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Political Notebook, July 19, 2019


Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Edwards wants job development executive for western Mass.

Whately 1st Franklin candidate Jonathan Edwards wants a state economic development executive’s position to be created for western Massachusetts as part of “Rural Jobs” legislation now before the State House.

Edwards, one of seven hopefuls seeking the 1st Franklin House District seat being vacated by Rep. Stephen Kulik of Worthington, believes a permanent assistant secretary’s position should be created as part of the bill recently introduced by Kulik and Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield, and said he would encourage its immediate adoption.

“The creativity and innovation demonstrated … (by Hinds and Kulik in the bill) “is the type of work I intend to continue to expand upon if I am elected,” said Edwards in a written statement. “To maximize this policy and to ensure that new investment dollars are met with critical public/private partnerships and advocacy for job growth in our region, we must also create the permanent position.”

As a 14-year member of Whately’s Selectboard, Edwards said, “I know firsthand the importance of local government and stakeholders working with state officials. We must have a person who has a direct line to the secretary of Housing and Economic Development and the governor, who thinks about western Massachusetts job growth from the first minute of the day to the last minute of the day.”

The post, added Edwards – who has not yet broached the idea but has raised in a candidates forum that it would be one of his top priorities “would enhance the public/private partnership already being created by passage of the Rural Jobs Act.”