Thank you for having me this morning. More importantly, thank you for being here. You are in the right place at the right time. And not just because I have officially proclaimed today, "Advanced Manufacturing Day" across the Commonwealth.
It's clear to me that advanced manufacturing is a central opportunity in our growth strategy. I wanted to come by today to make sure you it's just as clear to you.
As you know, we have a strategy to grow jobs and strengthen the Commonwealth by investing in education, in innovation and in infrastructure.
We invest in education because education is our global calling card and our economic edge. The world needs well-prepared young minds and mid-career talent and with nearly 300 colleges and universities within an hour and a half of where you're sitting, brainpower is our most abundant natural resource. So, we have expanded support of and instituted new reforms in the public schools; we are rebuilding our public college and university campuses; and we are working hard to make early education and college affordability more broadly available.
We invest in innovation because enabling and encouraging industries that depend on brainpower is the best way to take advantage of the knowledge explosion happening in the world economy today. That's what the life sciences initiative is about. The rapid development of the clean tech sector is another example. Digital technology (meaning, robotics, big data, cyber security and communications) is having resurgence in Massachusetts, too.
And finally, we invest in infrastructure because rebuilding our roads, rails, bridges, expanding broadband to every community, building new classrooms and labs and more affordable housing gives private initiative and personal ambition the platform for growth.
Education, innovation, infrastructure. It's a strategy proven through history. And it's working for us today.
Massachusetts has climbed out of recession faster than most other states and is growing twice as fast as the national growth rate. Earlier this year the Labor Department reported that we have re-gained all the jobs lost in the Great Recession, one of the first states in America to have achieved this milestone.
We are first in the nation in student achievement, economic competitiveness, entrepreneurial activity, health care coverage, veterans' services and energy efficiency.
Massachusetts has emerged as the top international super cluster in the life sciences and biotech, and as a national leader in clean and alternative energy, with double-digit year-over-year job growth in the latter sector in each of the last few years.
I'm also pleased to report that our budgets are balanced and on-time, our bond rating is the highest in our history, and we have one of the largest rainy day funds in America.
None of this is by accident. It's the result of a clear strategy for long-term growth, and disciplined execution -- even during a global economic collapse. We believe that, though government cannot solve every problem in everybody's life, if we all work together, we can help people help themselves.
Because we are making more of the things we invent in our innovation economy, manufacturing is making a comeback. In fact, precision or advanced manufacturing is in the midst of a quiet renaissance. Your companies and many others like them have transformed from the traditional image of mass-manufacturing to a new industry built on innovative technology, custom design, high quality, and international competitiveness.
It's time for that renaissance to be a lot less quiet.
Through the "AMP it up!" campaign we are promoting careers in advanced manufacturing to young people and their parents, teachers and guidance counselors. Vocational and technical schools are helping to develop a future manufacturing workforce, and community colleges are getting into the game as well. This past February, for example, I visited the Precision Manufacturing Training Program at Springfield Technical Community College, where the students were learning how to properly code a machine tool using a computer numerical control programming code. This is not your father's factory!
And we need to be ready for this new world.
So, today I am proud to announce the launch of the Advanced Manufacturing Regional Partnership Academy, a first-in-the-nation effort to improve the effectiveness of regional, hands-on education in precision manufacturing. It will bring together manufacturers, workforce investment boards and academia to help regions develop sustainable and effective training partnerships that respond to current and evolving industry needs.
And UMass has developed a multi-campus team of experts to support the effort.
The point is, my administration is committed to doing everything we can to support advanced manufacturing in Massachusetts. But we cannot do it alone. Industry cannot do it alone. The universities and community colleges cannot do it alone either. But working together, we can get it done. That's why this summit is so important -- because it brings us all together. This is a splendid opportunity. Let's make the most of it.
Thank you and enjoy the rest of the summit.