Page 13 - BusinessWest May 12, 2021
P. 13

Continued from page 11
bolts. Two local companies will handle produc- tion of the clamps.
“United Aircraft Technologies has teamed up with Sinicon Plastics to produce the clamps, and SABIC will provide the materials to make them,” she said.
For many years, officials in Pittsfield have emphasized job creation, with success sto-
a roundabout, upgrades to sidewalks and cross- walks, and other amenities along the corridor.” This spring also marks the start of construc-
tion of the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail extension through Pittsfield. The bike trail will connect Adams and Pittsfield, with a plan to eventually connect the trail throughout Berkshire County.
For Butler, the trail extension is a real posi- tive, as one of the region’s bright spots from last
city, Pittsfield saw restaurants and retail shops struggle financially during the pandemic, with some not surviving. But as people’s comfort lev- els about going out increases, he believes that will generate new activity.
“The demand for those businesses is still going to be there, and it will create opportuni- ties for new entrepreneurs to step into those closed businesses and try their own model,” he said. “It won’t happen overnight; we’re looking at it as a one- to two-year cycle.”
Gaining Momentum
While many Americans are expected to book flights for vacations this year, more are planning to travel by car — and shifts in air travel have tended to help the tourist economy in the Berk- shires, Butler noted.
“We always benefit when people decide to book a three- or four-night getaway to the Berk- shires instead of flying south or out west,” he said. “We expect there will be more of that than usual this summer.”
As more people visit the area, and even move there, it creates new opportunities and new challenges for Pittsfield. Tyer believes her city will rebound from the pandemic thanks to the resolve of its residents and business owners.
“As we emerge from this public-health crisis,” she said, “we will be stronger than ever before and ready for good things to happen.” u
“We always benefit when people decide to book a three- or four-night getaway to the Berkshires instead of flying south or out west. We expect there will be more of that than usual this summer.”
year was an increase in people com- ing to the area for outdoor activities. Whether it’s state parks or cultural attractions such as the Norman Rockwell Museum and Hancock Shaker Village, visitors were able
to explore these sites while staying outside much of the time.
The past year has also brought many new hikers to the region, he added. “From Mount Greylock to October Mountain State Forest, our
    ries ranging from advanced manufacturing to e-commerce. Since the pandemic, Butler said, they have a new priority. “Our emphasis is no longer on creating jobs, it’s now about filling jobs and recruiting talent to the region.”
Among its infrastructure projects, Tyer talked about several revitalization efforts happening on Tyler Street. By the end of this year, she predicts 36 new market-rate apartments and “promising new interest” in saving the historic fire station from demolition.
She also discussed a $3 million MassWorks grant for the Tyler Street streetscape project that will begin this year. “The improvements include
hiking trails have been bustling with more activ- ity than they’ve ever had.”
While the additional outdoor activity couldn’t replace all the lost business in 2020, he admit- ted, it certainly helped, and makes him feel optimistic going forward. “We have introduced a lot of new people to the Berkshires who have not come out here previously, so that’s a positive takeaway.”
With its location in the middle of the region, Butler said Pittsfield is in a good position to benefit from the increased visitor traffic antici- pated for this summer and beyond. Like every
 HG&E Earns National Clean Energy Recognition
Holyoke Gas & Electric (HG&E) has been recognized as one of a handful of utilities nationwide for its leadership and progress toward a modern, carbon-free energy system. The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) named HG&E as one of only ten in the nation to its 2021 Utility Transformation Leaderboard.
SEPA’s survey participants included 135 individual utilities, representing more than 83 million customer accounts, or approximately 63% of all U.S. electric customer accounts.
SEPA President & CEO Julia Hamm said, “We applaud the leaders for their progress, and recognize that much work remains. The world does not have the luxury of time on carbon reduction.”
In addition to this important recognition, HG&E has earned several other awards and designations related to the organization’s strong commitment to a green and carbon-free footprint:
n Green Community, Commonwealth of Massachusetts n Ranked third nationally in energy storage per capita by
Smart Electric Power Alliance
n Outstanding Innovative Technology Award from Environmental Business Council of New England
n Project of the Year (Mount Tom Solar + Energy Storage System), Energy Manager of the Year
n Smart Energy Provider (SEP) designation from the American Public Power Association
Leading the way toward a carbon- free future with approximately
of electricity coming from carbon-free resources
Other 6%
Carbon-Free Renewable 55%
Carbon-Free 39%
MAY 12, 2021 13

   11   12   13   14   15