It might seem odd to equate Fourth of July patriotism with manufacturing employment, but it was not much of a stretch to hear both Gov. Deval Patrick and Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi broach the subject on Friday.

The theme of the city’s annual Fourth of July Parade was, after all, "Made in America."

Manufacturing in Massachusetts is growing 50 percent faster than the national growth rate," the governor said, adding, "We are making more of the things we invent."

Gov. Patrick also noted ongoing efforts to require commuter rail cars destined for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority system are largely constructed in the state -- possibly in Berkshire County if a site here is selected.

Mayor Bianchi referred to local efforts to create an Innovation Center at the William Stanley Business Park with the help of a $9.7 million state grant, and to link the center, local companies, vocational/technical education at the high school and college levels and the life sciences in a network that could enhance and expand manufacturing in the region.

After many years of a decline in the manufacturing sector -- in the county, the state and nationally -- both Pittsfield and Massachusetts are showing strong signs of growth and renewal.

"The commonwealth is coming back and coming back strong," Gov. Patrick declared.

That is something to feel proudly patriotic about.


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