Improving the economy of North Central Massachusetts

From business looking to start, expand or to those looking to relocate to North Central Massachusetts, let us be your primary resource.


North Central Massachusetts is strategically located close to Metro Boston and major cities, with access to major highways, airports and commuter rail.

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North Central Massachusetts has continually expanding public transportation.

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North Central Massachusetts has a skilled and educated workforce.

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North Central Massachusetts is affordable and is a great place to grow a business or raise a family!

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Financing & Technical Assistance

We provide financing and support to help small business growth in the region.

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Quality of Life

North Central Massachusetts offers the opportunity to experience New England at its finest.

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Economic Overview

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation

For businesses, travelers and residents alike, the North Central Massachusetts region offers the opportunity to experience New England at its finest.

For any business seeking that desirable combination of infrastructure, transportation, top-shelf workforce, affordable cost of living and quality of life, North Central Massachusetts has it all. Add in the intellectual resources provided by some of the nation’s top colleges and universities and it’s easy to see why Massachusetts provides fertile ground for business growth. The North Central region can take advantage of all the business-supporting resources of Greater Boston and Worcester while offering attractively priced commercial and industrial real estate. Housing is more affordable here too, with choices ranging from antique homesteads in pre-revolutionary villages to historic farms, custom homes and modern condominiums.
The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC) is a non-profit corporation with the mission of creating jobs and improving the economy of North Central Massachusetts. The NCMDC is the lead economic development organization for the region and acts as a connector, facilitator and partner. From businesses looking to start, expand or to those looking to relocate to North Central Massachusetts, let us be your primary resource. The NCMDC is staffed by experienced professionals with extensive backgrounds in economic development; banking and finance; and government affairs.

For more information about the NCMDC visit or contact Sandie Cataldo, Economic Development Manager at 978.353.7607 x232.

North Central Massachusetts has much to offer its visitors from serene farmlands and rivers to the energetic Great Wolf Lodge. Here you can spend a day skiing at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area or take your kids to experience all that Davis’ Farm Family Adventure has to offer. The region is filled with a rich history and fascinating museums ready for you to explore. With all the attractions that the region has to offer, you’ll have a hard time picking what to do. Whatever your interest, and whatever your age, you’ll find the perfect destination – and not so far away. for more information on everything the region has to offer visitors and residents.

Visit North Central Massachusetts (VNCM) is the official regional tourism organization serving North Central Massachusetts. The organization’s primary mission is to educate the traveling public, tourists, and residents of North Central Massachusetts about the many historical, cultural, and hospitality related sites within this scenic New England Region. Through this mission VNCM works collectively with local attractions, hospitality businesses and local communities to market the North Central region as a destination and provide information and services to the traveling public.

Since its founding, in 1994, Visit North Central Massachusetts has been very successful in branding the region and growing the economic impact of the industry. In 2004, tourism represented approximately 286 jobs and $2 million in wages in the region’s hospitality industry. Today, it accounts for over 800 jobs and over $24 million in wages. In 2004, VNCM  generated $14.3 million of economic activity and $7 million in direct expenditures by visitors and $5.4 million in secondary spending. Today, tourism in North Central Massachusetts conservatively generates over $131 million of direct spending and over $7.6 million in tax revenues for our communities.

Whether you’re planning a week-end getaway or vacation, making arrangements to bring a tour group in by bus or need help with planning a meeting or sports event, the experienced staff at Visit North Central Massachusetts are available to assist you. Contact Visit North Central Massachusetts at 978.3537604.

North Central Massachusetts has a rich history in Manufacturing Tradition, including the birthplace of American plastics industry in Leominster, the area is home to more than 430 manufacturers, including dozens of multinational corporations. Companies range from the world class plastics industry cluster of more than 140 companies to pharmaceuticals to photonics and paper, as well as biomedical devices. A strong and stable business base exists here, as well as rapidly growing industrial/commercial areas such as Devens Business Park.

North Central Massachusetts is unique among workforce areas in the state in that it has double the number of manufacturing jobs as a percentage of the private labor force. Fully one-third of all private wages paid in the region are from manufacturing jobs. The region also boasts the largest plastics industry cluster in the Northeast. This is why we say that North Central Massachusetts is “Where Manufacturing Matters.”

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and its affiliates remain committed to supporting and growing this critical sector of our economy. Contact the Chamber at 978.353.7600 for assistance or more information on resources available.


Northeast Energy Partners has teamed up with the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce to offer members an alternative way to buy energy. You can join one of the largest energy buying groups in Northeast Energy Partner’s 10-year history, with over 3,000 small businesses. Lock in your electric rate and keep these low prices for the next several years!
Join the Northeast Energy Partners Electricity Buying Group today and receive these benefits….

  • The power of one of the largest buying groups in the state.
  • Enjoy a low & stable, fixed rate for the next 3 years.
  • Have the peace of mind to know you locked in at 6-year lows!
  • Receive the same great service you’ve always had from your local utility company and even the billing stays the same

North Central Massachusetts is strategically located within an hour’s drive from Metro Boston and thirty minutes from Metro Worcester with easy accessibility via Route 2 serving as an east-west corridor with fast connections to Route 496, 190 and 91 for north-south travel. Commuting is easy with in the region and for Boston commuters, the MBTA offers train service from intermodal centers in downtown Fitchburg and West Fitchburg extending into Boston with convenient stations in North Leominster Shirley and Ayer. Even air travel is convenient in North Central Massachusetts with private jet service at the Fitchburg Regional Airport. The Worcester Regional Airport connects Central Massachusetts the world. The airport offers 5 daily roundtrip service through JetBlue, American Airlines, and Delta Air Lines, with connections to over 120 destinations around the globe. Major international airports in Boston, Providence and Manchester, N.H. are no more than 90 minutes away. Freight rail services are primarily provided to the North Central region by three carriers: CSX; Pan Am; and Providence-Worcester.  These carriers have multiple connections with each other and provide very thorough coverage throughout the region and beyond it to the entire country. Public Transportation is provided to most of the communities in the region by the Montachusett Regional Transit Authority (MART).

Local Airports

International and Regional Airport Hubs

Passenger Rail Service

MBTA Passenger Train service

Freight Rail Service

Operates a freight  rail line from Leominster to their rail yard in Framingham, as well as freight service from Ayer to Worcester. The connections in Framingham and Worcester are linked as part of a CSX system that runs from Boston along the I-90 corridor to Albany, NY and from there to NYC, the entire Eastern seaboard, and as far West as Chicago, St. Louis, Memphis, and New Orleans.

Formerly known as Guilford Rail, Pan Am operates the primary rail line along Route 2 as far as Albany, and also along Route 91 from CT into VT.  Along with their access rights to other rail lines, they can provide freight service from North Central MA to Boston or Albany, and from White River Junction, VT to New Haven, Waterbury, and Derby, CT, with a connection at their own line in Greenfield, MA.  Pan Am and Norfolk Southern recently announced a partnership to make improvements to the entire rail system between Albany and Boston, with improvements to the tracks and facilities expected to improve transport times.

Their primary regional line runs from Gardner to Worcester, with connections to other operators in both locations.  Also operates lines through RI and CT, as well as providing freight service up through VT to the Canadian border.

Bus Routes

Montachusett Regional Transit Authority (MART) Bus

Click here for complete schedule information and an interactive route map.


Advance the economic development of North Central Massachusetts by creating and sustaining relationships among businesses and between businesses and the community.


Make North Central Massachusetts the best region in the state to live, work, raise a family or build a business by strengthening communities and improving our quality of life.

The Great Wolf Lodge New England

When Great Wolf Resorts was searching for a location for its first location in New England, it selected the City of Fitchburg in North Central Massachusetts. The Wisconsin-based operator of indoor water park resorts bought a former Holiday Inn Hotel located in Fitchburg, not far from Route 2, and expanded the property with the addition of a 68,000 square foot indoor water park as well as a separate play area complete with miniature golf and a ropes course. The company looked at a number of locations and ultimately selected Fitchburg in North Central Massachusetts for its strong workforce, abundant water supply and proximity to Boston. More than 42 million families with children live within 300 miles of a Great Wolf Lodge.

Great Wolf Resorts invested $66 million in the project, including the construction and acquisition costs.

In return, the City of Fitchburg and the state provided a package of tax deferral incentives that helped support the development and job creation from the project. The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation worked with local and state officials to attract Great Wolf Resorts to the region and helped advocate for the tax incentives for the project. The project helped create over 500 jobs for the region and generates millions in new tax revenues for the city and state.



Located in Clinton, Massachusetts, Nypro A Jabil Company is a world-class leader in manufacturing precision plastic products for customers in the healthcare, packaging and consumer electronics industries. When demand exceeded the capacity of its headquarters in Clinton Massachusetts, management began looking at locations to expand. As a global company with 25 dedicated facilities in 11 countries and more than 8,000 employees worldwide, Nypro could have gone anywhere. But the company wanted to stay local to its roots in North Central Massachusetts and ultimately selected a location down the street from its headquarters in Devens, Massachusetts.

“It was important that we keep a close connection to our history as well as the technical resources at our headquarters in Clinton.” said John Witkowski, general manager, Nypro Healthcare, Clinton. “North Central Massachusetts also has the skilled workforce that we needed to continue to grow and a reputation as the center for the plastics industry in the Northeast.”

The 200,000-square-foot modern manufacturing facility features a state-of-the-art training area, metrology lab, a fully digitized machine shop, environmentally controlled chambers, and a 60,000-square-foot, Class 8 clean room. The new facility offers a full selection of Nypro Healthcare services—from product development, mold design and build, to injection molding and automated assembly—for single-use and electro-mechanical Class I, II and III healthcare devices. This additional operational space increases Nypro Healthcare’s clean-room space by 60 percent in Massachusetts and provides for 100 new jobs for the region.


AIS, Inc.

When AIS was exploring options to consolidate its operations and headquarters, suitors from other states courted the company with tax incentives and other resources. But the award-winning manufacturer of commercial office furniture ultimately selected the City of Leominster in North Central Massachusetts as its new home because of the region’s skilled workforce, the local business climate and the collective support from local, regional and state officials. The City of Leominster was particularly instrumental in helping woo the company by providing tax incentives, site selection assistance, and a “can-do” attitude. “We looked around very aggressively, but the City of Leominster was amazing in support of our efforts, “ said Steve Savage, Chief Executive Officer for AIS, Inc.

The company evaluated a number of sites both inside and outside Massachusetts and ultimately settled on the facility at 25 Tucker Road in Leominster. The 588,000 square foot plant is a state of the art manufacturing site, which allowed the company to consolidate five Massachusetts locations into one, increasing efficiencies and lead-times. The facility currently houses the warehouse, distribution, shipping, receiving, woodshop, assembly, engineering and management. Approximately 400 employees are currently working in this location, with an additional 200 relocating into the building within a year.


Luxury Cuts

Luxury Cuts opened its first barbershop in 2010 in Park Hill Plaza in Fitchburg. The Owner, Carlos Rosado had assembled a good team of barbers and someone he could trust with day-to-day operation of the staff. He was convinced he could do as well if not better in neighboring Leominster and sought to duplicate his success by opening a second shop in the Johnny Appleseed Plaza.

With the help of financing provided by the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation, Carlos was able to expand his business and open up the second location in 2012. He now operates both locations successfully. This shop employs five barbers and the Fitchburg shop has another 3 barbers.


Ayer Shop and Save

In 2014, the Town of Ayer lost its only supermarket which deprived residents with access to healthy fresh fruits and vegetables as well as an anchor business that provided jobs and tax revenue. Mike Szelest, who had experience running a small market in Winchendon, saw a need in the community and a business opportunity.

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation was able to help Mr. Szelest open Ayer Shop and Save in 2015 by providing some of the financing that he needed. The NCMDC partnered with North Middlesex Savings Bank on the project. Mr. Szelest also worked closely with Geronimo Commercial Properties and the Town of Ayer throughout this process. This new grocery store brought over 60 new job opportunities to Ayer, MA.

Shop and Save, which has an affiliation with Hannaford Supermarkets, provides quality products, friendly hometown service, and guaranteed low prices. With a square footage of 24,000 square feet, Shop and Save provides a sense of ease and comfort to the shopping experience. Mr. Szelest, along with his wife and son, operates Shop and Save as a full service supermarket offering national and “house” brands.

“I’m very grateful to the North Central MA Development Corporation for all their help and advice during this process,” said Mike Szelest, “without them none of this would be possible.”


Fitchburg Yarn Mill Redevelopment

When WinnDevelopment, the development arm of WinnCompanies, an award-winning national property development and management company, was looking for opportunities to invest in unique redevelopment opportunities in up and coming housing markets they selected the City of Fitchburg and the historic Fitchburg Yarn Mill building for their next development. The company invested $24.2 million in construction to transform the 110-year-old mill into 96 units of mixed-income housing. The mill building sits on 7.5 acres on the banks of the Nashua River near Downtown Fitchburg. Its 182,500 square feet of space span three massive floors and will feature 57 market rate units, 39 affordable units, community space and many exposed brick walls. The building boasts more than 280 8’ x 10’ windows that will provide each unit with expansive views of the scenic Nashua River and plenty of natural light.

“There is a collaborative gene in North Central, a genetic predisposition in the communities in the region to collaborate and work together,” said Michael O’Brien, Executive Vice President of Winn Companies. “We are here in North Central Massachusetts for those reasons. We believe in North Central Massachusetts. We see and sense the community collaboration and desire to make the magic happen. You have engaged leadership, you have dynamic long range plans, you integrate education and workforce needs and you understand that no one is going to give you a hand out …so hard work and perseverance make it happen.”


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