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WMECo Survey Finds Low Cost, Skilled Labor Here

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Western Massachusetts Electric Co. has released its annual economic review of the four westernmost counties.

"Pioneering Futures: Western Massachustts Economic Review 2012" looks at the demographics, work force, education, lifestyles and industries of Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire and Berkshire counties.

"Western Massachusetts offers a prosperous future for businesses looking to move to the region," said Peter J. Clarke, president and chief operating officer of WMECo. "WMECo proudly produces this publication in order to expose the many appealing attributes of this unique location."

The report compares the region to other areas of New England and the nation. Some of its findings are not surprising, such as lower housing and costs of living, the high number of educational and cultural institutions and the proximity of urban centers and rail and air transport. The cost of living is near the national average but housing costs are 6 percent below. The per capita income is $37,888.

Among the reports findings:

* A third of the population 25 and older holds at least bachelor's degree
* Less than 10 percent of total resident employement is in manufacturing
* One of the nation's highest concentrations of colleges and universities
* One of the nation's highest concentrations of health-care related employment

Find the entire report online here or request printed copies by calling 413-787-9333.
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