Letter: Build upon strengths of Pittsfield, Berkshires
Which came first, the employee or the job?
Traditional economic development tools are an integral part of maintaining and building our local economy, but Pittsfield needs to capitalize on the traits that make us unique and allow us to rise above the din of tax incentives and real estate opportunities.
We have the local resources. We have the educational infrastructure for a nimble and well-trained workforce. We have PEDA, PERC, BIC, BIDs, TIFs, and the other traditional public policy tools that help us support growth and industry. In fact, it is vital that we continue to develop our tool box and maintain our position as a thought leader in redevelopment.
But as Mayor Tyer pointed out in her 2017 State of the City address, recent college graduates are now choosing to go where they want to live as much as where they need to work.
We are the heart of the Berkshires. We have what the new workforce is seeking: opportunities for an active outdoor lifestyle; an artistic and creative mindset; a realistic cost of living; a work/life balance; and easy access to major metropolitan centers and the worldwide transportation network. We epitomize the celebration of place that so many now seek. We must capitalize on that unique strength and market our lifestyle as much as we do our available industrial sites.
Employees are now freer to create their own opportunities than ever before in history. This is not to say that the traditional workforce development activities should be curtailed, but that our long valued celebration of place should be promoted as an economic tool right along our traditional efforts.
We are the Berkshires, hear us roar!
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