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Governors Address $7.5B Energy Question

Posted by Robert Rio on Apr 27, 2015 8:44:53 AM

$7.5 billion.

That’s the amount of money Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy says has been added to the electric bills of New England employers and homeowners during the past two years because of natural-gas pipeline constraints.

ElectriclinessmallEmployers should therefore be encouraged that five New England governors, including Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, met in Hartford last Thursday and pledged to work together to help consumers who pay more for electricity than almost anywhere else in the United States. While the costs and political challenges of investments in natural gas pipelines, transmission wires and renewable energy remain formidable, the governors nevertheless acknowledged that solving the energy crisis “is greater than any one state can solve alone.”

“We recognize that each state may support addressing our regional energy challenge in different ways. These efforts must be done in partnership with state legislatures, and respecting the requirements of laws, regulatory proceedings, and opportunities for public participation that are unique to each individual state,” the governors said in a statement.

“Together and respecting the bounds of individual state laws, we plan to continue to work to seek out economically beneficial infrastructure solutions to New England’s power system challenges. We are committed to working as a region to advance New England’s shared economic, energy, and environmental goals.”

The statement was consistent with the recommendations that AIM and statewide business organizations in Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine made to the governors in an April 1 letter noting that regional and federal policies have boosted New England’s reliance on natural gas to generate electricity from 15 percent to more than 50 percent.

“Until now, our associations worried about lost job growth and economic activity as … enterprises expanded operations elsewhere. Given the current energy crisis, we now face a bleaker scenario: employers moving existing jobs out of New England to lower-cost locations around the country or world,” the business associations said.

“Lack of urgent leadership by New England’s governors may well lead to higher unemployment and a lagging economy for years to come.”

Average electric rates in Massachusetts are the third highest in the nation for industrial ratepayers, and more than twice as high as companies pay in the competitor state of North Carolina. Those costs place employers at a significant disadvantage when competing with businesses located in other areas of the country.

AIM has long maintained that any solution to the region’s energy problem must be fair to ratepayers, market based and implemented without subsidies that force one group of customers to pay the freight for others. The association has opposed programs like Cape Wind that gouge ratepayers without providing meaningful benefits. 

In addition to communicating with the New England governors, AIM currently sits on a commission to bring the commonwealth’s solar energy program into line with other states that install solar for less than half the price of what Massachusetts consumers pay. The association also represents employers on the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council, which oversees nearly $1 billion in annual spending for energy efficiency.

AIM and its 4,500 member employers urge the New England governors to continue their discussions and to solve one of the key burdens facing the regional economy.

AIM has recently established an Employer Energy Interest Group. If you would like to be on this group and receive regular updates, please email me at rrio@aimnet.org.

Topics: Electricity, Energy, Charlie Baker

Sick-Time Rules a Mixed Bag for Employers

Posted by John Regan on Apr 27, 2015 8:23:00 AM

The following article was written by AIM staff members Lori Bourgoin, Russ Sullivan and Brad MacDougall.

Draft regulations published late Friday by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey for the new Earned Sick Time law represent a mixed bag for employers.

FourpeopleThe rules are designed to help employers comply with a law currently scheduled to take effect on July 1. AIM has urged policymakers to postpone the effective date until January 1, 2016 since the state's six planned public hearings on the proposed regulations will leave employers inadequate time to comply with the measure approved by voters in November.

“It is enormously important now for employers to read the proposed regulations and provide comments about what is good and what remains a challenge,” said Brad MacDougall, Vice President of Government Affairs at AIM.

“Employers need to be part of this process since labor unions and other groups will be pushing during the public hearings to make the rules more Draconian.”

AIM has worked since November with employers and with the attorney general to address problems the new law may pose for companies that already provide workers with paid time off.

Most employers will be pleased with the following provisions:

  • The rate of pay for earned sick time for most employees is the employee’s base hourlysalary rate.
  • Employers may choose any consecutive 12-month period as their earned sick time calendar year.
  • Employers may cash out up to 40 hours or earned sick time at the end of the calendar year provided at least 16 hours are left to carry over to the start of the following calendar year.
  • Employers may provide good-attendance rewards and discipline in cases of fraud or abuse of the program.
  • The regulations allow for a transition year in which employers will not be required to provide more than 40 hours of earned paid sick time, and any paid leave given prior to July 1, 2015, will be credited.

Other provisions are disappointing:

  • Earned sick time applies to all employees, including temporary, part time, seasonal employees and interns.
  • Employees with a break in service of less than one year  return to work with full credit for prior service and prior unused accruals.
  • Employees who work in multiple states, but primarily in Massachusetts, will be able to count their non-Massachusetts hours towards their accrual of earned sick time.
  • Employers may not require documentation for earned sick time that is less than 24 consecutive work hours even if the time-off is taken before or after a scheduled holiday.
  • New notices, posters, policies and documentation requirements will need to be established.

The Attorney General’s office will accept comments through June 10 before issuing the final regulations. The six public hearings on earned sick time will be held as follows:

Boston Earned Sick Time Hearing
May 18, 2015 10:30 AM – 1:30 PM
2nd Floor - Conference Rooms C & D
100 Cambridge Street
Boston, MA 02114

MetroWest Earned Sick Time Hearing
May 22, 2015 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Ablondi Room Framingham Town Hall Memorial Building
150 Concord Street
Framingham, MA 01702

Springfield Earned Sick Time Hearing
May 29, 2015 10:30 AM – 1:30PM
3rd Floor Community Room
1350 Main Street
Springfield, MA 01103

Berkshire County Earned Sick Time Hearing
May 29, 2015 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Pittsfield City Hall Council Chambers
70 Allen Street Pittsfield, MA 01201

South Coast Earned Sick Time Hearing
June 1, 2015 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM Hearing Room
1 Government Center
Fall River, MA 02722

Worcester Earned Sick Time Hearing
June 5, 2015 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Main Library Saxe Room
3 Salem Street
Worcester, MA 01608

“We are grateful to the attorney general’s office for producing these draft regulations in such a short period of time. AIM encourages employers to review the proposed rules and to work with our association to ensure they work to everyone’s benefit,” said Richard C. Lord, President and Chief Executive Officer of AIM.

AIM will provide more information on the draft regulations in a webinar on Thursday, April 30 at 10 AM. Members with comments on the regulations should contact MacDougall at bmacdougall@aimnet.org.

  Register for the Earned Sick-Time Webinar

Topics: Employment Law, Human Resources, Paid Sick Days

Why Do Activists Fear Regulatory Reform?

Posted by Christopher Geehern on Apr 21, 2015 7:32:38 AM

The tantrum being staged by some environmental activists over Governor Charlie Baker’s regulatory reform initiative makes us wonder what scares these groups about an objective review of the commonwealth’s regulatory structure.

paperwork.crop.smallBaker signed an executive order on March 31 initiating a comprehensive review process for all regulations enforced by the Executive branch and leaving in place the regulatory moratorium announced by the administration earlier this year. The order requires state agencies to ensure that existing regulations are clear and concise and that any newly proposed regulations are measured for their potential impact on businesses of all sizes.

Hardly a radical proposition. Indeed, AIM and its 4,500 member employers maintain in the association’s Blueprint for the Next Century economic plan that Massachusetts must “establish a world-class state regulatory system that ensures the health and welfare of society in a manner that meets the highest standards for efficiency, predictability, transparency and responsiveness.”

But not everyone is happy about reform.

“An executive order by Governor Charlie Baker has set off alarms among environmentalists, consumer activists, and union leaders, who fear it will dismantle some of Massachusetts’ strict regulations governing the state’s water and air quality standards, worker safety requirements, and health regulations,” screamed an April 12 article in The Boston Globe.

The hopelessly biased article quotes George Bachrach, president of the Environmental League of Massachusetts, as warning that “There is great concern across the board” in the education, public health, labor, business, and environmental fields.

But the Globe wasn’t done. It published a second article on Friday in which it called AIM “one of the state’s leading antiregulatory groups” and suggested that Secretary of Administration and Finance Kristen Lepore, a former Vice President at AIM, somehow appropriated regulatory reform language from the AIM Blueprint.

It’s curious that the environmental community reflexively mischaracterizes an initiative supported by virtually every Massachusetts employer to ensure an efficient, coherent and consistent regulatory system worthy of the Bay State’s status as an economic leader. It’s a reminder that inefficient regulatory structures create their own bureaucracies of apologists who benefit more from perpetuation of the status quo than from making the regulations work well for everyone.

Let’s set the record straight:

  • Massachusetts employers acknowledge the need for effective and well-managed regulation that ensures the health and welfare of society - without weakening the financial underpinnings of the job market. Our Blueprint offers several innovative proposals for “smart partnerships” to ensure that government-business interactions solve problems instead of propping up bureaucracies. One such example came from State Senator Daniel Wolf from the Cape and Islands, founder of Cape Air in Hyannis, who some years ago worked with state environmental officials to capture runoff from the washing of planes at Barnstable Municipal Airport.
  • Kristen Lepore did not author the Blueprint – I did. (Perhaps the environmental folks mistook Kristen for Chris.) But I did not write the Blueprint alone. The plan is based on detailed conversations and meetings with more than 1,000 hard-working Massachusetts employers, from corner grocery stores to software startups, who took time last fall to offer their best ideas to improve the commonwealth’s economy. One small employer summarized the need for regulatory reform this way: “A small employer does not have the staff, resources or time to figure out the multiple layers of regulation.  There are way too many minefields that can trip up or stall a small business.  This is an opportunity cost that is never discussed and cannot be measured.  How much time is wasted worrying about or dealing with regulation that is well intentioned, but is rarely thought through to its consequence?
  • AIM unequivocally applauds the Baker Administration for including in its executive order the provision that state regulations not exceed federal requirements or duplicate local requirements. The recent fiasco involving state hoisting regulations issued despite a pre-emption in federal law illustrates the potential waste of time and money created when state policymakers trying to one-up the federal government. We agree with David I. Begelfer, chief executive of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, Massachusetts, who told the Globe: “There is a good question to ask: Why do we have higher standards than the federal government? … It’s not enough to say more stringent is better.”

Governor Baker’s regulatory reform is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to foster long-term economic growth by taking a clear-eyed look at regulations that are outdated, redundant, ineffective, inefficient or unnecessary.

So what are the environmental activists so afraid of?

Topics: Charlie Baker

Senate Declines to Postpone Sick-Leave Law

Posted by Gary MacDonald on Apr 16, 2015 8:30:00 AM

The state Senate yesterday rejected an effort by Associated Industries of Massachusetts to postpone the July 1 implementation of the new paid sick-leave law. AIM sought the delay because employers have no clear instructions on how to comply.

Senate_ChamberSenator Michael Rodrigues, D-Westport, filed a budget amendment that would have moved the effective date of the voter-approved leave law to January 1, 2016. The amendment was withdrawn, however, after it became clear that there was not enough support to pass it.

Attorney General Maura Healey, who is developing the regulations that employers will have to follow, opposed the effort to move the deadline. The Senate’s action raises the probability that the paid sick-days law will take effect three days before final regulations are in place.

Massachusetts voters approved a ballot question on November 4 mandating that employers with 11 or more workers provide 40 hours of paid sick time. Companies with fewer than 11 employees will be required to provide 40 hours of unpaid sick time.

The law has touched off a wave of concern among employers who say that the 75 days remaining until July 1 do not provide them enough time to understand the yet-to-be-published regulations and to program payroll systems to account for the new law. One employer who already has a sick-leave policy in place reports that he needs at least 120 days to work with his payroll company to make the necessary programing changes.

Employers also face a litany of time-consuming administrative issues. For example, an employee who used to accrue 15 days of Paid Time Off (PTO) prorated over each payroll now will accrue 10 days of PTO prorated over each payroll and up to five days of Earned Sick Time (EST) accrued at one hour for every 30 hours worked. And re-characterizing existing time off from accrued PTO to EST may lead to an excess accrual and payout before July 1 to avoid loss of earned time that may not be carried over in excess of 40 hours.

“Massachusetts employers deeply appreciate the effort by Senator Rodrigues to provide adequate time to companies to meet their obligations under a complex new law. AIM worked hard on behalf of its 7,500 member employers to resolve these issues and we are disappointed that the Senate did not act,” said John Regan, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs for AIM.

The proposed delay drew heavy opposition from organized labor, which paid for advertisements saying “Stop the attack on earned sick time for working families.”

The Attorney General’s office is expected to issue draft sick-days regulations later this month. AIM will brief member employers via Webinar on the draft regulations once they are published.

Employers with questions or comments on the paid sick-days law may contact me at gmacdonald@aimnet.org, or Brad Macdougall at bmacdougall@aimnet.org

Topics: Massachusetts senate, Employment Law, Paid Sick Days

Infographic | How Competitive Are Energy Prices in Massachusetts?

Posted by Bob Rio on Apr 10, 2015 11:41:12 AM

Massachusetts employers often cite energy costs as an impediment to growth. Here's why.

Energy.04.10.15

Union Election Rules Set to Change Tuesday

Posted by Mike Rudman on Apr 9, 2015 1:23:23 PM

The ground rules for union activity are about to shift dramatically as new federal rules compressing the time frame for representation elections take effect Tuesday.

picket.smallPresident Barack Obama last week vetoed a last-ditch effort by Congress to head off the so-called “ambush election” rules, setting the stage for the most significant change in years to the process by which employees decide whether or not to vote for a union. The changes come as the success rate for unions in representation elections has climbed to 69 percent.

That rate is likely to climb as employers get limited time to present the reasons why employees should not vote to join the union in an election supervised by the National Labor Relations Board.

The new rules also require employers to provide personal contact information and email addresses to the union at the beginning of the formal election process.

“Employers who are currently non-union and wish to remain that way now face a reduced amount of time to educate employees and to express the employer point of view on union representation,” said Gary MacDonald, Executive Vice President of the Employers Resource Group at Associated Industries of Massachusetts.

“The bottom line is that employers must adopt a preventative, rather than reactive approach.  That means employing best management practices and creating the kind of environment in which workers are not interested in joining a union.”

The rule on expedited union elections has been sought for years by organized labor to limit the ability of companies to respond to organizing efforts. The NLRB first proposed the change in 2011, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck it down over a lack of quorum in a case in which Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) participated. The board re-introduced the rule in February 2014.

The measure eliminates a previously-required 25-day period between the time an election is ordered and the election itself and curtails employers’ ability to appeal eligibility and other issues prior to a union representation election. New NLRB rules do not specify how quickly elections must be held, but two NLRB commissioners stated in a recent dissent: “The Final Rule is to conduct elections ‘sooner’ than under current practices.  How much sooner is not disclosed.  There is no minimum time for the pre-election campaign.  Regional Directors (of the NLRB) are to schedule the election ‘at the earliest date practicable.’ ”

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, criticized Obama's veto of the Congressional resolution.

"The NLRB's ambush election rule is an assault on the rights and privacy protections of American workers," Boehner said. "With his veto, the president has once again put the interests of his political allies ahead of the small-business owners and hardworking Americans who create jobs and build a stronger economy."

There are several steps employers can take right now to reduce the likelihood of a union campaign:

  • Assess your organization’s vulnerability to a union;
  • Train your supervisors on the ‘real’ issues that bring in a union – it’s almost always about respect, consistency and fair treatment;
  • Get professional help in assessing and preparing for the possibility of a union drive – waiting until the campaign starts will be too late;
  • Assess and benchmark your compensation program to ensure that it reflects where your company wants to be in the labor market. 

Questions? Register for the free AIM Webinar on accelerated union elections.

CVS Health, Mass Rehabilitation Commission Win Gould Education and Training Award

Posted by Brian Gilmore on Apr 9, 2015 10:27:00 AM

A groundbreaking program developed by CVS Health and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) to train people with disabilities to become pharmacy technicians will receive the 2015 John Gould Education & Workforce Development Award from Associated Industries of Massachusetts.

CVSHealthThe Pharmacy Technician Training Program is an innovative eight-week training session developed for MRC consumers who are seeking employment and have shown interest in careers in health services. The initiative marries CVS Health’s growing need for skilled technicians at its 7,800 retail pharmacies with Mass Rehab’s commitment to training people for high-demand jobs.

CVS Health and Mass Rehab will receive the award at AIM’s Centennial Annual Meeting on May 8 at the Boston Westin Waterfront Hotel.

“The most critical challenge before us is affording every citizen the opportunity to participate in and contribute to building our commonwealth’s future,” said Richard C. Lord, AIM’s President and CEO. “We are Mass_Rehab_Commissionpleased and proud to honor this successful collaboration between a major employer and a key public agency to prepare motivated people for productive and rewarding career paths.”

CVS Health, an AIM member company, supports the training program by sharing its pharmacy technician training curriculum and providing access to its learning-management system. MRC provides added resources and expertise around soft-skills training and job readiness to meet the needs of consumers while addressing CVS Health’s staffing needs.

The first cohort of the program was conducted during the summer of 2014 with nearly 30 pre-screened, qualified candidates. Eighty-nine percent of those candidates were hired as technicians. A second class graduated 43 consumers on March 23 in a ceremony held in the Great Hall of Flags at the State House.  Several graduates have already obtained employment and others are moving forward in the employment process with CVS.

“At CVS Health, we’re proud to offer vital job training and development services to the many communities we serve, including individuals with disabilities,” said Richard Laferriere, Lead Manager, Workforce Initiatives, for CVS Health. “We know that our best and brightest colleagues come from a variety of backgrounds, cultures and experiences. Our partnership with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission is not only connecting participants with important career training opportunities, it is also connecting our company with talented individuals who are an asset to our retail pharmacy teams.”

The Gould Award was established in 1998 to recognize the contributions of individuals, employers, and institutions to the quality of public education and the advancement, employability, and productivity of residents of the Commonwealth. In 2000, the award was named after John Gould, upon his retirement as President and CEO of AIM, to recognize his work to improve the quality of public education and workforce training activities in Massachusetts.   

CVS Health operates retail pharmacies, more than 900 walk-in medical clinics, and acts as a pharmacy benefits manager for nearly 65 million health-plan members. MRC assists individuals with disabilities to live and work more independently. MRC is responsible for vocational rehabilitation, community living, and disability determination services. 

Topics: AIM Annual Meeting, Training, Workforce Training

Employer Confidence Finally Recovers from Recession

Posted by Andre Mayer on Apr 7, 2015 11:29:54 AM

Massachusetts employers have finally regained the confidence they had prior to the Great Recession, a grueling 73-month process that underscores the depth of the financial downturn in 2008 and 2009.

BCI.March.2015Associated Industries of Massachusetts announced this morning that its Business Confidence Index (BCI) reached 60 on its 100-point scale in March for the first time in more than 10 years, edging up four-tenths of a point to 60.2 – the same reading as in February 2005. The milestone capped a steady, yearlong 10-point advance that has seen employers shake off persistent post-recession caution and a more recent national hiring slowdown.

Even more significant was the fact that employer confidence in the Massachusetts economy reach its highest level since December 2000.

“We have been preparing the Index for almost 24 years, including three periods of economic recession,” said Richard C. Lord, President and Chief Executive Officer of AIM.

“From a low point of 41.5 in December 1991, the Index took 29 months to get up to 60. In November 2001, the Index bottomed out at 43.0, and it finally regained the 60 level 30 months later. This time, from its all-time low of 33.3 in February 2009, the rise back to 60 has taken 73 months.”

AIM’s Business Confidence Index has been issued monthly since July 1991 under the oversight of the Board of Economic Advisors. Presented on a 100-point scale on which 50 is neutral, the Index attained a historical high of 68.5 in 1997 and 1998; its all-time low was 33.3 in February 2009.

“Last March, the Index began a sustained rise, ending more than a year of small fluctuations around neutral,” said Raymond G. Torto, Chair of the Board of Economic Advisors and Lecturer, Harvard Graduate School of Design.

What matters most about the Index reaching 60, Torto noted, is steady, sustainable pace. “The first-quarter average reading was 59.4, up from 56.3 in the prior quarter and 50.6 in the same period a year ago,” he said. “This is the Index’s best quarterly average since the fourth quarter of 2006, back before signs of impending recession became evident.”

Much of the surge in employer confidence comes with improved results from their own operations.

The Company Index of the, which assesses the situations of their own operations, rose three-tenths of a point to 61.6; the Sales Index gained eight-tenths to 62.5; and the Employment Index added 1.2 points to 57.8.

“Each sub-index is ahead by about eight points compared to last March,” noted Elliot Winer, Chief Economist, Northeast Economic Analysis Group LLC, a BEA member.

“Recent state employment reports have suggested that job creation may be slowing, so the rise of the Employment Index is particularly positive. Over the past six months, respondents reporting adding new staff have outnumbered those reporting layoffs 34 percent to 18 percent, while expectations for the next six months are much stronger with 36 percent reporting plans to hire and 9 percent expecting staffing reductions.”  

Topics: AIM Business Confidence Index, Massachusetts economy, Economy

Governor Initiates Regulatory Overhaul; Which Rules Would You Change?

Posted by John Regan on Mar 31, 2015 2:09:00 PM

Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) will support the Baker Administration’s newly announced regulatory reform initiative by collecting information from Bay State employers about regulations that needlessly impede economic growth.

Baker2014AIM President Richard C. Lord said the association has established a Web page that allows employers to report regulations that are inefficient, ineffective or outdated. The association will forward all of the information it receives to state officials as they conducts their yearlong regulatory review.

“The 4,500 employer members of Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) unequivocally support regulatory reform. One of the key objectives of AIM’s long-term economic plan, the Blueprint for the Next Century, is for Massachusetts to develop a world-class state regulatory system that ensures the welfare of society in a manner that meets the highest standards for efficiency and predictability,” Lord said 

“AIM has collected a rich library of evidence over the years from employers about regulations that work and those that do not. We expect to add to that body of information and share it with the administration and the Legislature as we work together to make the vision of effective regulation a reality.”

Governor Charles D. Baker signed an executive order today initiating a comprehensive review process for all regulations enforced by the Executive branch and leaving in place the regulatory moratorium announced by the administration earlier this year. The order requires state agencies to ensure that existing regulations are clear and concise and that any newly proposed regulations are measured for their potential impact on businesses of all sizes.

The administration will encourage public input on proposed regulations. Business and competitiveness impact statements will be made available on the commonwealth’s Web site.

Baker identified regulatory reform as an economic priority during a speech to the AIM Executive Forum last November.

“This will be an intensive process that ultimately makes Massachusetts a more efficient and competitive place to live and work, while driving economic growth,” the governor said in a statement today.

Added Secretary of Administration and Finance Kristen Lepoere: “We will ensure that all regulations administered by the Executive Department benefit the Commonwealth without undue burdens or costs and serve a legitimate purpose in making Massachusetts a safe, healthy, and effective place to do business.”

AIM’s Blueprint for the Next Century offers several suggestions for improving the state regulatory environment:

  • The governor should appoint an independent ombudsperson to review comments, suggestions and complaints from employers about ineffective state regulations and/or the manner in which those regulations are enforced. The ombudsperson would have the authority to determine which regulations and/or enforcement issues represent real impediments to growth and recommend changes to the Legislature or the executive branch.
  • Encourage regulators and employers to adopt “smart partnerships” to ensure that government-business interactions solve problems instead of propping up bureaucracies.
  • Engage willing employers who are global leaders in productivity and process improvement to streamline the operation of state government agencies. General Electric, an AIM member, provided just such a service for the New York State Highway Department at the request of Governor Andrew Cuomo. GE Capital used its expertise in lean process to help the Highway Department reduce the processing time for curb-cut requests from 70 days to three days.

Please contact Brad MacDougall, Vice President of Government Affairs at AIM, bmacdougall@aimnet.org, with questions or comments.

Topics: Business Regulation, Regulation, Charlie Baker

Desalitech, Hollingsworth & Vose, Massport Win 2015 AIM Global Trade Awards

Posted by Kristen Rupert on Mar 26, 2015 12:20:00 PM

A seventh-generation family owned manufacturer, an Israeli maker of water-treatment systems and the operator of Logan Airport were named winners today of the 2015 AIM International Business Council Global Trade Awards.

Hollingsworth & Vose Company of East Walpole; Desalitech, which maintains its North American headquarters in Newton; and Massport will be honored during the Associated Industries of Massachusetts Centennial Annual Meeting on May 8 in Boston.  The meeting will include a keynote address by Governor Charles D. Baker.

The Global Trade Awards, now in their twentieth year, recognize Massachusetts companies and public agencies of all sizes that have demonstrated excellence in international trade.

“Massachusetts companies are key players in the global economy, offering innovative products and services produced in Massachusetts to markets across the globe,” said Richard Lord, president and CEO of AIM.

“From providing access to overseas markets with non-stop flights from Boston to offering new environmentally sensitive technologies and products that are critical to a variety of businesses, local companies have developed strategies to be successful globally.”

2015 Global Trade Award winners are: 

Diplomat’s AwardDesalitech, Newton

DesalitechFounded in 2008 in Israel, Desalitech produces high-efficiency water treatment systems to address the global challenge of water scarcity.  The company's ReFlex (TM) Reverse Osmosis products feature patented technology that typically reduces water-treatment waste by 50-70 percent and energy consumption by up to 35 percent, saving significant operating costs for industrial and agricultural operations around the world.  Desalitech systems are used for industrial water purification by Coca Cola in Asia, consumer-product manufacturing in Mexico, and beverage production in Africa. In Singapore and Israel, Desalitech products are used for water recycling.

Ambassador’s Award - Massport, Boston

MassportMassport, an independent public aviation and port authority, owns and operates Boston Logan International Airport, Hanscom Field and Worcester Regional Airport. Logan has added 19 new international non-stop flights during the past eight years, connecting the business community with clients and prospects overseas.  New flights carry executives, tourists, university professors, hospital researchers, technology entrepreneurs and students from the commonwealth to fast-growing, emerging economies in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.  Increased international service also makes it easier for foreign companies and executives to visit and invest in Massachusetts.

Chairman’s Award - Hollingsworth & Vose Company, East Walpole

HollingsworthHollingsworth & Vose Company is a global manufacturer of advanced materials used in filtration, battery and industrial applications.  H&V's Massachusetts-made products can be found in filters for clean rooms, hospitals, computers, commercial buildings, homes, cars, trucks and heavy duty equipment, and also in batteries used in telecom and hybrid vehicles.  Family-owned for seven generations, the company's origins can be traced back to 1728 when an "Act for the Encouragement of Papermaking" was passed by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The company operates 13 manufacturing plants in North America, Europe, India and China, supplying customers in over 75 countries. 

The AIM International Business Council helps Massachusetts employers engage in international trade and expand their global business activities. 

AIM 2015 Annual Meeting

Topics: International Trade, AIM International Business Council

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