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Berkshire Bank Buys Mortgage Corporation

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Bank on Tuesday said it had completed the acquisition of the business model, expertise and certain other assets of Greenpark Mortgage Corp. of Needham.

As the part of this transaction, Berkshire will maintain Greenpark's entire mortgage lending team in Needham along with its two founders, Paul Gershkowitz and Patty O'Meara, who will continue to provide leadership as first vice presidents of Berkshire Bank.

Michael P. Daly, Berkshire's president and chief executive officer stated,

"We are so pleased to bring the well-regarded Greenpark team into the Berkshire Bank family," said Berkshire President and CEO Michael P. Daly. "This partnership enhances our residential lending capabilities and our efforts to expand our reach into eastern Massachusetts. We look forward to carrying on the solid practices, processes and customer service of Greenpark Mortgage, which have made them so successful and which complement well our culture of community mortgage lending."

Greenpark will operate as the Greenpark Mortgage Division of Berkshire Bank and will continue to serve as the home mortgage company of the Massachusetts Teachers Association. Greenpark was established in 2001 in Needham and now also operates offices in Quincy, Cambridge, Methuen, Tewksbury, Andover and Westborough. Its mortgage professionals are licensed in the New England states and Mississippi.

This is the latest acquisition of Berkshire Hills Bancorp., which added Rome Savings Bank of New York and Legacy Banks last year and Connecticut Bank & Trust last month. Berkshire Bank is the largest financial institution in Berkshire County.

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Pittsfield Career Fair Sees Increase In Employers

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff

The career fair had a "different feel" this year with a wide range of opportunities.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce's annual career fair saw an increase in both employers and prospective employees on Thursday bringing the event back to what it used to be.

"It's really encouraging to see this many employers," Christine Hoyt, director of programs and events for the chamber, said in the midst of the fair at Berkshire Hills Country Club. "There are 54 employers, which is an increase of 12 from last year."

In recent years, the chamber has had an average of 40 to 45 employers whereas five years ago more than 50 would attend, Hoyt said.

She added that the number and types of jobs seemed to have changed as well. While there was no official count of the number of jobs, Hoyt said that there are a wide range of the type of jobs available in the county now.

"It does feel dramatically different," Hoyt said. "It's good to see career opportunities."

The jobs ranged from seasonal to full-time professional positions.

Despite the county's unemployment rate decreasing in recent months from 8.1 percent in January to 6.7 percent in March, according to the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, hundreds of job seekers attended the fair - many showing up early.

"We had 110 job seekers come through in the first hour... that's a high number," Hoyt said.

Employers said they had seen more "young professionals" looking for a different job than in previous years when the majority of the attendees were unemployed altogether.
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Defense Contract To Benefit Pittsfield Workers

Staff Reports

The missile was once considered the most important part of the country's nuclear arsenal.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The U.S. Department of Defense awarded a $237 million contract to a Cambridge company, who will perform 42 percent of the work in the city.

Charles Stark Draper Laboratories was awarded the contract on Wednesday to help build Trident II missile guidance systems for the Navy. The system is an inertial guidance that sends steering commands to the missile during launch.

The work is expected to be completed by September 30, 2016 with 27 percent of the work being completed in Cambridge, 22.3 percent in Clearwater, Fla., 7 percent in  El Segundo, Calif. and 2 percent in Tarrytown, N.Y. Pittsfield will be performing the bulk of the work.

The company also received a similar $494 million contract in December of 2010 but only 11 percent of that work was set to be completed in Pittsfield.

The work is performed by employees at General Dynamics, Raytheon and Draper.
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North Adams Dunkin' Doughnuts Closed For Renovations

Staff Reports

Forget the doughnuts this week. The Dunkin' Donuts at the corner of Union and Eagle streets in North Adams is getting a facelift, including new paving in the parking lot.

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North Adams Carr Hardware Sets Grand Opening

Staff Reports
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The newly expanded Carr Hardware will hold a grand opening celebration this weekend.

The State Road location had a soft opening in January. The events on Saturday include live music from the band Whiskey City, a ribbon cutting with Mayor Richard Alcombright and state Rep. Gailanne Cariddi, D-North Adams, a bouncey house for children, prizes, sales and food.

The events start at 11 a.m. with the ribbon cutting at noon on Saturday. The celebration continues on Sunday with featured sales and prizes throughout the day.

Sales on the weekend include the purchase of a bucket and getting 25 percent off everything that can be fit into it. The proceeds of the bucket sale will go to Berkshire Families and Individual Resources. On Sunday, customers can get half off any one item up to $39.99 with a coupon.

The new 10,000-square-foot building at least triple the size of the previous location and will feature 30,000 new items. The location is the former Carbone Auto Sales building and was remodeled.
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