Section 30. (a) As used in this section the following terms shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise have the following meanings:—
“Manufacturing network”, a group of five or more private sector firms engaged in trade which work cooperatively to improve competitiveness; the network may also include industry associations and universities.
“Trade”, firms that sell their goods or services, into markets for which national or international competition exists.
(b) The industrial service program, hereinafter referred to as “the program,” shall support the creation and development of manufacturing networks to enhance the quality of Massachusetts manufactured products and improve the national and international competitiveness of Massachusetts manufacturing firms.
The program shall provide manufacturing network grants based on criteria established by its director. The program shall not grant, in any fiscal year, more than fifteen percent of funds appropriated for manufacturing networks to any one network. State funds for each network shall be matched in at least an equal amount by the members of the network, provided however that up to seventy-five percent of the matching funds may be in the form of in-kind contributions, which may include personnel and shall be included in the report required by subsection (c).
The program shall assist manufacturing networks to:
(1) share, develop and finance improvements and innovation in manufacturing technology;
(2) improve productivity, including but not limited to, total quality management, statistical quality control and just-in-time production;
(3) enhance work force development and employee training;
(4) access new export markets;
(5) improve work organization and management practices, including but not limited to increasing front-line employee responsibility and participation;
(6) convert from military- to civilian-based production;
(7) meet environmental standards or regulations;
(8) reduce employee health care costs and improve workplace safety; and
(9) engage in other related activities.
(c) The program shall annually file with the clerks of the senate and the house of representatives on or before January first, a report of its activities in support of manufacturing networks in the commonwealth. Said report shall include, but not be limited to: (1) a financial statement summarizing the corporation activities involving manufacturing networks; (2) the number and types of manufacturers assisted and a description of the assistance provided; and (3) legislative recommendations to enhance the competitiveness of Massachusetts manufacturers.
(d) Said program shall work cooperatively with the university of Massachusetts and the department of labor and workforce development.