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Pittsfield Workers To Upgrade Nuclear Missiles
By: Andy McKeever On: 09:31AM / Sunday January 16, 2011
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 PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Guidance systems for nuclear missiles deployed on new and old Navy submarines will come from the hands of local workers.

Nearly 300 employees of local defense contractors received  job security with a $494 million government contract released in December to modernize the country's Trident II missiles' guidance systems.
 
"Work on the MK 6 guidance system operations contract is performed in Pittsfield by 244 General Dynamic employees, 32 Raytheon Company employees and eight Draper Laboratory employees. This award is a continuation of our existing work and will sustain current employment levels over the next three years," said Kathleen Granchelli, direct of media relations and communications at Draper, in an e-mail. That information was provided by General Dynamics, she said.
 
The Department of Defense announced the contract last month to Cambridge-based Draper Laboratories to build guidance systems for the missiles deployed on Ohio-class submarines. Local employees at General Dynamics, Raytheon and Draper will be responsible for 11 percent of the project.
 
The system is an inertial guidance that sends steering commands to the missile during launch. Pittsfield's contingent will be providing technical engineering. 
 
"Draper and its subcontractors' current efforts are to the ensure that the MK 6 can reliably operate its critical function through the year 2042. This includes replacing 1980s electronics with new technology," Granchelli said. 
 
The system is for Trident II missiles that were developed in the late 1980s with a long-range and highly precise guidance system that allows for first-strike capability. The missile is considered one of the most important part of the country's nuclear arsenal.
 
The $494 million is a base contract with unexercised options that can be funded annually. 
 
Draper is a nonprofit organization that provides research and development for multiple government agencies including NASA, the Air Force and the Navy. The laboratory has a satellite location on Merrill Road.


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Funding Secured For Pittsfield BJ's Wholesale
By: Staff Reports On: 01:35PM / Monday December 13, 2010
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — More than a year after announcing the construction of a BJ's Wholesale Club on Hubbard Avenue, the Braintree developer secured a $9.2 million construction loan for the project this weekend.

Reported on Monday by Waltham-based Bostonsf.com, Cape Breton Corporation and Saxon Partners worked with real estate intermediary Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. to get the loan through Sovereign Santander Bank.

The developers plan to build a 85,188-square-foot freestanding building and fueling station behind Berkshire Crossings.

The project was announced in October of 2009 when Robert MacPherson, president of Cape Breton, said the group will begin the formal permitting process aiming to break ground in 2010. It will be the county's first BJ's club and City Hall said it would create about 120 new jobs. The closest BJ's clubs to Berkshire County are in Greenfield, Springfield and Albany, N.Y.

BJ's Wholesale Club Inc. is a leading operator of membership warehouse clubs in the East. The company, now in its 25th year, currently employees more than 20,000 team members and operates 180 clubs in 15 states from Maine to Florida.

Formed in 1998, Saxon Partners is a retail and residential developer focused on the New England region and Cape Breton Corporation is a real estate development company specializing in the site acquisition and local permitting of retail buildings and shopping centers.


BJsAnnouncement



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Berkshire Jobless Rates Drop
By: Staff Reports On: 05:02PM / Tuesday September 21, 2010
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BOSTON — The three labor market areas in the Berkshires each saw their jobless rates fall nearly a percent since July, posting unemployment figures on par with August 2009.

The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported that the August seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates were down in all 22 labor-market areas. Statewide, the August seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate dropped from 9.1 percent in July to 8.3 percent. Statewide, jobs unadjusted were down 5,800 over-the-month as the private sector unadjusted job gain of 3,100 was more than offset by the loss of 8,900 jobs in government.

The North Adams micropolitan area saw its jobless rate drop from 10.1 in July to 9.0 in August, the same rate as a year ago. Pittsfield dropped from 8.7 to 7.9 and Great Barrington from 6.5 to 5.7. Jobs gains for the most part were minimal, with each market showing a loss in total labor force since July.

The Leominster-Fitchburg-Gardner area added jobs, jobs were unchanged in the Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton area and the remaining ten areas for which jobs are estimated lost jobs in August. Over-the-year, six areas added jobs.

Over-the-year, unemployment rates were lower in 15 areas, unchanged in the North Adams area and up in the remaining 17 labor market areas.

Over-the-year, the unadjusted unemployment rate is down 0.3 percent from the 8.6 percent rate in August 2009.

The statewide seasonally adjusted jobs estimate released on Sept. 16 showed 2,100 jobs gained. The state has added 64,300 jobs since December. The seasonally adjusted statewide August 2010 unemployment rate of 8.8 percent was down from the 9.0 percent rate in May and June and below the national rate of 9.6 percent.

The unadjusted unemployment rates and job estimates for the labor market areas reflect seasonal fluctuations and therefore may show different levels and trends than the statewide seasonally adjusted estimates.

The September 2010 unemployment rate, labor force data and jobs estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Oct. 21, 2010; local unemployment statistics will be released on Oct. 26, 2010. Detailed labor market information is available at www.mass.gov/lmi.



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Bay State Continues to Add Jobs
By: Staff Reports On: 02:04PM / Thursday August 19, 2010
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BOSTON — The job growth continues in the state as the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reports that the private sector added 19,200 jobs in July, the largest monthly job gain in the private sector in 20 years. Governmental employment dropped by 6,000, signifying the reduction in temporary Census jobs.

Overall, the state's preliminary figures show 3,197,800 jobs, an increase of 13,200 jobs. The This marks the sixth straight month for job gains, with 60,200 jobs added since December.

The total unemployment rate held at 9.0 percent in July. The Massachusetts unemployment rate remains below the 9.5 percent national rate which was also unchanged over-the-month.

The gains were made in all nine job sectors; the largest gains wre in Leisure and Hospitality; Trade, Transportation and Utilities; Manufacturing; and Professional, Scientific and Business Services.
 
The July job growth follows on a revised 2,800 jobs gain in June, previously reported as a 500-job gain. Over-the-year, jobs are up 36,600 (or 1.2 percent) with private sector jobs up 32,500 (also 1.2 percent).

Trends for jobs, unemployed residents, the unemployment rate and unemployment insurance claims continue to indicate signs of improvement for the commonwealth's economy.

Local area unemployment statistics for July 2010 will be released on Tuesday, Aug. 24. Detailed labor market information is available at www.mass.gov/lmi.



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State Continues Job Gains
By: Staff Reports On: 11:48AM / Tuesday July 20, 2010
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BOSTON — The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported that unemployment rates were lower in June than in May in 17 of the commonwealth's 22 labor-market areas. Unemployment rates were unchanged in the Springfield and North Adams areas and up in the remaining three areas.

Statewide, the June seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 8.8 percent, from May's rate of 9.1 percent. Over the year, the unadjusted unemployment rate is up 0.1 percent from the 8.7 percent rate in June 2009. The Pittsfield metro area saw its rate drop to 8.5 percent.

Job gains were recorded in 10 of the 12 occupational areas in June. In addition, all labor markets added jobs in construction, leisure and hospitality, and trade, transportation and utilities. The Boston-Cambridge-Quincy and Barnstable areas added the most jobs over the month. Over the year, the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy; Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton; Haverhill-North Andover-Amesbury and New Bedford areas gained jobs.

Over the year, unemployment rates were lower in six areas in which their rates were also lower over-the-month. Rates were up over the year in the remaining 16 labor-market areas.

The seasonally adjusted statewide June 2010 unemployment rate, released on July 14, was 9 percent, down from the 9.2 percent in May. The statewide seasonally adjusted jobs estimate for June 2010, also released on July 14, showed a gain of 500 jobs over the month. There have been six straight months of private-sector job growth, a total of 44,700 jobs added since December and 3,400 private-sector jobs created just in June.

The unadjusted unemployment rates and job estimates for the labor market areas reflect seasonal fluctuations and therefore may show different levels and trends than the statewide seasonally adjusted estimates.

NOTES: The July 2010 unemployment rate, labor force data and jobs estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Aug. 19, 2010; local unemployment statistics will be released on Aug. 24, 2010. Detailed labor market information is available at www.mass.gov/lmi.



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News Headlines
Adams Selectmen Updated on Park Street, Town Projects
Visitors Bureau: Tourists Spent $161 Million In Lenox Last Year
Clarksburg Seniors Have Deadline for Cable Discount
Lanesborough School Committee Delays Vote on Superintendency Union
Education Secretary Tours Lanesborough, Hancock Schools
Adams Planners Approve Bond, Screening for East Road Array
Lanesborough Contracts With PCTV To Run Television Broadcasts
Greylock President to Retire in 2015
Holiday Stroll Fireworks Campaign Launches
North Adams Happenings: Oct. 22-Nov. 4

 


Bill Schmick separates the bull from the bears in his weekly columns on investing and market wrap-ups.



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