The Berkshires Blog

Investing in Our Future

Join us at the next BYP event.

Location: Scarafoni Financial Group in Pittsfield

Millennials are the fastest growing demographic in today’s workforce. While they make up the largest group of employees nationwide, the Berkshires are still catching up. That is why it is so critical to invest in the next generation of young professionals and leaders in the Berkshires. 1Berkshire’s Next Generation programs do exactly that – we create opportunities for people of all ages to get involved in their communities, provide incentives to retain and grow the young professional workforce, and empower the next group of leaders to be agents of change in their communities. Here is an overview of each program, with the hopes that one will be just what you were looking for.

Berkshire Young Professionals (BYP) is a social and professional development networking group that has a laser focus on getting young people to settle down in the Berkshires. BYP members are our community ambassadors, connected with hundreds of people and local businesses through social and professional networking groups. BYP is a great place to learn about the Berkshires, grow professionally, and network with like-minded individuals:

“BYP is a driving force in creating a meaningful connection between young professionals in Berkshire County on a social and professional level, and in doing so, enriches the lives of individuals and the community as a whole,” states Karden Rabin of the BYP Steering Committee. “I know this first hand as my personal and business life has benefitted greatly from my involvement with BYP – as has a feeling of connectivity to our amazing Berkshire community.”

While the program focuses on young professionals from 21 to 40 years old, BYP encourages anyone who feels “young at heart” to participate. Sign up for the BYP newsletter to learn more about what’s going on in the BYP network.

Open to Berkshire County adult residents and employees, the Berkshire Leadership Program (BLP) focuses on building a cohort of community leaders to address regional opportunities and challenges. Founded in 1997, the BLP is one of the longest running leadership programs in the region with over 600 alumni from all over Berkshire County. We announced the 20th-anniversary BLP Class of 2017 last month! Learn more about the 2017 class in this Spotlight article.

Have your kid join YLP.

Location: Williams College in Williamstown

The Youth Leadership Program (YLP) is a year-long educational program for 30 high school juniors from all over Berkshire County. Founded in 2010, YLP gives students the tools to go out and explore the world but also gives them a reason to come back to the Berkshires. Every year, YLP gives students the opportunity to learn about everything the Berkshires has to offer and to be a part of a collaborative force of change. Each cohort of students learns about the different sectors of the Berkshire economy, including workforce development, agriculture, education, and tourism. We introduce them to local leaders, build professional skills, and broaden perspectives:

“I was motivated by the people I was surrounded by – it was infectious. Learning our strengths and weaknesses strengthened my ability to collaborate with others, helping me with my college application and general life skills.” William Avery, YLP Class of 2016

1Berkshire is excited about its current next generation program and hopes to expand upon it in the future. Reach out to us at [email protected] to learn more about these programs and how you can be a part of what we do.