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Chamber Sets Free Workshop on QR Codes

Staff Reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce will offer a workshop designed to help area business owners utilize cutting-edge marketing techniques to generate leads, sales, and overall interest in their business.

"Mobile Marketing 101: Decoding the QR Code" will be held from 8:30 to 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30, at the Beacon Cinema on North Street.

Julie Fruscio, business development and marketing coordinator at Excelsior Printing Co., and Ashley Sulock, director or marketing and communications at the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, will lead the presentation.

The presenters will discuss QR Codes and help attendees understand how to best leverage these tools to bridge the gap between print and electronic marketing. Attendees are encouraged to bring their cell or or smart phones, although these devices are not required for participants to attend or benefit from the program.

The workshop is free to Berkshire Chamber members and $10 for nonmembers. To register: www.berkshirechamber.com, choyt@berkshirechamber.com, or call 413-499-4000, Ext. 10.

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State Added 12,700 Jobs in July

EOLWD

BOSTON — The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported Thursday that the preliminary July job estimates show an increase of 12,700 jobs, for a total of 3,246,800 jobs in Massachusetts. The private sector gained 11,600 jobs. The July total unemployment rate remained at 7.6 percent, well below the national rate of 9.1 percent.
 
Six of the 10 private sectors added jobs in July with the largest over the month gains in Education and Health Services; Other Services; Trade, Transportation and Utilities; Manufacturing; Professional and Business Services; and Financial Activities. The July job gain follows a revised 9,400 job gain in June, previously reported as a 10,400 job gain.
 
Over-the-year (July 2010 to July 2011), jobs are up 56,800, for a growth rate of 1.8 percent. Private sector jobs are up 61,900, a growth rate of 2.2 percent, with gains in nine of the 10 sectors. Year-to-date, (December 2010 to July 2011), 53,000 jobs have been added in the Bay State with 58,200 jobs in the private sector.

The biggest gains were in education and health services (3,000 for a .4 percent gain). Over-the-year, this sector has added 17,300 (up 2.6 percent) jobs with health care and social assistance gaining 15,000 (up 3 percent) and educational services 2,300 (1.4 percent). Also up were other services, primarly seasonal help, which is occurring later in the season and at higher levels.
 
Trade, transportation, and utilities gained 2,900 jobs, manufacturing gained 2,400 jobs. Construction, however, lost 1,500 jobs (down 1.4 percent) following a 1,900 job gain in June.  This sector had posted job gains in each of the previous four months. Over-the-year, this sector has added 2,100 (2 percent) jobs with gains in all component industries.
 
The July estimates show 3,208,700 Massachusetts residents were employed and 263,400 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,472,100. Since October 2009, there are 40,300 more residents employed and 41,000 fewer residents unemployed as the labor force decreased by 700.

Local area unemployment statistics for July 2011 will be released on Tuesday, Aug. 23.

To read the entire press release, go here.

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BJ's Wholesale On Pace For Fall Opening

Andy McKeever

 PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The new BJ's Wholesale is set to be fully constructed by the end of the September and the store will open shortly after.

According Robert MacPherson, founder of Cape Breton Corp., the company that is building the store, construction and utilities are on pace to be completed and the store can be turned over to BJ's management for an October opening.

"The BJ's is looking, hopefully, to open in the middle or end of September," MacPherson said Tuesday. "Certainly before the first of October is our hope."

The construction, located on Hubbard Avenue behind Price Chopper, is expecting to bring 120 new jobs to the city. The club's website is advertising an array of jobs from an assistant manager to meat cutters to department supervisors.

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Qualprint Scores Double-Benny Win

Staff Reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Qualprint, a division of Quality Printing Co., will be accepting two Benjamin Franklin Awards in Chicago on Sept. 11, awards akin to the Oscars for the graphic arts industry.

The "Benny" is the highest honor in the 2011 Premier Print Awards, the industry's largest and most prestigious worldwide printing competition that recognizes outstanding achievement in print production. (Benjamin Franklin, of course, being one of the nation's foremost printers back in the day.)

The award-winning Qualprint is getting two for the categories of Magazine Series and Cross Media Promotion for its work in Briefings on Talent & Leadership, a quarterly publication of Korn/Ferry International, a top global provider of talent management solutions.

"You can't produce an award-winning magazine without ferocious attention to detail, consistency, state-of-the-art technology, and great people," said Joel Kurtzman, editor-in-chief of Briefings on Talent & Leadership. "That describes Qualprint. They're really, really good. It shows in the quality of the product we produce. We've found they'll do whatever it takes to do the best job possible. They're willing to push harder and even experiment when necessary."
 
The Premier Print Awards are the printing industry's oldest and largest worldwide graphic arts competition, hosted by Printing Industries of America. In its 62nd year, the annual contest recognizes those responsible for the creation and production of superior print communications.

"The Benny winners represent the best our industry has to offer," said Michael Makin, president and CEO of Printing Industries of America.
 
This year, more than 3,200 entries were received from printing and graphic arts firms from around the world, and judges awarded the Benny to the top entry in each category.

"Everyone at Qualprint contributed to winning this prestigious award," said John G. DiSantis, president and CEO of Qualprint. "It's an honor to be recognized by the industry and the world as a company that produces award-winning print. This is a win for Qualprint, Korn/Ferry International, Insight Design, and the dedicated team that makes each issue of Briefings on Talent and Leadership such a success."
 
The Bennys will be awarded at the Premier Print Awards Gala at the Chicago Marriott Downtown.
 
For more information about Qualprint, contact June Roy-Martin at 413-442-4166.

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North Adams Hospital Denied 'Critical Access'

Staff Reports

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — North Adams Regional Hospital has been denied its application as a critical access hospital that would have given it cost-based reimbursements from Medicare. 

According to a report in the North Adams Transcript on Tuesday, the hospital's application was denied by the federal government because of its proximity to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield. President and CEO William Frado told the newspaper that the government looked at Route 7 as a major highway, which puts the two hospitals closer than the cut off of 35 miles.

The hospital's parent company, Northern Berkshire Healthcare, had sought the designation to aid its financial picture as it struggles to emerge from bankruptcy and reduce its nearly $50 million debt.

"It would have been nice to get the designation, but our financial projections indicated that we'll be able to come out of bankruptcy as a stand-alone viable hospital," Frado told the paper.

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