Economic Development

Initiatives

Berkshire Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)

The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) is an ongoing regional effort focused on identifying economic goals and priorities and measuring progress in the region. The resulting 5-year Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for Berkshire County and accompanying annual progress reports are submitted to the Economic Development Administration (EDA) in order to maintain the region’s eligibility for EDA investments.

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Digital Equity Planning

BRPC is a pre-qualified consultant to provide services to municipalities participating in MBI's Municipal Digital Equity Planning Program. The ability to engage in digital equity planning will be a critical step for municipal leaders and staff to build a broad understanding of how internet access, or lack thereof, affects residents of their community.

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Economic Development District

BRPC secured Economic Development District designation on behalf of Berkshire County from the U.S. Economic Development Administration in early 2022. The primary purpose of an EDD is to implement the economic development activities and priorities set forth in the region’s CEDS. Berkshire County stands to benefit from EDD status through increased access to regional economic development funds as well as public works assistance grants for individual municipalities.

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Shared Economic Development Planning

The Shared Economic Development Planning program allows each participating town to access services and assistance that fit their specific needs and budget. Participating towns have requested assistance with a wide range of economic development planning projects.

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Projects

Adams Economic Planning

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) is providing the services of an Economic Development planner to assist the Town of Adams to advance economic development activities in the town, specifically pertaining to the Greylock Glen Development Project.

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ArtWeek Berkshires

BRPC assists the five designated Cultural Districts of Berkshire County in coordinating ArtWeek Berkshires, an annual festival celebrating creativity in the region.

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Dalton Municipal Digital Equity Planning

To create a Municipal Digital Equity Plan for the town of Dalton through a multi-pronged process involving municipal coordination, situational analysis of existing conditions, community outreach and engagement, exploration of future funding opportunities, and recommendation development leading to a final report and plan.

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Environmental Education Exhibit at Greylock Glen

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, in collaboration with Adams, North Adams, Williamstown, Cheshire, and other northern Berkshire communities, will design and implement an indoor educational exhibit highlighting regional climate change impacts, forest-focused solutions, and the value of land conservation for people and wildlife.

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Great Barrington Economic Planning

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) is providing the services of an Economic Development planner to assist the Town of Great Barrington to advance economic development activities in the town.

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Lanesborough Economic Planning

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission is providing the services of an Economic Development planner to assist the Town of Lanesborough advance economic development activities in the town.

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Lenox Economic Planning

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) is providing services of a Senior Planner to improve long-term fiscal sustainability through economic development activities in the Town of Lenox, specifically through tasks pertaining to the implementation of the recently designated Lenox Cultural District.

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Our Town: Pittsfield

This grant from the National Endowment for the Arts will allow Berkshires Tomorrow, Inc. to partner with the City of Pittsfield to support the development of a community-led cultural plan for the City of Pittsfield and its residents that centers arts as a strategic tool to address deep-seated community challenges, improve livability, and foster inclusive civic engagement.

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Outdoor Recreation Planning

BRPC, through BTI, is providing assistance to Mill Town in convening outdoor recreation forums and continue ongoing planning and research related to outdoor recreation.

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Outdoor Recreation Website

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, in partnership with 1Berkshire and stakeholders from the region, will establish an outdoor recreation website for Berkshire County. This site will provide users with information regarding a wide range of outdoor recreation activities, their locations, technical difficulty, seasonality, and conditions, etc.

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Outreach and Engagement Services to Support Digital Equity Statewide Plans: Berkshire County

BRPC has been selected to provide services to support MBI’s stakeholder engagement process for Digital Equity Act (“DEA”) and Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (“BEAD”) statewide planning efforts as well as future implementation activities under these programs. Working with local organizations that serve specific target populations, BRPC will plan and execute focus groups with members of one or more of the Target Populations for the purpose of gathering key information, input, and lived experiences from these populations.

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Partnership Planning - CEDS Implementation

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission and the Berkshire County Economic Development District (designated by EDA) receive annual funding to support implementation of the region's Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS).

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Pittsfield Municipal Digital Equity Planning

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission was selected by the City of Pittsfield to lead a Digital Equity Planning process that includes a comprehensive existing conditions analysis; expanded community/stakeholder engagement related to digital literacy, devices, connectivity, affordability, and digital equity; strategic recommendations to meet the needs and goals of residents experiencing impacts of the digital divide; and an assessment of existing or future funding available through sources such as the American Rescue Plan Act ("ARPA") and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act ("IIJA").

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Richmond Economic Planning

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) is providing the services of an Economic Development planner to assist the Town of Richmond to advance economic development activities in the town.

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Southern Berkshire County Municipal Digital Equity Plan

To create a Municipal Digital Equity Plan for the towns of Great Barrington, Lenox, Lee, Sheffield, Stockbridge, and West Stockbridge through a multi-pronged process involving municipal coordination, situational analysis of existing conditions, community outreach and engagement, exploration of future funding opportunities, and recommendation development leading to a final report and plan.

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Support Municipal Digital Equity Partnership

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission will provide program coordination, linkage, and affiliation for the Baystate Alliance for Digital Equity to support MBI's Digital Equity Partnerships Program. BRPC's work will involve conducting interviews with key informants and convening stakeholder leaders to learn about regional challenges, needs, gaps, and strategies to address digital equity programming needs for eligible populations. In our advisement capacity, BRPC will help identify three regional partners (North, Central, South) to serve as Digital Navigators in their sub-regions and offer guidance to those entities as they seek to increase digital access, adoption, and affordability.

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Support Municipal Digital Equity Planning Enrollment and Regional Asset Mapping

To increase enrollment in the Municipal Digital Equity Planning Program and conduct regional asset mapping activities in alignment with the Statewide Digital Equity Plan development.

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Reports

Berkshire County Outdoor Recreation Plan 2020

BRPC, with support from Mill Town, published the Berkshire County Outdoor Recreation Plan in 2020. The initial Plan included an asset inventory, updated on an...

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