COMPASSION ♥ EDUCATION ♥ LOVE
JOIN THE MOVEMENT
Ashley Shade is a long-time resident of North Adams, having moved here with her family in 1991. After graduating from Charles H. McCann Technical High School, she began working and later studying at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts where her interest in politics and civics began. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Her professional career has led her into a position where she is able to help people and continue to advocate.
She served as a Senior Service Support Consultant for Wayfair, where she also led an Employee Resource Group for LGBTQ+ employees and allies, and was appointed to the Corporate Impact Council where she was able to help drive positive culture change within the global organization. Ashley is actively involved in numerous organizations, serving to advocate for marginalized communities. She works in Customer Service, and previously worked in healthcare at the hospital, pharmacy and nursing home settings and understands the complex issues that confront the residents in and around North Adams.
Over the past 30 years, North Adams has gone through tremendous changes but has also faced extremely difficult struggles. It’s been more than 30 years now since Sprague Electric closed its doors, an impact we are still struggling to recover from.
Our city has done an excellent job in re-branding and making North Adams into a tourist destination rich in Arts and Culture. However, we have neglected to focus on the most important piece of our city, the residents who live here. Our poverty rates are amongst the highest in the state, our hospital has been closed, and our residents face an opioid epidemic and high domestic violence rates, which is very much linked to our lack of quality jobs and lack of economic development, and lack of mental health resources.
North Adams has the potential to be the economic center of the Berkshires. We have plenty of space for businesses, we have low real estate prices, and we're located in a central location between Albany, New York City, and Boston, without all the crazy city traffic. We also have two tremendous resources that people overlook, the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and our neighboring institution Williams College.