WPI Hosts Economic Summit with Senator Edward M. Kennedy

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

Senator Edward Kennedy opens the Economic Summit at WPI on Friday, December 11, 1998.

WPI's Alden Memorial was the setting for the Economic Summit plenary session. About 400 business and government leaders attended.

Sen. Edward Kennedy and WPI President Edward Alton Parrish met with media during summit.

The Central Massachusetts Regional Compact was announced at the summit. Shown are (from left) Sen. Edward Kennedy, EPA Administrator Carol Browner, Massachsetts Rep. James McGovern, and WPI President Edward Alton Parrish.

WORCESTER, Mass. -- Thanks to a plan initiated on the campus of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the economic and environmental health of central Massachusetts has attracted a throng of support.

On December 11, WPI hosted the 1998 Central Massachusetts Economic Summit, bringing together U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy and nearly 400 government, higher education and business leaders. The goal is to launch a cooperative relationship between the federal government, local communities and businesses, educational institutions and other organizations to improve the economy and the environment.

To that end, Kennedy and several key attendees signed the Central Massachusetts Regional Compact, pledging their efforts to growth and renewal.

"The strength of our high tech and manufacturing industries, and the significant growth in small business, have been powerful forces contributing to the creation of new jobs," Kennedy said. "Wise investments in jobs and job training and education are essential for our continued economic prosperity."

Carol Browner, administrator with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, noted the connection between a strong economy and a healthy environment.

"We are finding ways - in partnerships with businesses, communities, environmentalists and governments at all levels - to meet (public health) standards in cost-effective, commonsense, market-based ways," she said.

WPI President Edward A. Parrish praised the initiative, saying, "Today as in the past, WPI remains committed to promoting the strength and vitality of the region. Business partnership is an important part of WPI's history."

WPI was founded in 1865 by merging the visions of two prosperous Worcester, Mass., entrepreneurs. Its 2,700 undergraduate and 1,000 full- and part-time graduate students continue the university's long history of balancing theory and real-world practice.