About the Berkshires
Berkshire County, the heart of an area better known as “the Berkshires,” is the westernmost portion of Massachusetts. It has long been known for its clear air and water, and boundless natural splendor.
Comprising 30 towns and two cities — the largest of which is Pittsfield, home to more than 40,000 — Berkshire County spans 30 miles east-to-west and 60 miles north-to-south, although the Berkshires in the broader sense extends beyond the borders of Massachusetts into the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts, southern Vermont, eastern New York, and northern Connecticut.
The Berkshires’ is a significantly rural population in the midst of recovering from industrial decline at the end of 20th century. The area boasts a vibrant arts and culture sector, which has been a critical engine of much of the region’s economic resurgence, and has key economic clusters in advanced manufacturing, engineering services, the creative economy, healthcare, hospitality and tourism, food and agriculture, and outdoor recreation. Organizations in the Berkshires have long partnered to utilize their resources creatively and effectively — the idea of “make a friend before you need a friend” is a real thing in the Berkshires.
The Berkshire Tech Impact Collaborative involves the efforts of a trio of organizations seeking to bolster the region’s digital economy ecosystem:
- 1Berkshire is a county-wide organization focused on economic development and promotion of the region as a place to visit, live, and grow a business. It provides programs that connect businesses with each other and with potential customers, and works to develop future leaders and support entrepreneurs.
- The Berkshire Innovation Center is a new facility intended to accelerate the innovation and growth of existing companies in the Berkshires region — primarily small- to medium-sized manufacturing companies (SME’s) in life cciences and the life sciences supply chain — with the ultimate objective of spurring economic growth, jobs, and investment in the region.
- The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College (OLLI) is a vibrant, member-led organization that provides educational, social, and volunteer opportunities designed especially by and for people over 50 years old.
Explore our Network
Today, these local leaders are focused on educating and training local residents in digital skills (especially those traditionally excluded from the tech industry), employing them in new economy jobs, and empowering them to launch startups that will drive a prosperous 21st-century economy. Diverse in geography, economic origin, and demographics, these communities represent the full spectrum of rural America.