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Berkshire Eagle: U.S. Sen. Markey tours economic development sites in the Berkshires

The city’s downtown revitalization and emerging industrial innovation center are impressive projects that should drive Pittsfield’s future development efforts, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey said during a visit Monday.

Meeting at City Hall with Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi, state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, City Council President Melissa Mazzeo, Councilor Nicholas Caccamo and leaders of the Berkshire Innovation Center, Markey discussed the center and other projects, and later joined in a walk around The Common and sections of North Street.

“The state is transitioning to a higher percentage of life sciences job development,” the senator said. “That has been a big focus of mine.”

After hearing a presentation on the nonprofit BIC organization and planned $10 million facility, which is progressing toward a ground-breaking this year at the William Stanley Business Park, Markey said he will keep the regional collaborative in mind when discussing sources of federal funding.

Bianchi; Rod Jane, executive director of the BIC; Berkshire Community College Vice President for Community Education & Workforce Development William Mulholland, and other officials explained the center and gave the brief visual presentation. The BIC organization, which will have small manufacturing firms and educational and research institutions as members, is designed to play to the economic strength of the region, Bianchi said, by assisting companies that make products to support the life sciences industry.