Massachusetts Competition 2


Implementation Grant Winner

The Pittsfield team was awarded a three-year, $475,000 grant to advance economic inclusion in the city. The team’s initiative, Berkshire Bridges, works to build a more just, thriving, and safe community where residents are actively engaged in shaping their city.

Problem Problem

Under-resourced Pittsfield residents face persistent structural barriers to economic opportunity, such as inadequate access to education, transportation, jobs, and opportunities to engage in civic life.

Strategy Strategy

Berkshire Bridges is using the following strategies to pursue its goals for residents, employers, and institutions:

  • Working with city government and local nonprofits through the Bridges out of Poverty program to embed practices that improve their community engagement and ability to work effectively across cultures. This leads to better public policies and interactions with under-resourced residents.
  • Using the Community Navigators program and Getting Ahead training to connect lower-income residents to the resources they need to obtain housing, secure living wage employment, and build skills for self- and community advocacy.
  • Deepening partnerships across sectors to increase understanding of the barriers under-resourced residents face and commit to work towards common solutions
  • Fostering resident-driven collaborations, projects, and civic engagement through Working Cities Wednesdays and other efforts that expand the capacity of residents to organize and lead

Vision Vision

To pursue a vision of Pittsfield where all people experience a just, thriving, and safe community.

The Team The Team

  • Pittsfield residents
  • Berkshire Community Action Council
  • Berkshire United Way
  • Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity
  • City of Pittsfield
  • Downtown Pittsfield, Inc.
  • Goodwill of the Berkshires
  • Greylock Federal Credit Union
  • Westside Neighborhood Initiative
  • North Adams Public Schools