HOPKINTON, Mass. /Massachusetts Newswire/ — Continuing his push to create jobs and spur long-term economic development throughout the Commonwealth, Governor Deval Patrick today announced a $2.5 million grant to the Town of Hopkinton for local infrastructure upgrades that will facilitate the expansion of Lonza Biologics, a Hopkinton-based life sciences company. The grant, funded through the Massachusetts Opportunity Relocation and Expansion (MORE) Jobs Capital program, is projected to create 102 new jobs, 66 of which have been created in anticipation of today’s announcement.

“Creating jobs is our top priority and I am thrilled that Hopkinton will enjoy the immediate and long-term economic benefits of the MORE Jobs Program,” said Governor Patrick. “The return on our investment in Hopkinton and communities across Massachusetts is significant. By improving public infrastructure, we create the conditions for the business expansion and job growth that carry us through the current downturn and build a lasting economic recovery.”

“The MORE Jobs Program is a great way for our administration to partner with cities and towns in support of economic growth,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “The investments we are making today to improve infrastructure in the Town of Hopkinton will not only lead to Lonza Biologic’s business expansion but will also support job creation and long-term economic growth in this region of the Commonwealth.”

Hopkinton will use the funds to increase sewer capacity with the neighboring Town of Milford, an upgrade that will allow Lonza Biologics to expand its facilities and create additional jobs. The project will cost $3.98 million to complete. The Town will also direct $10.4 million in recent State Revolving Funds awarded by the Department of Environmental Protection to make necessary improvements to the local wastewater treatment plant. These upgrades will also help facilitate Lonza’s expansion and Hopkinton’s future growth capacity.

“This is a terrific example of the state and town working together to find the funding for a worthwhile project, without which we may very well lose companies and jobs in MetroWest and Massachusetts,” said Senator Karen Spilka, Senate Chair, Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies. “I fought hard for this project, knowing that this is the type of targeted investment the Commonwealth should be making right now. I applaud the town for their persistence in seeing this project to fruition, as well as Secretary Bialecki for his recognition of the importance of this project. The expanded capacity for job retention, growth and expansion will help further solidify the region’s economic base.”

“It’s been easy to advocate for a project that will create over 100 jobs at Lonza Biologics and lay the foundation for future economic growth in Hopkinton and along Rte. 495. It’s exciting to finally secure this crucial piece of funding so that the town can move forward,” said Representative Carolyn Dykema. “At a time when voters are clamoring for government to work collaboratively, this project is a great example of dedicated town officials, a private business, legislators and the Governor’s office working together to support the town and help create badly needed jobs.”

“Infrastructure improvements are a central component of the state’s Life Sciences Initiative, and we are pleased to see the MORE Jobs Capital program being used to complement these efforts,” said Melissa Walsh, Chief Operating Officer of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. “Combined with investments that the Center is funding in this part of the state, these public commitments will leverage hundreds of million of dollars in private investment while creating hundreds of jobs in the MetroWest region. We applaud the Patrick-Murray Administration for making this important investment in job growth at a most critical time.”

Today’s announcement was a part of Governor Patrick’s tour of several life sciences companies – Lonza, Arteriocyte, and Caliper, three innovative companies located in Hopkinton which exemplify the strength of the Commonwealth’s life sciences sector. On June 16, 2008, the Governor signed into law his groundbreaking Life Sciences Initiative. The 10-year, $1 billion plan enhances Massachusetts’ status as a global leader in life sciences, bringing together research hospitals, businesses, and public and private colleges and universities to support the state’s nationally-recognized strengths in medicine and science. Since the passage of the Initiative, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center has committed $187 million in public funds, leveraging more than $700 million in additional investment, and helping to create more than 6,400 projected jobs.

The MORE jobs program was established in the 2006 economic stimulus bill passed by the Legislature and signed into law. Grants must be used for public infrastructure improvements with the ultimate goal of enabling businesses to expand or relocate to the area. Since its inception, the MORE Jobs grant program has funded 28 projects across the state. Strong consideration has been given to projects that will provide the greatest economic impact to the Commonwealth’s diverse regional economies.