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Central Mass. has a long history with manufacturing, dating back to the American Industrial Revolution and carrying through to today, where the sector is still one of the largest industries by economic output. The region once manufactured looms for weaving textiles and now develops treatments for diseases. The seven category winners of the Manufacturing Excellence Awards this year are a showcase of the industry’s long history.
The Canal District has gone through a number of transitions over the last few decades. The neighborhood once had one of the higher poverty rates in Worcester when businesses like the Dive Bar moved in, followed by a number of locally owned restaurants and bars. Just over 10 years ago, the retail shop Crompton Collective started attracting a different crowd of people looking for unique goods. This eclectic mix of small businesses and a walkable, urban vibe attracted the owners of Pawtucket Red Sox to move their baseball team in 2021 to the newly developed $160-million Polar Park, the most expensive minor league baseball stadium ever built. That development is being followed by a wave of market-rate multifamily housing projects, which are at varying degrees of development.