- June 29, 2015
- comments: 0
The Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP) has launched an economic diversification study to help the state cope with cutbacks in DOD spending by becoming less dependent on defense contracting. The organization recently was awarded a $400,000 grant from MassDevelopment, a state agency that received a $1.5 million grant from DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment. MassMEP will help companies reposition toward commercial markets, Jack Healy, its president, told the Telegram. A large number of manufacturers providing critical systems to the defense industry will have a difficulty surviving when their customers diminish. The grant also will expand an initiative allowing undergraduates from Worcester Polytechnic Institute to teach a training curriculum to the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. Of the about 87,000 jobs in the state supported by the defense industry, 43,000 are direct jobs, Healy said. The 87,000 positions do not include research and development or Small Business Innovation Research grant jobs. The study is expected to be completed in March 2016.