A Summit on Smart Manufacturing Resiliency, taking place next month at Northern Essex Community College, could very well paint a picture of Haverhill’s economic future.
The summit, envisioned in part by City Council Vice President John A. Michitson and turned into a reality by the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Haverhill Foundation and the college, focuses on smart manufacturing across three major industries: advanced manufacturing, life sciences and climate technology. Speaking before the City Council Tuesday, state Rep. Andy X. Vargas said he hopes the summit will be a catalyst for making Haverhill an attractive location for those types of industries.
“I think we have two really impressive clusters of manufacturing here—food manufacturing and climate technology—and so, we want to make sure that people see Haverhill as a place to bring those types of businesses, right, to invest in,” he explained.
Academia is another advocate for the future of advanced manufacturing. Northern Essex Community College Vice President of Institutional Advancement Allison Dolan-Wilson, gave reasons why.
“Hosting a summit on advanced manufacturing demonstrates Northern Essex’s commitment to staying at the forefront of industry trends and addressing the needs of our local business. We want to continue to be at the leading edge of preparing students for careers in evolving fields,” she told councilors.
Michitson noted a future Haverhill Smart Manufacturing Hub and Model Smart Factory could be built at the former Dutton Airport site or Ward Hill Business Park, where 40 acres are ready for development, or Lupoli Companies’ “District Square” development in downtown Haverhill, or any combination.
Summit topics include Government and University Support for Smart Manufacturing; Market Outlooks, Market Needs and Funding Opportunities for Smart Manufacturing; and Current and Future Solutions. Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce President Alexandria Eberhardt expressed her hopes for the success of the summit.
“Haverhill’s the place that you want to be. Come. Be an entrepreneur here. Build your business here. Bring your families and live here because we’re also building housing,” she exclaimed.
Panel topics include Smart Manufacturing Barriers & Solutions for Small and Medium Sized Manufacturers and Building a Regional Smart Manufacturing Hub with a Model Smart Factory in Haverhill. The latter is a case study on food manufacturing.
Scheduled speakers include Congresswoman Lori Trahan, state Secretary of Economic Development Yvonne Hao, UMass Lowell, Vice Chancellor, Research & Innovation Anne Maglia, MassBio, CEO and President Kendalle Burlin O’Connell, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, CEO and President Kenneth Turner, Vargas and Smart Manufacturing Institute Vice President of Education Conrad Leiva and Schneider Electric Eco Building Division Sales Manager Justin Simmons.
The Summit takes place Friday, June 16, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., at the college’s Hartleb Technology Center, 100 Elliot St., Haverhill.