Student Government speaker…
Jay Ash advises student to 
stay the course, be strong
TWO WEEKS AGO, The Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash urged Woburn students at our Student Government Day dinner to be  resolute, hard working, to stay the course with their government efforts and to be ready to meet the long-range challenges of life and the business world.
“It’s great to see all of you students so involved in government and some of you may end up in public service,” he remarked at the start.
The luncheon was sponsored by our Woburn Rotary Club at the Elks Hall in East Woburn.
“The fact you took some time to do what did is important,” he said at the outset.
He traced his own experience as a student in government as well as working as the city manager of Chelsea from 2000-2014 as one example. He cited the seemingly small things like working for Democrat Congressman (now Senator) Edward Markey, who also served Woburn over those year and cited the fact as a student (and a Democrat) he came to work and learn from the Congressman’s efforts. “The event are not only interesting at the time but also preparing you for future tasks in life.”
And, at several junctures, he exclaimed: “You never know who is watching you!”
He cited this fact in both public or private life whether the person goes into the public sector or the business sector. “You never know who is watching you,” he re-iterated at several junctures.
Secretary Ash is responsible for directing and executing Governor Charlie Baker’s agenda on housing and community development, job creation, business development, consumer affairs, and business regulation. 
Since joining the Baker-Polito Administration, Secretary Ash has prioritised efforts to grow jobs, help communities realize their economic development priorities, connect citizens to new economic opportunities, and build prosperity across Massachusetts.
Under Secretary Ash’s leadership, the Commonwealth has substantially increased its commitment to public infrastructure that unlocks economic development, to the revitalization of Brown fields, to workforce training equipment, and to the development and commercialisation of emerging technologies. 
He has led efforts to increase affordable housing production, to redevelop and modernize public housing communities, and to substantially reduce the number of homeless families sheltered in motel rooms. 
Secretary Ash has played a leadership role in the recruitment and expansion of major employers, including Amazon, General Electric, IBM Watson Health, Kronos, and Siemens.
No stranger…
Ash also has solid Woburn ties as he has been to the city on several occasions to confer with Mayor Scott Galvin and boards like the Woburn Redevelopment Authority on plans like re-developing the downtown Woburn area. Also in attendance was Arthur Duffy of the WRA and City Council President Richard Haggerty.
He’s also been a member of the Chelsea Rotary softball team and has played against Woburn at Library Park and Chelsea on multiple occasions, coming to know many in the club.
“Always do your best,” he urged the students. “I also see every day as very, very interesting. It’s all about your jobs and your talks,” he explained. “It is so great just to see what is happening here in Massachusetts. It’s great for jobs.”
The current upsurge in the Mass. and regional economy has helped, he pointed out, as growth has taken over again. 
He advised students: “You may find you are not the smartest in an area but keep working on the opportunities and work on it. It will work out.”
The political and business world, he pointed out, is all about relationships. “Right now, I have the best job in state government! I get to go out and communicate with people.”
“I’m a Democrat in a Republican administration but we are all working together for what’s best in the business community,” he continued. “We are finding ways to work with Democrats. There is a bipartisan sporty.”
He pointed out his role and the agency is “finding ways to improve the economy. There’s always something meaningful going on.”
He concluded by telling the student gathering “to be involved.”
Long history…
Secretary Ash previously served as the city manager in his native Chelsea, a position he held from 2000 to 2014. 
In Chelsea, Ash’s leadership produced both economic expansion and fiscal stability. He grew the city’s housing stock, expanded its commercial base, developed 10 new parks, secured five credit rating increases, and won two All-America City designations for Chelsea. 
He previously served as the staff director to the Massachusetts House Majority Leader, as co-founder and vice-chair of the Metropolitan Mayors Coalition, as past president of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, as a board member of the public policy think tank MassINC, and as an elected trustee of his alma mater, Clark University.