Boasting plans for 56 new plants to begin operation this year, Massachusetts remains the region's leader for new plant start-ups planned for 2008, according to a recent report from Industrial Info Resources (IIR), based in Sugar Land, Texas.

Compared to last year's figure of 35 plant starts, the New England region is poised to experience a 60% increase in 2008, if projections prove true. The combined total investment value (TIV) of projects sourced from this year's plants (both for original construction costs and planned future projects) is $3.3 billion.

Once these plants become operational, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, stand to see nearly new 2,000 jobs in the region. Two of the larger projects moving closer to completion are the $200 million Longwood North Medical Research Center in Cambridge, Mass., and the $250 million Center for Life Sciences in Boston.