Located in Western Massachusetts, just 155 miles from New York City and 135 Miles from Boston, the Berkshires boasts beautiful mountains, forests, streams and lakes, coupled with world-class arts and cultural venues and year-round recreational activities. The Berkshires are also a commercial center, home of corporate headquarters for many highly respected companies. It is a singularly spectacular area where culture and commerce go hand in hand allowing residents to work where others come to play.
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The Berkshires offers low cost locations in close proximity to the major metropolitan markets of the Northeast. Interstates 90 and 91 connect the region to additional economic markets inside and outside Massachusetts, including New York, Connecticut, Vermont, and Canada. The rail system is well developed with established north-south and east-west service. Albany International Airport in New York offers extensive air service at accessible terminal facilities. The Berkshire Connect initiative is enhancing the Berkshire region's telecommunications infrastructure to support its growing information technology and multimedia industries.
The Berkshires offers companies a competitive cost structure; the region's wages, industrial land prices, and housing costs are highly competitive with other urban northeast regions. Major employers include Berkshire Life, Country Curtains, Crane & Company, General Dynamics Defense Systems, and General Electric.
The large population of engineers, machine operators, and technical experts provide a mature and skilled work force for the region's fabricated metals, paper, and plastics industries. One of the Berkshire region's strengths relative to the rest of the Commonwealth is its high population of skilled manufacturing workers.
Exceptional cultural and natural resources provide a locational advantage in attracting and retaining employees. Berkshire County hosts important cultural institutions such as the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood, the Clark Art Institute, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Norman Rockwell Museum. Outdoor recreational resources include ski areas, golf courses, a vast network of state parks, and the Massachusetts segment of the Appalachian Trail.