Eric Lesser

Senator

Longmeadow, MA

As the youngest member of the Massachusetts Senate, Senator Lesser champions civic engagement and greater participation in public affairs. He serves as Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts & Cultural Development, and Senate Vice-Chair of the Committee on Financial Services.

Senator Lesser earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College in 2007. Upon graduating, he joined the Obama for America campaign, during which he traveled with then-Senator Obama across 47 states. Following President Obama’s historic victory, Senator Lesser served as Special Assistant to White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod, and later as Director of Strategic Planning for the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Senator Lesser is also a Fellow with the Truman National Security Project, a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, and was named a “Face of the Democratic Future” by American Prospect Magazine.

Pro-Growth Progressive Ideas Shared

Problem

Over the next 10 years, more than 44,000 jobs in the precision manufacturing sector will go unfilled in Massachusetts, due to a lack of qualified workers, despite the fact that the average salary in this industry can approach $75,000. Historically, Western Massachusetts has been left out of the red-hot economy in the eastern part of the state. Part of that problem is a gap between the number of well-paying, stable manufacturing jobs and the number of local residents who can fill them. 

Solution

Senator Eric Lesser has proposed an idea to provide advanced manufacturing training to unemployed and underemployed individuals, including veterans, to build a locally based, highly qualified manufacturing workforce across Massachusetts, particularly in the western Massachusetts where manufacturing was the key employer for 10 generations. The precision manufacturing pilot program is already operating in Western Massachusetts and has resulted in an exciting partnership between the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, Inc. and the Western Massachusetts Chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association. Together these organizations are working with local community colleges, vocational schools and advanced manufacturing companies to train unemployed and underemployed individuals, career changers and youth across the region.


Problem

Smaller cities throughout Massachusetts have experienced much slower economic recoveries from the recession, making it harder for entrepreneurs in these areas to successfully launch and grow their businesses. 

Solution

Senator Eric Lesser proposed legislation this year to offer a tax credit for investors looking to fund high-tech small businesses in small and medium-sized cities across Massachusetts. The tax credit would equal 10% of an investor’s investment in a business, if the business is a small one located in a Gateway City with 75% of its employees working in Massachusetts. This will encourage venture capitalists and other investors to look outside traditional tech centers like Cambridge and help entrepreneurs in other parts of the state get the resources they need to be successful.