March 28, 2023
This Week in Massachusetts – March 28
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Posted on March 22, 2021
The 3,300 member companies of Associated Industries of Massachusetts today congratulate former Boston mayor Marty Walsh on his Senate confirmation as United States Secretary of Labor.
Massachusetts and the nation are fortunate to have Secretary Walsh’s thoughtful and experienced leadership at the Department of Labor, an immensely important agency that oversees federal laws regarding occupational safety, wage-and-hour standards, unemployment and re-employment services. The department also maintains key economic statistics that measure the health and functionality of the United States economy.
Our economic outlook has been altered significantly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, presenting an immense challenge to the incoming secretary as unemployment remains high and the potential for long-term structural changes leaves the future of the American workplace in flux. Lucky for us, Marty Walsh is no stranger when it comes to facing challenge.
Secretary Walsh began his story in the same way I did – growing up in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. He often speaks about his upbringing, making sure to highlight the struggles faced by his immigrant parents as they worked hard to lay the foundations for his future success.
Their efforts were not lost on the secretary as he rose to become president of the Laborers’ Local Union 223 and Secretary-Treasurer of the Boston Metropolitan Building Trades Council.
Given Secretary Walsh’s roots in organized labor, it is safe to say we had our fair share of differing views when he served as a Massachusetts state representative from 1997 to 2014. Regardless of these differences, however AIM has experienced a consistently cordial relationship with Rep. Walsh.
During his tenure as mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh remained a constant resource and an open ear to the needs and perspectives of the business community. He understood the imperative for balanced and feasible solutions, driving the growth necessary to maintain Boston’s standing as a leading innovation economy and attracting private sector industry leaders to our commonwealth.
The results were impressive. Boston’s economic output grew 27 percent in the decade from 2009-2018, the most recent period for which statistics are available. The city during that time cemented its reputation as a global center of biotechnology, finance and software while attracting marquee corporate names such as General Electric and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.
Most recently, Mayor Walsh worked with corporate philanthropists to raise more than $30 million for the city’s COVID-19 Resiliency Fund.
AIM’s members applaud this most recent milestone on Secretary Walsh’s journey to provide opportunities for innovation, development, wellbeing, and success to all participants of the economy. I wish him the best in this new chapter, with hopes of continuing our work together to strengthen a still-fragile economy in the months ahead.