Michitson: Haverhill Needs to ‘Up Its Game’ With Startups, Tech

Haverhill City Councilor John A. Michitson. (WHAV News file photograph.)

City Council President John A. Michitson delivers remarks during Haverhill’s 2018 Inauguration Ceremony at City Hall on New Year’s Day. (WHAV News photograph)

While some members of Haverhill’s government may have housing on their 2018 priority list, City Council President John A. Michitson is focused on another to-do: Technology.

In his New Year’s Day inaugural address, Michitson stressed the importance of downtown Haverhill’s startup incubator at Harbor Place. As Michitson explained, it is imperative for the city to “up its game” with technology and manufacturing or risk falling behind.

“Good jobs are the lifeline of a community,” Michitson reasoned. Harbor Place’s iHub, as it’s known, opened its doors earlier this year and has attracted businesses including 180 South Solar to its incubator.

“The goal is for the iHub to attract startups to its facility and help grow them to larger space downtown, such as the Burgess Business Center on Essex Street, then to our business parks when they take off,” he continued. “The City of Haverhill needs to up its game and engage with the iHub to help Haverhill families attain good jobs and eventually lower taxes.”

Michitson’s intention to put city business parks on the map is fully supported by Mayor James J. Fiorentini, who prioritizes zoning in his Master Plan.

In his inaugural address, Michitson said he believes Haverhill can easily become part of a “global tech transformation.”

To that end, the Council leader wants to educate residents on Haverhill’s resources, which already include Magellan Aerospace and Lightspeed Manufacturing. “We need citizens’ help in (this) important endeavor to be successful,” he said.

On Jan. 17, the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, Merrimack Valley Planning Commission and UMass Lowell invite the community to see what city startups have to offer as part of a showcase of up-and-coming manufacturing companies.

Serving as a kickoff to Mass Innovation Night’s 2018 program, the iHub event takes place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on the second floor of 2 Merrimack St.