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Economic Development Secretary to Speak at BCC Commencement
11:07AM / Friday, May 04, 2018
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash will be teh keynote speaker at Berkshire Community College's 58th commencement exercises to be held Friday, June 1, at Tanglewood in Lenox.
 
Ash is responsible for directing and executing Gov. Charlie Baker's agenda on housing and community development, job creation, business development, consumer affairs, and business regulation. Since joining the Baker-Polito administration, Ash has prioritized efforts to grow jobs, help communities realize their economic development priorities, connect citizens to new economic opportunities, and build prosperity across Massachusetts.
 
"On behalf of the students, faculty, staff and board of trustees at Berkshire Community College, we are so excited to have Secretary Ash as our 2018 commencement speaker," said Ellen Kennedy, president of BCC. "Secretary Ash has spent much time in the Berkshires and on our campus. He understands the Berkshires and is a champion of our efforts. He helped us secure the additional funding for the Berkshire Innovation Center. Many of us have appreciated his wise counsel and his friendship. We should anticipate thoughtful and entertaining remarks."
 
Under Ash's leadership, the commonwealth has substantially increased its commitment to public infrastructure that unlocks economic development, to the revitalization of brownfields, to workforce training equipment, and to the development and commercialization of emerging technologies. He has led efforts to increase affordable housing production, to redevelop and modernize public housing communities, and to substantially reduce the number of homeless families sheltered in motel rooms. Ash has also played a leadership role in the recruitment and expansion of major employers, including Amazon, General Electric, IBM Watson Health, Kronos, Mass Mutual, and Siemens.
 
The secretary previously was the city manager of his native Chelsea, a position he held from 2000 to 2014. In Chelsea, Ash's leadership produced both economic expansion and fiscal stability. He grew the city's housing stock, expanded its commercial base, developed 10 new parks, secured five credit rating increases, and won two All-America City designations for Chelsea.
 
BCC's 58th commencement begins at 4:30 p.m., June 1, at Tanglewood. The event is open to the public. Tickets are not required. For more details, visit www.berkshirecc.edu/commencement.
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