Regions | West

In Western Massachusetts, businesses are in the center of the Northeast’s major markets while operating at lower costs, utilizing one of the nation’s leading workforces and enjoying a more affordable, higher standard of living in any of our urban, suburban, rural or college town settings.

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Competitive Advantages

Access & Infrastructure

Western Massachusetts, with its major urban center of Springfield, 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. Bradley International Airport in Connecticut offers extensive air service at accessible terminal facilities. The Lower Pioneer Valley region is the strategic crossroad for all digital fiber optic networks serving the Northeast, with points of presence for AT&T, MCI WorldCom, Sprint, and Frontier.

Competitive Business Environment

Western Massachusetts offers companies a competitive cost structure; the region’s wages, industrial land prices, and housing costs are highly competitive with other urban northeast regions. In addition, over 125 established software companies offer a full range of information systems products and services. Major employers include Baystate Health, Friendly Ice Cream, MassMutual Financial Group, Milton Bradley (Hasbro, Inc.), Merriam-Webster, and Smith & Wesson.

The Pioneer Valley Region’s Educational Resources

After Greater Boston, Western Massachusetts has the largest concentration of college students in New England. The Pioneer Valley’s numerous educational institutions provide a highly skilled work force and many training opportunities. Several of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges are located in the region as is the main campus of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) and its Center for Business and Technology provide contract training and consulting to area employers. STCC’s Technology Park is also designated by the Massachusetts legislature as the state Center for Telecommunications and Information Technology. Furthermore, STCC directs the National Center for Telecommunications Technologies (NCTT), which is an Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Center serving as a national model for the instruction of telecommunications engineering technology.

Quality of Life

Exceptional cultural and natural resources provide a locational advantage in attracting and retaining employees. In addition to the benefits of living in Western Massachusetts, there are popular destinations for all visitors who want to enjoy the great outdoors and attractions like the Dr. Seuss Museum or the Basketball Hall of Fame. To the north of Springfield, Franklin County offers rafting and outdoor adventures in a unblemished rural environment. The Connecticut River in the Pioneer Valley is a valuable natural resource and recreational asset. In addition, the region benefits from the cultural amenities associated with 14 public and private higher educational institutions with a college population exceeding 60,000.