Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
The General Laws are hereby amended by inserting after chapter 23E the following chapter:- `tuc CHAPTER 23F. THE ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION PROGRAM.
Section 1. When used in this chapter, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:-
"Defense-dependent firm", a firm engaged in defense-related commercial activities which has derived over twenty-five percent of its operating income generated from operations located within the commonwealth through prime contracts with the United States Department of Defense or through subcontracts to such prime contractors, in each of the preceding five years or over the life of the business, whichever period is shorter.
"Defense-dependent industry", an industry dominated by defense-dependent firms.
"Defense-related commercial activities", shall include, but are not limited to, production of aircraft and their component parts, communication and detection equipment, electron tubes, electronic components, electronic computing equipment, fabricated metal products, guided missiles and guided missile parts, optical instruments, ordnance, scientific instruments, semi-conductors, ship and boat building, small arms, space vehicles and parts, turbines and associated research and development.
"Financial assistance", shall include, but is not limited to, funding in the form of debt, equity or grant monies not reasonably available from commercial sources.
"Technical assistance", shall include, but is not limited to, referrals to sources of financing, manufacturing process modernization assistance, on-site assistance, export trade and marketing assistance, evaluation of potential new products and markets and workforce training.
Section 2. There shall be established in the executive branch, under the joint supervision of the secretary of the executive office of economic affairs and the secretary of the executive office of labor, a Massachusetts economic diversification program. The secretary of economic affairs and the secretary of labor shall jointly issue such rules, regulations, and procedures as they deem necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
Section 3. The economic diversification program, through the center for applied technology and the industrial services program, shall be the principal mechanism of the commonwealth for stimulating and encouraging the sustainable diversification of defense-dependent industries and firms into revenue generating non-defense-dependent activities by providing technical assistance to defense-dependent firms and industries seeking to expand into new product areas or markets, by promoting the transfer of and access to new and emerging process technologies and by providing, where appropriate, workforce training through the coordination of existing resources of the executive branch.
Section 4. The economic diversification program may utilize the offices, staff, and resources of the other agencies of the executive branch including, but not limited to, the Bay State Skills Corporation, the Massachusetts office of business development, the department of employment and training, the executive office of communities and development, the Massachusetts community development finance corporation, the Massachusetts government land bank, the Massachusetts industrial finance agency, the Massachusetts business development corporation, the Massachusetts capital resource corporation, the Massachusetts product development corporation, the Massachusetts technology development corporation, the Massachusetts centers of excellence corporation and such voluntary and uncompensated services as may from time to time be necessary for the proper performance of the duties and purposes of the program.
Section 5. Subject to appropriation, the duties of the Massachusetts economic diversification program shall include, but not be limited to:
(a) establishing eligibility criteria for applications for technical assistance, workforce training, and financial aid to facilitate coordination among the various agencies with resources that could be used to stimulate economic diversification;
(b) publicizing the economic diversification program, the services it provides and the importance of economic diversification to the long-term growth and stability of defense-dependent firms and industries;
(c) distributing, receiving, reviewing and evaluating applications for technical assistance, training, and financial aid;
(d) referring, to appropriate executive branch agencies, applications for financial aid and technical assistance, pursuant to section four; and
(e) monitoring and evaluating projects undertaken by the diversification program.
Section 6. The secretary of the executive office of economic affairs and the secretary of the executive office of labor shall jointly appoint, without regard to chapter thirty-one of the General Laws but with the approval of the governor, an advisory committee on economic diversification to implement and monitor the economic diversification program. The duties of the advisory committee shall include, but not be limited to: (1) determining which applications meet the established criteria; (2) evaluating applications for financial and technical assistance; (3) making a written recommendation regarding each application; and (4) transmitting approved applications to the center for applied technology and industrial services program.
Said advisory committee shall be composed of at least seven members, two representing groups actively advocating the need for economic diversification of defense-dependent firms and industries, one labor representative affiliated with a union or unions likely to be affected by diversification activities, two business persons, one academician, and one marketing professional, each of whom shall be knowledgeable about and have favorable reputations for their skill, knowledge, and experience in the areas of the commercial product and market development application of flexible production technologies and workforce training and retraining. Members of this committee shall receive no compensation for their expenses. Said committee shall annually, on or before November first, make a report to the secretary of the executive office of economic affairs and the secretary of the executive office of labor, and may make such special reports as it or said secretaries deem desirable.
Section 7. The secretaries of economic affairs and of labor may accept gifts or grants of money or property from any source which shall be held in trust for the use of the economic diversification program by said secretaries as custodians.
Section 8. The secretaries of economic affairs and of labor shall jointly prepare and submit an annual report pursuant to section thirty-two of chapter thirty.