The 495/MetroWest region covers the area stretching along I-495 from Route 2 in the north to Route 1 in the south. As the home to many of Massachusetts's largest and fastest growing companies, the region is at the forefront of the state's innovation economy. Companies including Bose, EMC, Cisco, IBM, and Genzyme are located in this economically vibrant area of Massachusetts.
The region is home to over 510,000 people and has a labor force of over 288,000 workers. The employers located in the 495/MetroWest Corridor provide a total of more than 285,000 jobs, representing one out of every eleven jobs in the state, and have a combined payroll of almost $16.4 billion dollars, which represents one out of every ten payroll dollars in Massachusetts. The region has a robust and diverse economy across several different employment sectors.
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The MetroWest region has taken a leading role in Massachusetts with an emphasis on innovation within technologies, practices, and approaches. The MetroWest region is home to the headquarters and major facilities of six of the largest employers in Massachusetts: Boston Scientific, EMC, Genzyme, Raytheon, Staples, and TJX.
The Massachusetts Turnpike traverses the region east-west, allowing for access to Boston or Western Massachusetts; Interstate 495 runs north-south through the region while Route 128/Interstate 95 also runs north-south along the region’s eastern edge. Much of the region is accessible to direct commuter rail service into Boston. Recently, a regional transit agency was created to provide public transit connections within the region.
One of the top competitive strengths in the region is the quality of the skilled workforce. Nearly 50% of those in the region age 25 and older hold a bachelor’s degree compared to one quarter in the United States. Nearly 20% in the region holds a graduate or professional degree; this presence of technically skilled and innovative workers has directly contributed to the rise in the MetroWest’s economic strength.