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1Berkshire Launches Implementation Phase of Berkshire Blueprint 2.0

PITTSFIELD — On Feb. 15, 1Berkshire launched the implementation phase of the Berkshire Blueprint 2.0, a strategic economic-development imperative. With more than 300 registered attendees packing the Colonial Theatre in downtown Pittsfield, 1Berkshire members, regional leaders, and elected officials from across the county shared this project, already two years in the making.

The event was the culmination of more than 100 interviews, thousands of hours of work, and more than 20 months of planning and design. 1Berkshire President and CEO Jonathan Butler kicked off the primary outline during the launch by recognizing that $1 billion in regional investments have been made in the Berkshires in just the last three years, noting that investment in the Berkshire is “a good bet.”

Beginning the implementation phase of the Blueprint 2.0 entails a number of action steps, focused on five key industrial clusters, as well as other economic-landscape components and cross-cutting issues. Collectively, this work aims to unite all geographic corners of the county for a common goal of economic development and sustained growth.

John Bissell, 1Berkshire’s board chair, noted that this represents an opportunity to move from a narrative of “scarcity” to a narrative of “potential,” and charged the attendees with the goal of moving beyond historic fiefdoms and into a practice of collective action.

Meanwhile, Tyler Fairbank, Berkshire Blueprint committee chair, noted that the region’s economy is diverse and dynamic and, as a result, requires a variety of different approaches to further development. He added that, instead of a single “silver-bullet” solution, a “silver birdshot” of many different solutions will be needed, helping audience members visualize the numerous actions, large and small, needed to move the needle on the region’s economy.

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