IDEAS FOR ACTION: Documenting the Greylock Economy Working Group’s Aug. 11 meeting

INSTRUCTIONS:  Here below is a running list of ideas — in no particular order — advanced at the Greylock Economy Working Group Aug. 11 meeting at the Greylock Mill.  Got an idea? Throw it into the mix. Scroll to the bottom of this page and use the “Add a Comment” box to contribute your idea.  Try to explain how your idea could be converted to actions. What would it take?  View photos of gathering.  View photos of the original Greylock Mills.

VIEW notes of outcomes from Aug. 11

IDEA POSTS (clink on link):


Paul Dupuis / Account Manager / Whitman’s Crystal Clean
2 Melrose St. / Adams, MA 01220 / 413-281-4314 /

One thing I’d like to see going forward is a commercial/industrial group of local entrepreneurs that already exist in our community. We MUST ensure their viability. Growing what is already here makes, I think, a lot of sense and cents!!

Barbara Malkas, superintendent, North Adams Publich Schools.

Thank you for developing a facilitated meeting. I do think we need to develop norms for the working group. My suggestions:
1. Assume positive intentions.
2. Use active listening and watch your air time.
3. Provide and consider solutions when bringing forth a problem.

Tela Zasloff, Greylock Independent editor, participated in the Aug. 11 gathering and has also reviewed the archival video and photographs. She compiled this list of topics presented:

  • MARKETING — How to promote the Greylock region as a place for development. We need to hire expert marketing consultants and professionals in business management, attract employers who respect the environment and pay fair wages, bring low-income residents into the discussion, and aim for workforce development.
  • SMALL BUSINESS — We need more than tourism promotion, we need to encourage movement from cultural destinations to local businesses, develop a local loan and venture capital funding, encourage innovative small manufacturing facilities, and small environmental businesses, like commercial composting and a permaculture-based landscape and design.
  • FACULTY ENTREPRENEURSHIP — A unique opportunity our area offers is the close proximity to Williams College, enabling College faculty entrepreneurship
    Environmental research and development, as small business Search out entrepreneurs wanting to establish a small business that researches and develops innovative environmental technologies, [See article on inside pages of this issue.], integrated with environmental science and technology training programs in the local schools and RPI.
  • OUTDOOR SPACES — Open, recreational space, tourism, and housing.  Maximize the area outdoor recreational potential via the Appalachian Trail, including a touring/hiking business that runs trips during the winter and marketing for weddings and partnerships with Jacob’s Pillow and nearby ski/winter resorts. Suitable housing options available to individuals and families of all ages and incomes.
  • FARMING/FOOD —  Local dairy farmers need to expand their businesses. Food tourism, especially the food culture of western MA, and food production are the drivers behind sustainable growth. Develop an ag training program with farms in area and with McCann School, to attract young entrepreneurs. We should promote our area as a model for a green community with strong links to local farms.
  • HEALTH CARE — Improve our county health facilities to attract development. Bring to the table issues of equity in health care, social justice and of public, global health, particularly women’s health
  • ARTS ENGINE —  Use arts to enhance and broaden the Berkshire experience, including in film, higher-paying jobs in the arts economy, training of college interns and arts-management students, and places where mid-career artists can live and exhibit.
  • PLANNING — Planning and research in development strategies. Using services of academics with town planning, research and teaching in regional economic development. Provide projects for scientist/developers. Set up think tanks, and opportunities for college spouses to teach.
  • TRAINING — Education Workforce retraining and apprenticeships in new technologies, internet skills.
  • INFRASTRUCTURE — Transportation, communication and collaboration in infrastructure development.  Most important driver of economic development is transportation—meaning the movement of people, goods, information via the internet. Connect student learning with business through cooperative ventures. Develop fast broadband and support local news media.


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