March 2014 –

Governor Deval Patrick today joined representatives from Massachusetts-based Desalitech Inc. and international water innovation leader Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies, who have signed an agreement to bring advanced, cost-effective water solutions to Mexico and countries worldwide. 

"Congratulations to Desalitech and Veoila for collaborating to bring innovative solutions to global challenges," said Governor Patrick. "Because we are fostering our global economy, the doors of Massachusetts are opening up to the world and we are forging long lasting private partnerships."

The meeting followed a forum on clean energy innovation between Massachusetts and Mexican government and business leaders, held during Governor Patrick’s Massachusetts – Mexico Innovation Partnership Mission.

The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to join the commercial, technical, and execution strengths of Veolia, with the leadership in water technologies, such as high-efficiency reverse osmosis water treatment and wastewater reuse, of Boston-based Desalitech. The partnership aims to lower the amount of water lost and energy needed to treat water and wastewater.

Desalitech, previously based in Israel, relocated to Massachusetts last year, following Governor Patrick's trade mission to Israel in 2011. The company focuses on reverse osmosis processes for industrial and agricultural water and wastewater treatment, greatly reducing negative ecological impacts while improving the productive and responsible use of natural resources. Desalitech was named in the 2013 Global Cleantech 100 as a top company in clean technology.

Massachusetts is home to nearly 300 water industry companies, organizations, and institutions from a variety of sectors, including research and education; innovation and entrepreneurship; and engineering.

“This partnership is exciting news, not just for Desalitech, but for Massachusetts as a whole,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan. “The growing water innovation cluster in the Commonwealth is bringing new products and services to the marketplace that will help address water challenges across the world.”

“By exporting Massachusetts-made innovative technologies to solve global energy and water challenges, Massachusetts’ innovation economy will continue to thrive. Global partnerships like this one are key to capitalizing on our strengths in clean technology development,” said MassCEC CEO Alicia Barton.

“Here at Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies, it is of utmost importance to recognize our customers’ needs and provide the tools to help them solve problems. We are pleased to incorporate Desalitech's technologies, which complement Veolia's existing range of 350 state-of-the-art technologies,” said Luis Maturana CEO, Latin America, Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies. “We pride ourselves on offering our clients top of the line, cutting edge solutions and we will continue to do so”.

“Industry consumes water and generates wastewater as part of the production of almost every product we use daily: food, clothing, cosmetics, paper, electronics, and of course, electricity itself. In fact, the power industry has the highest water consumption of all industries,” said Nadav Efraty, CEO of Desalitech. “Desalitech systems make it possible to reduce energy consumption and make the best use of all available water resources in a reliable, cost effectiveness and environmentally friendly manner.”

The Patrick Administration has spent the last several months working with water industry leaders to organize the recently-launched New England Water Innovation Network (NEWIN), which will build upon the successes the Commonwealth and companies have had in creating more energy efficient and cost-effective water supply and wastewater treatment solutions to drive demand for Massachusetts-made products.

From March 19 - 22, 2014, Governor Deval Patrick is leading the Massachusetts – Mexico Innovation Partnership Mission bringing together leaders in government and business to focus on strengthening existing relationships and building new ones with the emerging innovation economy of Mexico City.

Massachusetts and Mexico share a strong, established relationship that, with the proper cultivation, has the potential to develop significantly. In 2013, Mexico was Massachusetts’ third ranked import partner, with Massachusetts importing approximately $3.37 billion worth of goods and services. Mexico was Massachusetts’ third ranked export partner, with Massachusetts exporting approximately $1.86 billion worth of goods and services. Similar to the Patrick Administration, the Pena Nieto Administration has pursued a growth strategy that invests in education, innovation, and infrastructure.


 March 2014

Governor Deval Patrick today signed H. 3934, “An Act Relative to Unlawful Sexual Surveillance,” which modernizes the Commonwealth’s criminal voyeurism laws to outlaw what is known as “upskirting.” The law goes into effect immediately. The legislation makes the secret photographing, videotaping, or electronically surveiling of another person’s sexual or other intimate parts, whether under or around a person’s clothing or when a reasonable person would believe that the person’s intimate parts would not be visible to the public, a crime.  Under the proposed legislation, whoever willfully photographs, videotapes, or electronically surveils, with the intent to secretly conduct or hide such activity, another person’s sexual or other intimate parts will be subject to imprisonment for not more than 2½ years or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.

The bill also creates a new crime that states whoever videotapes or photographs, with the intent to secretly conduct or hide such activity, the sexual or other intimate parts of a child will be subject to imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2½ years, by imprisonment in state prison for not more than 5 years, by a fine of not more than $5,000, or both imprisonment and a fine.

Massachusetts Governor's Corner


Women’s Leadership Fellowship, Successful Women Task Force Will Address Issues in the Workforce, Grow Opportunity for Female Residents of the Commonwealth

March 2014

Governor Deval Patrick launched the Women in the Workplace Initiative, which will underscore the key role all working women play in business and the economic success of the Commonwealth by growing the pipeline of women poised to fill high-level positions in both the public and private sectors, and examine policy steps the Commonwealth can take to advance women in the workplace from across the economic spectrum. As part of the initiative, the Governor announced the Massachusetts Women’s Leadership Fellowship, which will expand access to opportunities for women leaders. The Governor also announced the formation of the Successful Women, Successful Families Task Force, which is charged with creating recommendations that the Patrick Administration can implement to advance and cultivate all women in the workforce. 

"An economy is only at its best when every individual has an equal opportunity to participate," said Governor Patrick. "By focusing on redefining our own strategies to support women in the workplace and challenging our business community to do the same, we will strengthen our economy and build a better Commonwealth for generations to come."

In partnership with Bentley University and its Center for Women in Business, the Patrick Administration will develop the Massachusetts Women’s Leadership Fellowship, which will place fellows in key positions in state government and the quasi agencies for a year, while participating in leadership development and networking programs throughout their tenure. These women will leave the fellowship well-prepared for careers in public or private sector management, setting them up to fill executive office and board of director positions later in their careers. The application process will be open by late April 2014. Fellows are expected to be selected by late June and begin their fellowships in September.

"I could not be more pleased that Bentley University is joining forces with Governor Patrick in this groundbreaking initiative,” said Bentley University President Gloria Cordes Larson. “Our  Center for Women and Business was founded to help companies and other organizations develop, support, retain and advance women in today's workplace. We believe our efforts fit hand in glove with the Patrick Administration's bold plans to create the Massachusetts Women's Leadership Fellowship. This is a strong step forward in our collective efforts to prepare women to lead – by creating more actual opportunities for them to do just that.” 

During today’s announcement, the Governor challenged the private sector to join the state in committing to establish similar programs in their own organizations, with the shared goal of creating a deep bench of talented and experienced women leaders throughout Massachusetts.

The Governor also announced on Wednesday the formation of the Successful Women, Successful Families Task Force, which will be charged with reporting back to the Governor within six months with a series of recommendations including, but not limited to, what the Commonwealth and the Executive Branch can do, as an employer, to advance women in the workplace; and what policies the Commonwealth could adopt to govern the employment practices of the private sector. Recommendations could include additional policy steps the state could take on matters such as equal pay, flex time and family-conducive schedules, maternity leave, lactation facilities, family responsibilities discrimination, minimum wage and child care. 

“Women play a key role in the Commonwealth’s economic competitiveness, yet they are under-represented in board rooms, elected offices and private and public sector management,” said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rachel Kaprielian. “At the Governor’s direction, the Task Force will identify ways to support women as they climb the career ladder to become the Commonwealth’s decision makers and policy leaders.”

“With nearly 194,000 women-owned businesses in the Commonwealth, women play an active role in our economic competitiveness as a state,” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki. “In order to continue to propel our economy forward, we must ensure everybody has the resources and ability to compete in our 21st century innovation economy.”

The Patrick Administration has lead by example when it comes to advancing women in the workplace and understands that women are a critical force behind continuing economic success for the Commonwealth. According to the latest Report on Diversity Outcomes in the Executive Branch released by the Office of Access and Opportunity in November 2013, 50 percent of all managers within the executive branch were women, and 49 percent of all senior managers within the executive branch were women. 

In contrast, The Boston Club earlier this year released a report stating that only 13.8 percent of the directors of Massachusetts’ 100 largest public companies are women. This is an all-time high, and is below the national average of 17 percent. Just 1.5 percent of all directors at these top 100 companies are women of color, and the majority of these companies have no female executive officers. Workforce challenges exist for all women, not just those at the executive level. The Shriver Report released a study in collaboration with the Center for American Progress detailing the status of working women in the United States. The study determines that there are 42 million financially insecure working women across the country, living below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. They note that women make up nearly two-thirds of minimum-wage workers, the vast majority of whom receive no paid sick days. Twenty-eight million children depend on these 42 million women.

The Governor’s new initiative, alongside his challenge to private sector employers, will work to create an even playing field for all residents of the Commonwealth to gain access to economic growth and opportunity. For more information on the initiative, please click here.

Employment Background Checks: FTC, EEOC Offer Tips for Employers and Job Applicants

March 2014

Hiring decisions are among the most important choices for any employer, but the process can be complex. For the first time, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have co-published two short guides on employment background checks that explain the rights and responsibilities of the people on both sides of the desk.

The FTC and the EEOC want employers to know that they need written permission from job applicants before getting background reports about them from a company in the business of compiling background information. Employers also should know that it’s illegal to discriminate based on a person’s race, national origin, sex, religion, disability, or age (40 or older) when requesting or using background information for employment.

At the same time, the agencies want job applicants to know that it’s not illegal for potential employers to ask someone about their background as long as the employer does not unlawfully discriminate. Job applicants also should know that if they’ve been turned down for a job or denied a promotion based on information in a background report, they have a right to review the report for accuracy.

 “The FTC is pleased to work with the EEOC to help ensure that employers and potential employees have a solid understanding of their rights and responsibilities,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

The FTC enforces the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the law that protects the privacy and accuracy of the information in credit reports. The EEOC enforces laws against employment discrimination.

Find more tips in the brochures, Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know and Background Checks: What Job Applicants and Employees Should Know.


March 2014

Governor Deval L. Patrick today announced $100 million in renovations focused on better serving international passengers at Boston’s Logan International Airport.  The project will include a new post-security connector between terminals E and C,  improvements to hold rooms and concessions, renovations to accommodate expanded international air service, and the installation of self-service kiosks to expedite the processing of passports for those traveling internationally. 

International air service is the fastest growing segment of the Logan travel market, up 20 percent in the past 10 years. 5.7 million international travelers passed through Logan last year, making up 1 in 5 passengers.

“Lasting growth in the 21st century global economy will come from our competitiveness in global markets,” said Governor Patrick. “These new renovations to better serve our international passengers build on our growth strategy to open up Massachusetts to new markets and will ensure that we remain competitive for many years to come.”   

“Boston Logan is the region’s gateway to the global economy,’’ said Thomas P. Glynn, CEO of Massport, the airport’s owner and operator. “We have had success, but we must continue to develop new routes, make Terminal E welcoming to the global citizens who pass through it everyday, and make certain the airport continues to be the region’s efficient economic engine.’’

The renovations will begin in July and are expected to be complete in about 2 years. They are funded through Massport’s capital plan.

The Governor made the announcement during remarks at a business summit with Massport and the Greater Chamber of Commerce. The forum focused on the importance of international air service to the Commonwealth’s economy. Along with the Patrick Administration, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce has identified the expansion of international connections as a top priority. Under Governor Patrick’s leadership, Massachusetts is competing on the international stage and winning. For example:

  • Logan now serves 36 overseas markets with non-stop service, up from 26 a decade ago, with recent flights added to Dublin, Madrid, Toronto, the Dominican Republic, Tokyo, Panama City, Istanbul, Dubai and Beijing. 
  • In the inaugural year of Japan Airlines’ non-stop service to and from Tokyo, visitors from Japan to Massachusetts increased by 43 percent, with those visitors spending approximately $108 million in Massachusetts.
  • Logan saw record numbers of travelers in the last three years. International air service is the fastest growing segment of the Logan travel market, up 20 percent in the past 10 years. 5.7 million international travelers passed through Logan last year, making up 1 in 5 passengers. Forecasts between now and November expect departing international seats to increase by 7.5 percent. Logan’s international terminal is undergoing a makeover to create a welcoming environment for passengers traveling to Massachusetts for pleasure and for business. International customers benefit from shorter wait times through immigration and customs compared to other major East Coast airports. 
  • Spending by international visitors hit $2.3 billion this past year. Visitor spending currently supports 127,000 Massachusetts jobs and over $1 billion in state and local taxes – those numbers are up 4% from last year.
  • Massachusetts merchandise exports increased 4.6 percent last year to $26.8 billion.
  • This year, Massachusetts colleges and universities are hosting over 46,000 international students – an increase of 13 percent over last year. 

“Without question, international air service is a key element for the economic success of any city or state,” said Pedro Heilbron, CEO, Copa Airlines. “Copa’s nonstop Boston-to-Panama flight has contributed significantly to increases in air traffic, not only from Panama – which has the fastest growing economy in Latin America – but also from countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil and many of the other destinations we serve in the region. Copa is very pleased to be a catalyst for economic growth both here in Massachusetts and throughout Latin America."

“We are very excited to provide nonstop service between Boston and Beijing,” said Pubin Liang, Managing Director of Hainan Airlines in North America. “Massachusetts’ diverse economy and high income makes this market a natural fit that will bolster business and tourism opportunities between Boston and Beijing.”