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Survey Sees Mass. CEOs as Bullish on Own Businesses

High Expectations for Biotech Plan

LOWELL, Mass., Oct. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than half of Massachusetts CEOs are somewhat optimistic about their own companies, but are concerned about the current state and national economies, according to a new statewide poll of 500 CEOs released today by the Massachusetts Economic Assessment and Analysis Project (MEAAP) -- a joint project of UMass Boston and UMass Lowell.

Fifty-four percent of those surveyed said their own businesses were growing compared to a year ago. While most projected no change in their number of employees over the next 12 months, 34 percent said they planned to hire additional workers and only 4 percent planned to decrease staff over the same period.

Expectations are high about the impact on the state economy of Governor Deval Patrick's $1 billion biotechnology plan, with 74 percent of the CEOs thinking it will be helpful to the state's biotechnology industry. An equal number -- 74 percent -- thought the Patrick plan was likely to increase the state's overall economic growth rate. Interestingly, while only 13 percent of CEO respondents said their companies were involved in any way in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, or medical device or instrumentation industries, 38 percent said they thought the governor's overall approach would be helpful to their companies.

"This survey confirms that the state -- and UMass Lowell -- are appropriately focusing on growing the biotech and life sciences industry," said UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan. "UMass Lowell has nano-medicine, biomanufacturing, and medical device development initiatives that can spur additional job growth in these critical sectors."

This is confirmed by 48% of the CEO's who indicate that the skilled workforce and proximity to research institutions are the state's greatest competitive advantage.

David Terkla, an economics professor at UMass Boston, who is a member of the MEAAP analytical team, added that the survey results that "show CEOs growing optimism are encouraging and hopefully will be reflected in a continued strengthening of the state's economy over the next year."

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UMass Lowell, a comprehensive university with a national reputation in science, engineering and technology, is committed to educating students for lifelong success in a diverse world and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental and social health of the region. UML offers its 11,000 students more than 120 degree choices, internships, five-year combined bachelor's to master's programs and doctoral studies in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management, the School of Health and Environment, and the Graduate School of Education

SOURCE University of Massachusetts Lowell
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