The SouthCoast region includes the Gateway cities of Attleboro, Fall River and New Bedford, Taunton and the towns of Acushnet, Berkley, Dartmouth, Dighton, Fairhaven, Freetown, Lakeville, Marion, Mattapoisett, Rochester, Seekonk, Somerset, Swansea, Wareham, and Westport. The region occupies 507 square miles and has a population of 485,000. The region’s cities account for one half (59.5%) of the region’s population. The region is home to an approximated 14,000 companies. The largest employment sectors in the four Gateway Cities, (aside from educational services, health care, and social services) are electronics manufacturing, traditional manufacturing, retail trade, construction, and arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services.
The SCDP advances initiatives that leverage region’s natural strengths and resources, its human capital, its business community, and academic resources of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth to seize emerging economic development opportunities. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth plays a central role as the anchor institution for economic development in the region as a catalyst for industry-research partnerships and entrepreneurship.