This article focuses on a cluster-based analysis of the Berkshires region in Massachusetts, analyzing rural areas and the associated clusters. The Berkshires offer a unique quality of life—a setting rich in both natural beauty and cultural attractions—and this has encouraged skilled workers from manufacturing companies to stay, and has also attracted outside visitors. The result is a diverse economy, marked not only by a resurgence in hospitality and tourism, but also continued success of small and mid-sized firms in traditional economic sectors such as forest products, defense technologies, plastics, financial services and healthcare.
The Berkshires Strategy Project, a six month strategy development effort involving dozens of private and public sector organizations in the Berkshires, has led to broad consensus behind an economic strategy for the county, and galvanized a leadership group in the form of the Berkshire Economic Development Corporation Board. We are very pleased to present the findings and recommendations resulting in this strategy, and are eager to move forward to implement it. With the ongoing collaboration, we are confident Berkshire County will maintain and build upon our recent economic success, and create a more prosperous future for its citizens.