By Thor Jourgensen
The Daily Item
March 25, 2010
REVERE – Revere’s legislators say two proposals supported by their colleagues will create more jobs overall and promote job creation in Massachusetts’ film industry.
A $9.5 million workforce training fund supported by state Rep. Kathi-Anne Reinstein will provide employers with grants aimed at educating and training existing members of the workforce and new hires. Through the beginning of this year, more than $175 million in grants have been awarded to train almost a quarter-million workers through the Workforce Training Fund.
“The workforce training program will also help companies here in our region and throughout all of Massachusetts increase productivity and improve business,” she said, adding, “Creating stable, good-paying jobs is the right step toward economic recovery.”
Reinstein’s push for job training parallels Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s support for continuing a tax credit oriented to the film industry.
Since the inception of the tax credit in 2006, the Massachusetts film industry has seen dramatic growth, especially in the area of employment where job growth has increased by 30 percent.
“The House has again fought for our state’s businesses and working people by supporting the film tax credit which stimulates local business and job growth throughout Massachusetts,” DeLeo said.
During debate on the House floor, lawmakers rejected an amendment that would have limited the tax credit to $50 million per year. Another amendment would have limited the tax credit to $7 million per year.
A recent UMass-Boston study reported that each job created by the film sector produces a job in other sectors of the Commonwealth. The study also suggests that non-wage film production spending in Massachusetts – some $247 million between 2006 and 2008 – can create “significant sources of revenue for local merchants.”
Gov. Deval Patrick approved expanding film industry tax credits during his first year in office and proposed this year capping film credits as the state tries to recover from the recession.
The Legislature rallied around the credits, citing recent movies made in the state and the jobs they generated.
In addition to the action film “Surrogates,” Lynn has seen “Company Men” and “Edge of Darkness” film locally. “Shutter Island,” now in theaters, was filmed in Nahant and crews working on an Adam Sandler movie also set up in Marblehead.
The University of Massachusetts study found that the state’s efforts to lure Hollywood stars has transformed it into one of the nation’s fastest-growing locations for film and television production with a 117 percent growth in motion picture and video production jobs in the state between 2005 and 2008.
Industry officials in Massachusetts seized on the study, saying it bolsters the state’s decision to offer lucrative tax credits.
“As many in our state struggle to find work, we must do everything we can to attract job opportunities to our state and grow our economy,” DeLeo said.