The Hartford-Springfield Economic Partnership
September 22, 2000
Information: Douglas G. Fisher, Northeast Utilities (860-280-2228)
Hartford-Springfield Metros Sign Cooperative Compact; Unified Region Branded “New England’s Knowledge Corridor” WEST SPRINGFIELD, MASS. —
With the public support of the governors of both Connecticut and Massachusetts, leaders from the chief business, economic development, planning and educational organizations in Greater Hartford and Greater Springfield today announced the formation of the Hartford-Springfield Economic Partnership (HSEP), dedicated to increasing interstate cooperative efforts in support of marketing and public policy goals.
The collaboration will advance projects with regional implications and further the economic progress of the interstate region by capitalizing on historic economic, natural and cultural ties. For marketing purposes, the region will be branded, “New England’s Knowledge Corridor: Gateway to Innovation,” focusing attention on the area’s rich tradition of inventions, research and higher education, and how it is well positioned to succeed in the New Economy.
The announcement, which took place at the Eastern States Exposition, featured Gov. John G. Rowland of Connecticut and Gov. Paul Cellucci of Massachusetts, who stood with leaders from 16 organizations from the interstate region as they signed a landmark cooperation compact.
“In this era of globalization, the borders between states have come down,” said Governor Cellucci. “To fuel a strong New England economy, we need to focus on forging regional partnerships. The Hartford-Springfield Economic Partnership will help us pool our resources and work cooperatively in areas such as marketing and promotion, transportation and infrastructure, economic development, and federal assistance.”
“When you bring good people to the table, good things happen,” said Governor Rowland. “This partnership offers many opportunities for collaboration and I believe it will bring many good things to a region that can be readily positioned for tremendous growth,” he said, noting the area’s storied history of inventions, patents, research and higher education.
Michael G. Morris, chairman, president and CEO of Northeast Utilities, said the new partnership acknowledges the fact that economic regions are now the basic unit of competition in the New Economy. “Very often, from a marketing standpoint, bigger is better in economic development, especially when it comes to positioning and selling the benefits of an area as a business location.”
P. Anthony Giorgio, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Connecticut Capitol Region Growth Council, noted that the interstate region has a mutual agenda: “We share the need to promote regional assets such as Bradley International Airport, superior educational institutions, our highly skilled, productive workforce, cultural tourism and the Connecticut River.”
Allan W. Blair, president and CEO of the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts, said the new partnership will place the interstate region at the cutting-edge of regional economic development marketing to enhance current and prospective efforts. “For the first time, we now have an interstate forum to more effectively advance the economic progress and livability of the interstate region. We’ll be looking for ways to achieve better results more cost effectively by leveraging resources and involving the region’s best minds.”
The interstate group has adopted a regional marketing logo and launched a new web site — HartfordSpringfield.com — which features hot links to partner organizations and other helpful resources. Projects under consideration include:
application for federal aid;
advocacy of critical transportation and infrastructure initiatives;
support for the region’s 26 colleges and outreach to their 108,000 students;
attraction of business conventions;
business and work force attraction and retention marketing;
economic analysis to assess regional strength and weakness;
work force development efforts; and · marketing of the area’s rich recreational and cultural assets.
HSEP steering committee members began meeting in mid-1999 to discuss cooperative ventures at the urging of Northeast Utilities, parent company of Connecticut Light & Power and Western Massachusetts Electric. NU continues to serve the group as its facilitator and expert resource. The interstate effort was reinforced by the release of a recent economic analysis performed by national consultant Michael Gallis, retained by the Connecticut Regional Institute for the 21st Century, which identified the Hartford-Springfield area as a major economic corridor in the Northeastern United States.
The 16 organizations signing the cooperation compact included the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts; Connecticut Capitol Region Growth Council; Pioneer Valley Planning Commission; Connecticut Capitol Region Council of Governments; MetroHartford Chamber of Commerce; Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield; Greater Hartford Convention and Visitors Bureau; Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau; East of the River Chambers of Commerce Association (Conn.); Northeast Utilities (CL&P; and WMECO); Bradley Airport Commission; University of Massachusetts Amherst; University of Connecticut; University of Hartford; Central Connecticut State University; and Springfield Technical Community College.
The HSEP Steering Committee partners plan to work closely with the tourism offices in both states
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