The Massachusetts Office of Business Development, through the Regional Economic Development Organization (REDO) program has awarded the UMass Dartmouth-based SouthCoast Development Partnership with $50,000 to promote economic development in the Blue Economy throughout the southeastern region through collaborative workforce and industry development programming. The REDO program facilitates regional projects that grow businesses and the Massachusetts economy by attracting new employers and fostering existing businesses.
“UMass Dartmouth and the SouthCoast Development Partnership is grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration for their continued support of our university’s efforts to strengthen and evolve our region’s economic future,” said Chancellor Robert E. Johnson. “With the collective will of government, industry, and academia – UMass Dartmouth will become the global leader for talent, recruitment, and development in marine technology.”
The REDO grant bolsters UMass Dartmouth’s three-year blue economy initiative. The first year of the project featured the release of a UMass Dartmouth Public Policy Center study entitled, “Charting the Course: A Regional Assessment of the Marine Science and Technology Sector in Southeastern New England,” which will be used to develop a strategic plan to build the marine economy of the region.
Next, the university, the SouthCoast Development Partnership, and the region’s planning agencies will form a Corridor Alliance that will position Southern New England as an international hub for marine science and technology innovation. The Corridor Alliance will also develop a 10-year strategy for the region, including programmatic activities to brand the region, expand the workforce, and drive innovation.
“This award is another strong signal from the Baker-Polito administration of their support for the creation of a thriving blue economy in southeastern Massachusetts. The investment will allow us to organize, and become more globally competitive in this industry,” said Nicholas Christ, President and CEO of BayCoast Bank and co-chair of the SouthCoast Development Partnership.
“The region is in a good place right now, with both offshore wind projects moving forward and the innovative research taking place in marine sciences at UMass Dartmouth. This award will help brand Southeastern Massachusetts as an international cluster in this sector and UMass Dartmouth an affiliate leader in coordinating industry activities, creating alliances and partnerships, driving innovative research, catalyzing job creation, expanding the labor pool,” said David Slutz, co-chair of the SouthCoast Development Partnership.