Gov. Charlie Baker Helps Announce Berkshire Innovation Center
The Berkshire Innovation Center has an official future.
On Friday morning during a press conference at Pittsfield City Hall, Gov. Baker was a part of the big announcement of the Innovation Center. Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer kicked off the "true celebration of a collaboration that took close to 10 years to get to this point."
The Berkshire Innovation Center is a go, and will be located at the Williams Stanley Business Park as announced by Mayor Tyer. She said, essentially, this will be a game changer for our area.
Groundbreaking is slated to take place in the third quarter of 2018, with the ribbon cutting estimated to go down in the third or fourth quarter of 2019.
Gov. Baker took the podium to discuss the long road it took to get "to pull this off", lead by Mayor Tyer. He also said as excited as he is that this center is coming to fruition, he is even more excited for the future opening, which will increase jobs in the City of Pittsfield.
"Today's investment is worth making, all of us. We can't wait to see the potential, thanks to all of you for making a great decision," Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said to the packed house at City Hall.
Around a week ago, the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority approved an added $300,000 in operating costs for the center. According the Berkshire Eagle, this was the "final piece of the puzzle" for the new project, which will cost in the neighborhood of $13.7 million.
Along with Gov. Baker and Mayor Tyer, the announcement included Lt. Gov. Polito, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash, U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield, former Pittsfield Mayor Dan Bianchi, North Adams Mayor Tom Bernard, former Mayor Richard Alcombright, as well as many other local and state officials.
Rep. Neal discussed the importance of the center to help fill a "stunning" amount of unfilled positions across the region; in the millions. He wants the innovation center to focus on helping high school and college students find their way after their education. Another big part of his excitement in regard to these plans, is to help conserve energy as the State of Massachusetts pays an astronomical amount in electricity on a month-to-month basis.
While he is excited for the City of Pittsfield, Rep. Neal said it is not the time to pump the brakes.
"When you reach your potential, your potential expands," Rep. Neal said at the end of his speech.
This story will be updated.