hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


May 7, 2009

Haverhill basks in 'bio-ready' label


"This distinction will go a long way in our effort to recruit new high-paying and cutting-edge jobs to the city," Fiorentini said.

The ratings will be sent to 60,000 biotechnology firms and executives throughout the world to help market the platinum communities in Massachusetts as a good place for biotech companies to locate, grow and expand.

"Some of the emerging biotech companies who are on the verge of wonderful discoveries will look at building new building across this commonwealth and they look at which cities are ready, willing and able to receive them and Haverhill is definitely one of them," Jajuga said.

The city also intends to use this award to market its new industrial park on upper Hilldale Avenue as a great place for biotech companies, Fiorentini said.

This week, the city received $1.85 million from the state to extend water and sewer service through an industrial park on upper Hilldale Avenue to the New Hampshire line.

"We are heading in the right direction. This is what people want, to go out and do our best to attract and accommodate new businesses. Even though the world economy is tough right now there are a lot of great things happening. We can't lull ourself into despair. We need to forge ahead and plan for our future and plan for the growth that is going to come," Jajuga said.

Also receiving the platinum ranking were Andover and North Andover, making the Merrimack Valley a regional biotech center, said Joseph Bevilacqua, president of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce.

"There is a major presence already in this region and this award further establishes the region for future development. This is also an opportunity for these communities to work together," Bevilacqua said.

Bevilacqua said this distinction also shows biotech companies there is a world outside of Cambridge and that there is a regional presence here, which sends a positive message.

"Andover and North Andover have been first in line and have established a great presence and this is a great opportunity for Haverhill to be a part of it," Bevilacqua said.

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