go to 258 school districts, regional, technical and vocational schools and charter schools. Massachusetts stands to receive an additional $163 million from the Title I program. Pittsfield would benefit the most in the Berkshires from the stimulus dollars, with $481,279 in new Title I funding heading back to the city courtesy of President Obama's federal stimulus package. Pittsfield Superintendent Howard ‘Jake’ Eberwein III said the extra money will help preserve programs in schools that serve the city's neediest students while allowing the district to invest in lasting advances, like better technology, up-to-date curricula, and personnel. ‘We are looking at the stimulus money and thinking very carefully about how we can use it to protect programs but also build programs that we can sustain beyond the stimulus,’ Eberwein said. ‘That's the challenge. We know we have to protect what we have, but we also have to develop and invest in new programs.’"[Berkshire Eagle Online, 4/10/09]