Michael Steben earned an associates degree from BCC and then built a career as an IT person.
He worked his way up in the industry and he got offered a leadership position, heading the IT Department for the city of Pittsfield. It didn't take him long to realize that he needed to learn more beyond just technology.
Those who spent the last two years working on the Berkshire Flyer project are anxious to see how 2,600 new visitors to the Berkshires each summer will bolster the economy.
The plan eyes to create a passenger rail service from New York City to Pittsfield, departing Penn Station on Friday afternoon and returning Sunday afternoon, throughout the summer. The goal is to bring a new group of visitor's to the area.
The Berkshire economy is growing, according to 1Berkshire.
The economic development agency said some $1 billion worth of investment has been made in the county in just the last three years. Now, the organization is asking the business community to embrace a "new narrative" of the county's economic future and has put forth Berkshire Blueprint 2.0, an economic development plan for future growth.
The annual meeting included a marketplace of members showing off their wares — from educational institutions to chocolatiers — and a breakdown of the initiatives and events of the past year, along with a reorganization of officers.
During her tenure at Berkshire Visitors Bureau, she oversaw the growth of national and social media marketing of the Berkshires, as well as the integration of business, tourism and creative economy strategies, and was instrumental in the consolidation of the county's four economic organizations into the 1Berkshire Strategic Alliance.
The last time the United States had an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent was the 1960s.
But, that is also when inflation skyrocketed and wasn't ultimately curbed until a painful recession hit. The expectations of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren is that the United States will hit that 3.5 percent unemployment mark soon and federal interest rates will be raised to curb inflation.
The 1Berkshire Trendsetter Awards showcase Berkshire-based individuals and businesses who demonstrate excellence in several areas. Each year these winners are the highlight of the annual Celebrate the Berkshires event.
It would be difficult for a Berkshire town to recruit a large biotech company on its own.
1Berkshire President Jonathan Butler knows that because he was a town administration. Now his focus is on countywide efforts to build the Berkshire economy by heading the region's designated economic development agency and tourism council. What he would suggest to towns is to get all of the little things in place to seize an opportunity should it arise.
There is a hole in the county's demographics. But there is also a clear path to fill it.
Studies, particularly one performed by Berkshire Regional Planning Commission in 2014, have outlined a significant population loss in the coming years, and a decline that is specifically defined among the 20 to 40-year-old age bracket.