With the General Electric era long over and the difficulty in attracting businesses from outside the area apparent, Pittsfield and Berkshire County will increasingly have to rely upon small, home-grown businesses as a foundation for the local economy. The move of Berkshire Community College’s Berkshire Enterprises program to 1Berkshire’s headquarters in the Central Station building in downtown Pittsfield will help all parties involved to build and sustain that foundation.
A part of BCC’s Office of Workforce Development, Berkshire Enterprises is an entrepreneurial training program for displaced workers who want to start their own businesses, and is funded through federal grants. (Your tax dollars at work.) In moving from the Intermodal Transportation Center, Berkshire Enterprises will have access to 900 square feet of space for small-business startups that began with the program. Along with the work space, phone lines and wireless Internet access, the startups will work in close proximity to 1Berkshires’ three partners, the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, Berkshire Visitors Bureau and Berkshire Creative, and other agencies in Central Station. This will provide expertise and moral support for those in the program turning unemployment into a career positive.
Berkshire Enterprises has a proven track record of success in building businesses over the past 15 years. With this move to the 1Berkshire headquarters it should be able to build on that success to the benefit of the city and county.