For Immediate Release: February 15, 2008
Contact: Cort Boulanger (339) 222-2442

High Tech Council CEO Survey Projects Job Growth for 2008

Vertex’s Boger Named New Council Chairman

Despite national and regional reports about the economy slipping into recession, a vast majority of top state technology CEOs is optimistic about the state’s business climate and expects to add jobs in the next year, according to survey results released today by the Massachusetts High Technology Council. MHTC’s Annual Business Climate survey also indicates that a growing number of technology leaders want government leaders to stabilize the state’s business costs structure and make the public education system more globally competitive.

The results of the survey were presented today at MHTC’s Annual Meeting, which featured the election of Vertex Pharmaceuticals President & CEO Josh Boger as MHTC’s new Chairman. Dr. Boger founded Vertex in 1989, after starting his life sciences career at Merck. He also currently serves as Chairman of BIO, the national biotechnology trade association.

“As the economy slows, Massachusetts will face increased global competition for both the businesses and talented workforce that support our economy,” said Boger. “Education reform and the creation of attractive cost structures for businesses must remain key priorities for Massachusetts if we are to remain competitive in the international business environment.”

The survey revealed that 64 percent of participating CEOs expect job expansion this year, while only seven percent anticipate their company to reduce workforce. In addition, 76 percent of CEOs felt Massachusetts was either an “outstanding” or “good” place to run a technology firm, up one percentage point from 2007.

The annual survey helps set the Council’s public policy agenda this year. The top five priorities for technology employers, as defined by the CEO survey are:

  • Work to implement the consensus K-12 priorities established by the diverse group of education stakeholders convened by the Council during the past two years
  • Work to oppose new taxes, protect existing favorable tax policies and make other tax policies more competitive
  • Support the continued development of a long-term, tech-based, economic development strategy for our entire innovation economy;
  • Reform the state’s Unemployment Insurance system to make it competitive with the structure of the other 49 states;
  • Focus state’s workforce development programs to address the specific needs of technology sectors (i.e., defense, biopharma and others).

“In order to maintain our standing as a top tier environment for tech business development and growth, Massachusetts must employ a comprehensive economic strategy that includes continued education reform”.