High-Tech Workforce Represents Key Asset for Massachusetts Bases

Massachusetts officials are highlighting the state’s concentration of high-tech talent, including academic and industry resources, as the state promotes its six military installations ahead of a possible BRAC round.

“As all of this stuff has gotten more and more technologically sophisticated over the course of this past decade or so, what we do here I think becomes even more important,” Gov. Charlie Baker (R) told WBUR following a trip to Washington, D.C., in July to meet with lawmakers and Pentagon officials.

In an interview with WBUR last week following a visit to Hanscom Air Force Base, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James indicated her department values the state’s skilled workforce.

“One of the key aspects, I think, which is unique, I’ll say, here in Massachusetts, is surrounding these four Air Force installations we just have a multitude of academic and other talent,” James said. In addition to Hanscom, the state’s other three Air Force installations are Joint Base Cape Cod (Otis Air National Guard Base), Westover Air Reserve Base and Barnes Air National Guard Base.

The importance of a particular base extends to the assets of the surrounding community, she said. “It’s all about synergies; and when you can get multiple bangs for a single buck, that’s all the better for us,” James said.

“I am very impressed with everything that I have seen so far in the state of Massachusetts,” James told the station.

In a press release, MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones noted that Hanscom isn’t the only Massachusetts base supported by a robust workforce and industry presence.    

“The innovations at Hanscom and integration with both academia and businesses exemplify the kind of leading technology and highly-skilled workforce that we see at all six of the commonwealth’s bases,” Jones said.

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