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Recycle, Renew and Reuse Technology Program Launched

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Bank announced the launch of its Recycle, Renew and Reuse Technology Partnership Program.

Through the program, small Berkshire County non-profit organizations will have the opportunity to apply to receive a limited number of computers, telephones and other technology equipment. The technology has been made available as the result of equipment upgrades and recent mergers.

“We are excited to be able to recycle this technology for use by some of the really important non-profit organizations doing great work in our community, but which may not have the resources to maintain up-to-date computers," said Lori Gazzillo, assistant vice president of community relations at Berkshire Bank.

For more information, visit www.berkshirebank.com/technology.
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State Treasurer Visiting Berkshires

Steven Grossman
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State Treasurer Steven Grossman is visiting the Berkshires on Friday.

Grossman will be in Pittsfield in the morning to highlight his Small Businss Banking Partnership. According to Grossman's office, the partnership directs deposits usually held by large institutions into state community banks with the understaninding they would increase their lending to small businesses.

He will meet with banking officials and elected officials at Berkshire Bank and then tour Starbase Technologies, which received a partnership loan.

In the afternoon, he will visit the new Luma's Muffin and Mug on Main Street in North Adams. Luma's is also a recipient of a partnership loan.
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Habitat for Humanity ReStore Celebrates Birthday

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity will celebrate the second birthday of its ReStore home improvement center on Saturday, March 17 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Located at 70 Jefferson Place in Pittsfield, ReStore sells new and gently used home improvement materials and appliances at discount prices. The revenue is used to help fund Habitat for Humanity building projects.
Since its grand opening, ReStore has recycled approximately 160,000 tons of home improvement supplies which would have otherwise gone into landfills, and generated more than $200,000 for local building projects.
“ReStore is a valuable asset for our community,” said ReStore Manager Anne Christopolis. “Aside from the environmental benefits of this type of operation, it also helps improve the housing in our area by helping fund Habitat homes, and by providing an affordable way for people to do home improvements, even in a very tight economy.”
ReStore merchandise varies depending on donations, but generally includes items such as furniture, lumber, interior and exterior doors, cabinets, toilets and sinks, light fixtures, painting supplies, power tools and hardware. The store is open on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., for donations only, and for purchases and donations on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
For more information on ReStore or their 2nd Birthday Celebration, contact ReStore Manager Anne Christopolis at (413) 446-4158, annechristopolis@hotmail.com, or go to www.berkshirerestore.org.
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Cranwell Opening New Carriage House In July

LENOX, Mass. — Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club is replacing the historic Carriage House that burned in 2010 with a new 18-room building to open in July.

The new Carriage House draws on the former's 1890s structure, according to a press release on PR Web. The original plans were located in the Boston Public Library; Cutler Associates is the current architect and Hughes Design Associates is doing the interior design.

The building will house 15 queen doubles, two kings and a king suite. It is connected to the Spa at Cranwell by a glass-enclosed, heated walkway.

"We are very excited about re-opening the Carriage House, which had long been a favorite of our year-round guests visiting the Berkshires," said Carl Pratt, general manager, in the release.

Firefighters from 20 departments fought the December 2010 afternoon blaze that gutted the building. Investigators pointed to space heaters set between floors as the likely culprits. No one was injured. The resort almost immediately announced it would rebuild.

Read the entire press release here.

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WMECo Survey Finds Low Cost, Skilled Labor Here

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Western Massachusetts Electric Co. has released its annual economic review of the four westernmost counties.

"Pioneering Futures: Western Massachustts Economic Review 2012" looks at the demographics, work force, education, lifestyles and industries of Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire and Berkshire counties.

"Western Massachusetts offers a prosperous future for businesses looking to move to the region," said Peter J. Clarke, president and chief operating officer of WMECo. "WMECo proudly produces this publication in order to expose the many appealing attributes of this unique location."

The report compares the region to other areas of New England and the nation. Some of its findings are not surprising, such as lower housing and costs of living, the high number of educational and cultural institutions and the proximity of urban centers and rail and air transport. The cost of living is near the national average but housing costs are 6 percent below. The per capita income is $37,888.

Among the reports findings:

* A third of the population 25 and older holds at least bachelor's degree
* Less than 10 percent of total resident employement is in manufacturing
* One of the nation's highest concentrations of colleges and universities
* One of the nation's highest concentrations of health-care related employment

Find the entire report online here or request printed copies by calling 413-787-9333.
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