U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $914,465 in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Workforce Development in Pittsfield, Massachusetts
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $914,465 grant to Berkshire Innovation Center, Inc., Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to help establish the Berkshire Innovation Center Manufacturing Academy. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.
This project will support a technical assistance and workforce development program to foster growth in the advanced manufacturing sector. This EDA grant will be matched with $330,000 in state and local funds and is expected to create 270 jobs, retain 153 jobs and generate $12.6 million in private investment.
“The Economic Development Administration is dedicated to working with communities to support their locally-driven strategies to recover and rebuild from the pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will provide the critical infrastructure needed to assist the Berkshire Innovation Center in meeting the needs of its training programs while bolstering the regional workforce.”
“Advanced manufacturing is a key sector of Massachusetts’ economy, and investments like this in our future workforce will ensure we can remain a leader in this area,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The Berkshire Innovation Center is an economic driver for western Massachusetts that our administration has been proud to support. We appreciate this federal investment in a new manufacturing academy that will expand the center’s impact in the region.”
“I’m glad the EDA’s new investment in Pittsfield will help establish the Berkshire Innovation Center – which will support training the next generation of workers for good jobs in the advanced manufacturing sector,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren. “I’m grateful for local, state, and federal partners who have fought for American Rescue Plan investments like this one here in the Berkshires and across the Commonwealth.”
“Thanks to this crucial grant from the Economic Development Administration, along with state and local investments, the Berkshire Innovation Center will have the support needed to advance its efforts to create hundreds of jobs and strengthen advanced manufacturing in Western Massachusetts and across our country,” said Senator Edward J. Markey. “I applaud the EDA for its continued commitment to our Commonwealth, and for doing their part to ensure funds from the American Rescue Plan reach our communities and grow our local economy.”
“As illustrated by our nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Massachusetts is at the forefront of global leadership when it comes to innovation thanks in large part to partners like the Berkshire Innovation Center,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal (MA-01). “Sustaining and expanding America’s workforce is exactly what was intended with the enactment of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. This funding will stimulate economic activity throughout the First Congressional District for years to come.”
This project is funded under EDA’s American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance program, which makes $500 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance grants available to American communities. The Economic Adjustment Assistance program is EDA’s most flexible program, and grants made under this program will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs. Effective May 26, 2022, EDA has officially closed all of its American Rescue Plan programs for applications. The $3 billion program funding will be awarded on a rolling basis through September 30, 2022.
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC). EDA funds BRPC to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.