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Mission ‘The Partnership for North Adams exists to enhance the economy and secure the future of the city of North Adams as a center of culture, education, and tourism. Vision The Partnership will propose and advance innovative community development projects and public-private partnerships in collaboration with the City of North Adams to create opportunity, build capacity, generate profits, and strengthen the economic, educational, and social foundations of North Adams and the region, History For most ofits history, manufacturing was the economic backbone of North Adams. Located at the confluence of the two branches of the Hoosie River, the city was home to an array of highly concentrated industries. In the late 1800s, the city was established as a leading textile ‘manufacturing center. By the middle of the twentieth century, textiles gave way to electronics ‘menufacturing, as well as innovative research and development. Sprague Electric Company was the leading employer in the city, with over 4,000 people working for the company. Faced with fierce pricing competition from abroad, and escalating energy and labor costs at home, Sprague Electric Company ceased operating in North Adams in the mid-1980s. This caused severe economic dislocation as nearly a quarter of city residents faced unemployment Realizing that the economic future of North Adams would no longer be defined by large-scale ‘manufacturing, a task force of business, civic, and educational leaders articulated a new vision for the city as a cultural destination, and a center for innovative and much more diversified economic activity, From this initial idea, the manufacturing complex became home to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), the largest center for contemporary art in the United States, and a large scale economic development project supported by investment from the public and private sectors, MASS MoCA opened to the public in 1999. The museum brings over 140,000 visitors to the region annually, directly employs 70 people, develops and manages a portfolio of commercial real estate that comprises 24 companies employing 250 professionals, and serves as a catalyst for economic development in the city. Its education partnerships provide nearly all arts-in-education services to the local elementary schools, and its highly competitive intem training program provides professional arts administration education to some 30-college students annually. In total, MASS MoCA has added some $20 million/year in new economic activity to the region. Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) has been a key player and a source of significant economic, educational, and eivie activity in North Adams for 115 years. The College is one of the largest employers in the community, Through spending attributable to students and visitors, MCLA is @ major economic driver. During the past decade, MCLA has strengthened its position