November 2015

An update from the 495/MetroWest Partnership, the regional economic development council serving thirty-five communities in the state's economic engine, 495/MetroWest.

DEP Commissioner Suuberg

Addresses Partnership's

Water Committee

In September, the Partnership was pleased to host MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg, who provided an in-depth presentation on topics ranging from Executive Order 562 to Water Management Act Regulations to Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permits.  Commissioner Suuberg also highlighted two new DEP offices, the Office of Municipal Partnership and Governmental Affairs and the Office of Regulatory and Permit Ombudsman and Special Projects

Commissioner Suuberg and his team answered several questions from the diverse audience of public and private sector representatives.  The Partnership truly appreciated the time and open discussion by the Commisioner and several key DEP officials.

Later in September, the Partnership's Deputy Director, Jessica Strunkin, participated as a member of the Executive Order 562 Advisory Committee to MassDEP, which is providing "input on the regulations identified for amendment, rescission or retention and for work beyond the March 30, 2016 deadline."  We look forward to continuing our communication and work with MassDEP, Commisioner Suuberg and his team.

Please check out the Partnership's Water Resources Committee page for links to the Commissioner's presentation as well as resources on past topics and presentations.

If you are interested in attending future meetings of the Partnership's Water Resources Committee, please contact the Partnership's Deputy Director, Jessica Strunkin.


Employer Transportation

Roundtable on Nov. 19th

The Partnership, MassCommute, T4Mass, and Transportation for America are holding an Employer Roundtable on How Top Employers are Getting People to Work on Thursday, November 19th from 8:30-11:00 am. 

This event is being generously hosted by Skipjacks at Foxborough's Patriot Place, and special thanks to our hosts the Neponset Valley TMA and TransAction Associates.

If you're interested in solving the last mile difficulty for commuters, please join us to hear from...

  • Brendon Harrington, Transportation Director, Google
  • James Corless, Director, Transportation for America
  • Kristina Egan, Director, Transportation for Massachusetts
  • Thomas Ragno, Founder and Principal, King Street Properties with Melisa Tintocolis, Director of Economic Development for Lexington
  • Scott Zadakis, Executive Director, CrossTown Connect Transportation Management Association

We hope that you can join us for this discussion with national and state experts. If attending, please register at the event's webpage ASAP; space is limited.  Please note there is a $15 fee to attend.

 Future of Mill & Main in Maynard

If you haven't yet heard of Mill & Main in Maynard, no doubt you will be excited to learn of the plans for revitilizing the 1.1 million square feet of mill space formerly known as Clocktower Place.  The vision for Mill & Main is not just about reuse and modernizations but also about integrating the mill with Maynard's vibrant and walkable downtown.

In October, the Partnership's Energy & Sustainable Development  (ESD) Committee heard from Maynard's Town Administrator, Kevin Sweet, about how the Town has worked with the new owners of Mill & Main and about the shared goals for making Mill & Main and Maynard an ideal location for working, socializing, living, eating and shopping.

Jill Minkin and Henry St. Hilaire of Saracen Properties discussed their plans and significant investment in Mill & Main to make the historic mill a desitination for employers, employees, visitors and residents.  The Partnership's ESD webpage includes both a presentation and a video link which brings the vision for Mill & Main to life.

If you are interested in attending future meetings of the Partnership's ESD Committee, please contact the Partnership's Deputy Director, Jessica Strunkin.

Commuter Rail Line

Schedules Being Updated

In preparation for the updating of Commuter Rail Line schedules, in August the Partnership convened key stakeholders on the Fitchburg Line to discuss their goals for a reverse commute schedule with Astrid Glynn, MassDOT Rail and Transit Adminstrator, and Thomas Schiavone, Manager of Transit Programs at MassDOT.   

A viable schedule for workers coming from the Boston area to large regional employers like IBM, Cisco Systems, Red Hat and Juniper, has long been a priority for the Partnership as well as for the CrossTown Connect Transportation Management Association (TMA) and its partnering communities of Acton, Boxborough, Concord, Littleton, Maynard, Stow and Westford.

Representatives from CrossTown Connect, their communities, area employers, Devens  and MassDevelopment, and the Montachusett Regional Transit Authority attended the meeting hosted by Keith Bergman and the Town of Littleton.  A productive discussion ensued on topics ranging from the schedule to last mile challenges and exisiting transit resources. 

The Partnership appreciates MassDOT's attention to the needs of reverse commute schedules on the Fitchburg Line as well as to the long overdue updating of schedules on all the Commuter Lines.  We look forward to continuing our work on behalf of the 495/MetroWest region's transit and commuter demands.

The Partnership's Transportation Committee will meet on this topic on December 16th with Astrid Glynn of MassDOT and Ed Carr of the MetroWest RTA.  If you are interested in attending or receiving Transportation Committee notices, please contact the Partnership's Deputy Director, Jessica Strunkin.

Has your company expanded

in the last decade?

If so, then the state and MassEcon would like your confidential feedback on the experience via a brief online survey that is available until Nov. 7th.  The survey is part of an economic research study being conducted by the UMass Donahue Institute for MassEcon, with support from Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash. More background is online. Responses will be kept confidential while influencing policy and informing economic development initiatives.

Do you have a site that should

be considered for MassEcon's

ReadyMass 100 List?

MassEcon maintains a list of top properties and buildings - the ReadyMass 100 - that are ready for immediate occupancy or development by meeting minimum guidelines for infrastructure, permitting, size, and readiness.  If you'd like to submit a site for consideration that meets their minimum criteria, further information on the consideration process is online, and applications are being accepted until Nov. 13th. If a property is selected for inclusion in the ReadyMass100, a  $250 annual fee per property will be collected by MassEcon to cover program costs. 

 State Developments

State Economic Development Plan:  Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito, and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash have appointed Partnership Executive Director Paul Matthews to their Economic Development Planning Council.  This council of state leaders is charged with providing guidance and input into the preparation of a state economic development plan. Their first meeting was October 6th and featured an overview from Secretary Ash, who facilitated discussion on input from attendees.  The updated plan is expected to be released later in the month with a subseqent public hearing, followed by a Council meeting in December to review final input before the plan is filed with the Legislature.

MassDOT Wants to Hear from You!: In case you missed one of the many highway message boards, MassDOT is currently holding "Conversations" around the state to encourage public input as they plan their next five-year Capital Investment Plan (CIP).  The Partnership attended the October meeting in Natick, and the room was, in fact, buzzing with conversations at tables with MassDOT employees who specialized in topics ranging from RMV to highway, bike and pedestrian projects to MBTA service.  We advocated on behalf of the 495/MetroWest Region's Top Ten Transportation Nightmares.  We highlighted the need for improvements at I-90/I-495, I-495/Route 9, as well as for Last Mile transit options in the region.  Check out the MetroWest Daily News coverage for more information.

MPO Commission Work Continues:  The Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Commission held their third meeting in late October at the State House in Boston.  The 495/MetroWest region was well represented with Ed Carr of the MetroWest RTA on the Commission and Representative Chris Walsh in attendance along with Puja Mehta from Senator Spilka's staff.  Partnership staff also attended and submitted written comments to the Commission Chairs, Senator Thomas McGee and Representative William Straus.  The Partnership's primary concern is with finding ways to both fund and coordinate projects that cross MPO boundaries, including RTA projects.  See the Partnership's Letter for further details.  And stay tuned for a stakeholder survey on which the Partnership will assist with outreach.

Project Selection Advisory Council meets with MassDOT: The Council met in late October to discuss implementation of their recommendations to MassDOT as the next five-year CIP is developed.  Partnership staff attended and offered a few public comments on the importance of including Highway District staff in the evaluation of projects.  The Partnership commented on the Council's recommendations over the summer and will continue to follow their work and offer input as the Selection Process begins.

Thanks to our Supporters:


Atlantic Management

Avidia Bank

Bett Solutions, LLC

BJ's Wholesale Club

Capaccio Environmental Engineering

Capital Group Properties

Clarke Distribution Corp.

Commerce Bank

Crossroads Redevelopment

Cumberland Farms Inc.

Customers Bank


GateHouse Media

Green International Affiliates, Inc.

GZA GeoEnvironmental

The Gutierrez Company

Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare


J.M. Coull Inc.

Marlborough Hospital

MassBay Community College

MetroWest Regional Transit Authority

Middlesex Savings Bank

Milford Regional Medical Ctr.

National Development

Oxbow Partners

Patridge Snow & Hahn, LLP

People's United Bank

Quest Diagnostics

R.W. Holmes Realty Co, Inc.

Red Hat

Riemer & Braustein LLP

Riverbridge Mixed Use Development

St. Mary's Credit Union

Tata & Howard

Tetra Tech, Inc.

Transwestern | RBJ


Weston & Sampson



the morning of December 15th

for the Partnership's Annual Conference

featuring Lt. Governor Karyn Polito

special thanks to our event host


The International Golf Club and Resort

159 Ballville Rd, Bolton, MA 01740

Event sponsorships available; contact the

Partnership staff if interested



Secretary Beaton Addresses

Region at IBM's MASS Lab


 On August 11th, as part of the Partnership's Meet the Baker/Polito Cabinet forums, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton addressed the region at IBM's MASS Lab facility in Littleton, their largest software lab in North America.

As a Shrewsbury resident, environmental engineer, sustainability consultant, and former state legislator, Secretary Beaton has been a longtime leader on environmental and energy issues regionally and statewide. Secretary Beaton has worked with the Partnership for years on a wide range of issues, and intimately understands our region's needs and the interconnectedness of energy, the environment, and the economy.

The event was generously hosted by IBM and Bob McDonald, Vice President of Common Support and Services, and the MASS Lab Senior Location Executive. In a brief introduction, Bob shared an overview of their operations in Littleton, summarized their direct and indirect economic importance, and discussed the importance of leadership on energy issues.  He highlighted the need for stability of power to support economic growth in Massachusetts

Secretary Beaton's presentation touched on all aspects of the Baker/Polito Administration's leadership on energy and environmental affairs, as well as the importance of preserving open space and encouraging recreational uses of state parks and conserved land.  He commented on the synergy of energy and environmental affairs and noted that the only subject all six New England Governors have met to discuss was energy.  He addressed questions from legislators, municipal officials, and private companies on water resources, alternative energy, the cost and stability of energy, and net metering, as well as the challenges of overseeing such a wide range of environmental agencies.

Regional Employer Confidence

For the third straight year, the Partnership conducted a regional employer survey with Framingham State University and MetroWest495BIZ to provide regional leaders and policymakers with hard data on the business conditions facing our employers and top concerns for the year ahead. 

This year's survey continued the trend of optimism from our regional employers.  About 71% of the respondents feel that the regional economy will continue to improve, and nearly 40% plan to hire over the coming year. This optimism is an important message for our policymakers on the local, state, and federal levels, as well as for other companies considering 495/MetroWest as a business location, so the Partnership is integrating these findings into our business development initiatives on behalf of the region. 

We would like to thank our partners from MetroWest495BIZ and Framingham State University, especially Professor Michael Harrison, the survey’s author, and our outreach partners – the Corridor Nine, Marlborough Regional, MetroWest, Milford Area, and United Chambers of Commerce – as well as all of you who took the time to participate in this invaluable initiative. 

For more information on the survey results, the August edition of MetroWest495BIZ features extensive analysis, as well as a guest column by Partnership Executive Director Paul Matthews. 

 Partnering in the Region

Briefing the Lt. Governor:  At the invitation of Rep. Hannah Kane, Partnership staff and leaders met with Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito to brief her on the Partnership's ongoing initiatives and discussed regional infrastructure and policy needs.

Women in Transportation:  Partnership Deputy Director Jessica Strunkin attended a meeting of Women in Transportation and participated in a roundtable discusssion with the authors of Boots on the Ground, Flats in the Boardroom.

Addressing the State Treasurer's regional forum:  Partnership Executive Director Paul Matthews was on a panel for State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg's Office of Economic Empowerment, along with Kristin Lewis of Tufts Health Plan, Joyce Murphy of UMass Medical School, Maeghan Silverberg Welford of the Mass Tech Collaborative, Steven Tolman of the Mass. AFL-CIO and Roxbury Presbyterian Church Pastor Rev. Liz Walker.

State Listening Session: Partnership staff supported the MA Office of Business Development's Listening Session on the economy soliciting input for the state's economic development plan, generously hosted by Framingham State University.  Attendees included State Senator Karen Spilka, State Representatives Carolyn Dykema, Carmen Gentile, and Chris Walsh, along with the CEO's of the Corridor Nine, Marlborough Regional, MetroWest, and Milford Area Chambers of Commerce.

Economic Assistance Coordinating Council:  Partnership Executive Director Paul Matthews is a Gubernatorial appointment to the EACC, which oversees the state's Economic Development Incentive Program.  He represented the region in their September meeting in Worcester, which approved thirteen participating projects across the state.

Addressing Leadership MetroWest:  Partnership Deputy Director Jessica Strunkin addressed the Annual Meeting of Leadership MetroWest, participating in a panel discussion on regionalization with Dennis Giombetti, staff for Senator Karen Spilka and former Framingham Selectman, Mark Fine of MAPC, and Craig Davis, Chief of the Ashland Police Department, moderated by Ashland's Assistant Town Administrator Michael Herbert.

Touring GE Healthcare in Marlborough: Partnership Executive Director Paul Matthews was part of a tour of GE Healthcare's new space under construction at Atlantic Management's Marlborough Hills development.

Crosstown Connect Community Compact:  Partnership Deputy Director Jessica Strunkin attended the signing of the Community Compact with Lt. Governor Karyn Polto and representatives from Acton, Boxborough, Littleton, Maynard and Westford .

Touring Maynard with Congresswoman Tsongas, Senator Eldridge, and Rep. Hogan:  Partnership's Executive Director Paul Matthews was part of a tour of Maynard's Downtown and the MIll & Main project, hosted by Rep. Hogan and Sen. Eldridge for Congresswoman Tsongas.

MassDOT Board meeting:  Partnership Deputy Director Jessica Strunkin attended MassDOT's Board meetings to provide regional perspective on the challenges facing our transportation system.

Participating in MassEcon: Partnership Deputy Director Jessica Strunkin participated in their Location Support Committee's deliberations, providing regional perspective on site selection initiatives and attended their meeting with the new DCAMM Commissioner.

Meeting with municipal officials:  Partnership staff briefed  municipal officials from Holliston, Maynard, Hudson, Westford, and Southborough on the Partnership's ongoing initiatives and their municipal priorities.

Addressing the Milford Area Chamber's Government Affairs Committee:  Partnership Deputy Director Jessica Strunkin spoke to the Milford Area Chamber's Government Affairs Committee about issues of regional significance and recent legislative developments affecting the region.

Participating in Westford's EDSAT process:  Partnership Executive Director Paul Matthews participated in Westford's EDSAT process to provide regional economic development perspective and technical assistance.

SWAP Legislative Breakfast:  Partnership Deputy Director Jessica Strunkin attended the annual event for the South West Advisroy Planning Committee of MAPC which includes several 495 MetroWest communities.  Topics ranged from transportation to opiod addiction to open space preservation and zoning reforms.  The delegation answered many questions and the event was well attended.

Providing assistance to towns on development issues:  Partnership staff provided techncial assisance and support for meetings between municipal officials and the MA Office of Business Development on the potential redevelopment of Raytheon's property in Sudbury and a bottling plant in Littleton.

MA Manufacturing Month: Partnership Deputy Director Jessica Strunkin attended the launch of Manufacturing Month at the State House, with 495/MetroWest's own Representative John Fernandes hosting the event as Co-Chair of the Manufacturing Caucus. Speakers included Governor Baker, Senate President Rosenberg, Speaker DeLeo, and Housing & Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash.  Manufacturing continues to play an important role in Massachusetts and in the 495/MetroWest regional economy.

Supporting regional partners:  Partnership staff provided technical assistance and support by serving on the boards of the MetroWest Tourism and Visitors Bureau, the MetroWest/495 Transportation Management Association, Partners for a Skilled Workforce, T4Mass, and attending meetings for MetroWest Regional Collaborative, SWAP, and MAGIC.


Not Following the Partnership Yet?

Why Not??

Stay up-to-date on the Partnership’s work and events by following us on social media.  The Partnership has a Twitter account, LinkedIn Group and a Facebook page for you to follow, join or friend as a way to keep up with our various activities on behalf of the 495/MetroWest region.  No longer will you have to wait for our e-newsletter for the latest updates on the Partnership’s efforts; connect to one or all of our social media outlets today!


Special thanks to our state legislators for securing state funding for regional economic development, and the Office of Business Development for their support.

Special Thanks to Our Champion Investors:

Bose Corportation | Bowditch & Dewey LLP

Carruth Capital LLC  |  EMC² | IBM


Special Thanks to Our Partners:

Alexander, Aronson, Finning & Co. PC

Cisco Systems |  Genzyme, a Sanofi Company



Special Thanks to Our Advocates:

Beals + Thomas | DayPitney LLP

Dean College | Framingham State University

Mirick O'Connell | NAIOP Massachusetts

Patriot Place | Sam Park & Co. Ltd.

Staples  |  Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc

TJX Companies  |  TransAction Associates

VHB/Vanasse Hangen Brustlin


495/MetroWest Partnership

Private Sector CoChair: Gerry Preble, Beals + Thomas

Public Sector CoChair: Joseph Nolan, Town of Wayland

Private Sector ViceChair: Bill Pezzoni, Day Pitney LLP

Public Sector ViceChair: Henry Fitzgerald, Town of Shrewsbury

Treasurer: Chuck Dwyer, Middlesex Savings Bank

Clerk: Peter Martin, Bowditch & Dewey

Paul Matthews, Executive Director

Jessica Strunkin, Deputy Director



495/MetroWest Partnership

200 Friberg Parkway | Westborough, Massachusetts 01581

p: 774.760.0495 | f: 774.760.0017 | e: [email protected]