Dr. Robert Forrant is a professor in the History Department at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, teaching courses on global labor issues, labor history, immigration, and international development. He is director's of the department's graduate program. He has been a consultant to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the International Labour Organization, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the International Metalworkers Federation, and several trade unions. His research activities have been funded by, among others: the International Metalworkers Federation, the International Labour Organization, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Russell Sage Foundation, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the cities of Lowell and Leominister, Massachusetts. Professor Forrant is the editor of three volumes on sustainable regional development, the author of numerous published articles and reports and a forthcoming book on industrial development and decline in the Connecticut River Valley and New England. Before completing his graduate education, he worked as a machinist and union business agent at the now closed American Bosch plant in Springfield , MA and ran a community-based economic development program. He received the University of Massachusetts President's Award for Public Service in 1998. He received an American Antiquarian Society Kate B. and Hall J. Peterson Fellowship in 2001 and during that year began research on Worcester Massachusetts-area machine tool firms in the period 1830-1875. He analyzes and reports on the Massachusetts industrial economy for the journal Massachusetts Benchmarks, a joint publication of the University of Massachusetts and the New England Federal Reserve Bank and he writes a monthly column on the economy for the Lowell Sun.