CONNECT Partnership collaborates with New England Expansion Strategies to assess need for life-sciences education and training center in Taunton

The CONNECT Partnership, a consortium of five public higher education institutions in Southeastern Massachusetts (UMass Dartmouth, Bridgewater State University, Bristol Community College, Cape Cod Community College, and Massasoit Community College) has contracted with New England Expansion Strategies to conduct a feasibility study to assess the regional training needs necessary to grow the life sciences industry in Southeastern Massachusetts and, subsequently, to develop the appropriate business plan for a Life Sciences Education and Training Center in Taunton, MA. The Center would be proposed as part of Phase V of the Myles Standish Industrial Park build-out, which aims to repurpose the site of the former Paul A. Dever State School on Bay Street in Taunton through the collaborative efforts of the Taunton Economic Development Corporation and MassDevelopment. The CONNECT Partnership institutions would offer programming jointly at the proposed Center.

“We look forward to working with New England Expansion Strategies to understand the needs of the regional life sciences sector and guide the development of the Life Sciences Education and Training Center,” said UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman, chair of the CONNECT consortium. “This study will provide critical information as our institutions support expansion of the life science industry and prepare our students to excel in this exciting field.”
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), charged with implementing the state’s 10-year, $1 billion Life Sciences Initiative proposed by Governor Deval Patrick in 2007 and approved by the Legislature in 2008, is providing the funding for this study, and the subsequent building project. With the pivotal support of State Senator Marc Pacheco, $5 million in capital funding was designated in the legislation for a project in the Myles Standish Industrial Park.

“I am pleased to see the Life Sciences Education and Training Center take another step forward through this collaboration between the CONNECT Partnership and New England Expansion Strategies,” Senator Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton) said. “This addition to Myles Standish Industrial Park promises significant job creation and economic development opportunities for Southeastern Massachusetts and I look forward to the completion of the study.”

Rod Jané, President of New England Expansion Strategies, shared that he is “delighted to be involved with the Life Sciences Education and Training Center in Taunton. Southeastern Massachusetts has a significant and important cluster of life sciences companies and suppliers. This project can serve as an important catalyst to build upon this foundation and spur economic growth and the creation of new jobs in the growing life sciences sector. Additionally, the project has the advantage of strong partnerships with the City of Taunton and the five higher education institutions in CONNECT who have shown enthusiasm and strong support for the project”.

About CONNECT
CONNECT is a partnership of five public higher education institutions in Southeastern Massachusetts (Bridgewater State University, Bristol, Cape Cod, and Massasoit Community Colleges, and University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth). CONNECT’s mission is to improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of higher education, and to advance the economic, educational and cultural life of Southeastern Massachusetts. For more information, visit http://www.connectsemass.org .

About the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is an investment agency that supports life sciences innovation, research, development, and commercialization. The MLSC is charged with implementing a 10-year, $1 billion, state-funded investment initiative. These investments create jobs and support advances that improve health and well-being. The MLSC offers the nation’s most comprehensive set of incentives and collaborative programs targeted to the life sciences ecosystem. These programs propel the growth that has made Massachusetts the global leader in life sciences. The MLSC creates new models for collaboration and partners with organizations, both public and private, around the world to promote innovation in the life sciences. For more information, visit
http://www.masslifesciences.com.

About MassDevelopment
MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, non-profits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2012, MassDevelopment financed or managed 280 projects generating investment of more than $2.3 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than
12,000 jobs and build or rehabilitate 900 residential units.

About Taunton Development Corporation (TDC)
TDC, the City of Taunton’s long-time partner in industrial park development, celebrated its 40th Anniversary last year. TDC, with its all-volunteer Board of Directors, has developed and managed the highly successful 809-acre Myles Standish Industrial Park (MSIP) and the 350-acre Liberty and Union Industrial Park, which in 2013 will together have 112 companies with over 7000 jobs and will generate over $13 million in property taxes. TDC is pleased to be partnering with MassDevelopment on the 220 acre MSIP Expansion and the proposed Education and Training Center.

About New England Expansion Strategies
New England Expansion Strategies (NEES), founded by owner and president Rod Jané in 2007, provides project management and consulting services for private sector companies that are investing in facility expansion projects. NEES also provides economic development and planning consulting for municipalities and public agencies. Most recently, NEES completed a Feasibility Study and developed the Business Plan for the Berkshire Innovation Center in Pittsfield, MA which was also funded by a $9.7 million capital grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. Prior to founding New England Expansion Strategies, Mr. Jané spent 20 years working in senior management positions for General Mills, Duracraft, and Honeywell. Appointed Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of Business Development by Governor Romney in 2005, Mr. Jané spent two years successfully steering the Commonwealth’s economic development agency.