SALEM — “Making opportunity real requires action,” Gov. Deval Patrick told 200 business leaders packed in a ballroom in the historic Hawthorne Hotel yesterday, explaining his push for investments in education, transportation and infrastructure.
“I am also persuaded that opportunity also requires growth. An expanding economy needs well-prepared and competitive talent. It needs inventors and investors and innovators. Opportunity without growth is a zero-sum game, it’s just rearranging the pieces on a checkers board.”
Then he showed them the money, rattling off a long list of projects his administration has invested in on the North Shore, from the new regional technical school in Danvers to the parking garages in Salem and Beverly.
“We are not done yet,” said Patrick, announcing $32.9 million to modernize and expand Meier Hall science labs on Salem State’s campus. This announcement drew thunderous applause.
Patrick also highlighted a $20.7 million expansion to North Shore Community College’s Lynn campus.
When asked why he has placed such an emphasis on these investments on the North Shore, Patrick spoke about the need for education to spur opportunity and economic growth.
He also described the North Shore legislative delegation as “relentless.”
“My guess, if you add up all the projects — the court, the garage, the port, Salem State, the dorms, the library and now the science center — you are probably close to $400 million or so,” said state Rep. John Keenan of Salem. “No administration, certainly, I would gather, in the history of the Commonwealth, has made that sort of investment here in Salem.”
On a side note, when asked what he planned to do when his term is up next year, Patrick said: “I’m going back into the private sector.” He also quipped he did not know where he might be working, but if any business leader in the room had any ideas about jobs, come and see him.