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MassMutual Expands In Springfield And Boston, Aided By $46M In Tax Incentives

The MassMutual headquarters in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Dave Roback
The Republican / masslive.com/photos
The MassMutual headquarters in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company plans to nearly double its Bay State workforce over the next few years, consolidating offices around the country as part of plan that includes a newly disclosed package of state incentives worth roughly $46 million, the company announced Thursday.

The Springfield-based insurance company will increase its Massachusetts workforce by 70 percent and create 2,000 jobs in the state by the end of 2021 as it makes new hires and relocates positions from other sites to Springfield and Boston. The company plans to invest close to $300 million on campuses in those two cities.

Gov. Charlie Baker hinted at the announcement during remarks to business executives at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce on Thursday morning, but declined to name the company that would consolidate its operations in the Bay State.

"It's a terrific company. They've been a part of our community for years, and this is a really big day for them and a really big day for us," Baker told reporters.

MassMutual will close its campus in Enfield, Connecticut, moving most of the 1,500 people who work there to its nearby Springfield offices, according to company spokesman James Lacey, who said Enfield and Springfield are currently the company's two biggest campuses, and both are currently underutilized.

While Enfield will lose a major employer, the people who work at the facility should be able to keep their jobs, said Mike Ciriello, the town's director of development services, who saw potential positives in the move.

"They're not cutting jobs. All they're doing is moving facilities to down the road, and hiring more people, which overall is a positive," Ciriello told the News Service. He said, "It's not like they're moving to North Carolina, which is good."

The life insurance company plans to close its offices in Charlotte, North Carolina; Memphis, Tennessee; Somerset, New Jersey; and Johnstown, Pennsylvania, according to Lacey, who said "several hundred" positions will be moved from those locations to Massachusetts.

"Following a thorough strategic assessment of our operations and footprint, we concluded that our home state of Massachusetts is the best place for us to grow and thrive over the long term," MassMutual Chairman, President and CEO Roger Crandall said in a statement. The company cited the state's workforce, educational institutions, local economies, diversity, and "convenient access to transportation" – although transportation is a major gripe for Boston area residents.

The highly-touted U.S. News & World Report survey that ranked Massachusetts the best state in the nation last year put the Bay State at 45th in terms of transportation and 47th in road quality.

In its announcement, MassMutual said consolidation would occur "over time," and the company will retain its offices in Amherst, New York City and Phoenix, Arizona, in addition to Boston and Springfield.

The state's incentive package is contingent on the company adding 2,000 jobs to Massachusetts, according to MassMutual. The state will offer the company $46 million in tax incentives over a period of years, according to the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, and MassMutual will need to submit an application to the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council.

State law limits the total annual amount of tax incentives awarded through the Economic Development Incentive Program to $30 million, according to the Office of Housing and Economic Development.

The Baker administration also offered $1 million in workforce training funds, according to the administration.

Founded in 1851 in Springfield, the insurer will bring its workforce in the state's third largest city to 4,500 by 2021, while investing $50 million to improve its facilities there, the company announced.

"MassMutual remains one of our leading corporate citizens, and I am pleased that we have once again been able to work together to support the company’s continued growth and expansion here in its hometown of Springfield," Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said in a statement.

MassMutual will spend $240 million on a Boston campus over the next several years, constructing a 300,000 square foot office building on Fan Pier in the South Boston Seaport by 2021.

"MassMutual’s decision to grow in Boston will give the company greater access to the growing technology and financial services industries in our city and enhance its ability to attract the best available talent," Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement.

This report was originally published by State House News Service.

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