HAVERHILL — As in any state of the city address, Mayor James Fiorentini will talk about Haverhill's economy when he steps to the podium this week — new companies coming here with the promise of jobs for residents.
But the speech will also veer onto a path not taken for a century.
Unlike any previous state of the city speeches during his 17 years as mayor — or even addresses given by Haverhill leaders in the 80 years before that — Fiorentini's remarks will also focus on how the community will recover from the pandemic.
The mayor said he will use his annual speech to talk about the importance of local health care workers in the last year as Haverhill dealt with COVID-19 — the first pandemic in a century.
Fiorentini will deliver his address Tuesday at 7 p.m. from the Citizens Center on Welcome Street.
His speech, titled "A Salute to the City’s Health Care Workers,” will focus on the role played by Haverhill’s doctors, nurses and other medical professionals critical to helping residents deal with illness and the threat of death from the virus.
The mayor said he will present an overview of pandemic-related challenges that Haverhill has endured in the past year. He said he will also lay out his vision and plans for the pandemic recovery on the horizon.
That recovery includes a wide range of economic and social changes — everything from businesses such as restaurants and bars eventually returning to normal operations, to students citywide going back to school full time.
That return to full-time classroom learning will happen next month for most Haverhill children. Local schools are bracing to safely welcome back elementary and middle-school students who have been learning remotely or through a hybrid program — a mix of some days in classrooms and others studying online from home. The return of high school students to full-time classroom learning is still being discussed by school officials.
The educational changes come as a growing number of Haverhill people receives COVID-19 vaccinations. In the past week, the city opened two clinics — one in the Citizens Center and the other in a previously vacant storefront in Central Plaza. A team of city workers is also guiding residents to other places they can receive vaccinations.
The city is inviting vaccinated health care workers to attend Fiorentini's address, which will also be available for viewing on Zoom and broadcast live on social media and local cable television.
The mayor said he will also announce plans by a major company to move to Haverhill, and will provide updates on efforts by the Monogram Foods company and Amazon to open manufacturing and product delivery plants in the Broadway Business Park, bringing hundreds of new jobs to the city.
This marks the first time Fiorentini will deliver his state of the city address from the Citizens Center. The city currently runs COVID-19 vaccine clinics at the center, as well as a busy vaccine call center that residents can contact if they need help arranging a vaccination appointment.
Fiorentini has been mayor of Haverhill since January 2004. He is the longest-serving mayor in the city's history and one of the longest-serving mayors in Massachusetts.
His state of the city address will be broadcast live on HC Media local access TV channels 9 and 22, and will be live streamed on HC Media's web page and the mayor's Facebook pages — www.facebook.com/CityOfHaverhillMayorsOffice and www.facebook.com/groups/163619343713839.