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Barrett Appointed As Berkshire Works Director

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
05:08PM / Thursday, May 05, 2011
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John Barrett III was the mayor of North Adams for 26 years before being hired by Pittsfield. He will now serve as executive director for Berkshire Works.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — John Barrett III was appointed this week as the interim executive director of Berkshire Works.

Mayor James Ruberto appointed the former North Adams mayor to the position just a week after Barrett's contract as a public works consultant ended.

According to Pittsfield Director of Administration Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Barrett fills the shoes of Michael Herrick, who retired last Monday.

"Mayor Ruberto appointed him on an interim basis so that services can continue while they do an executive search," Farley-Bouvier said on Thursday. "It was nice that he was available."

Barrett began working this week and it is not certain how long he will be in the position. Farley-Bouvier said Barrett has not indicated a desire to remain in the position permanently and Berkshire Works staff will lead the search for a new director.

The employment agency is a collaboration of the Berkshire County Regional Employment Board and the state Division of Career Services.

Berkshire Works is one of 37 career centers throughout the state that is funded through the federal Workforce Investment Act and administered by the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. The Berkshire Training and Employment Program serves as the fiscal agent on behalf of the city.

Heather Boulger, executive director of BCREB, said in an e-mail that the city is the "Lead Elected Official for the workforce system and is responsible for Berkshire Works employees." BCREB oversees the program's operations.

The city appoints an executive director and the rest of the hiring is done through Berkshire Works employees, Farley-Bouvier said. After a new director is found, Ruberto would need to officially appoint the new hire.

The state's dean of mayors was hired by the city as a public works consultant after losing his record 14th bid for mayor.

"I think they were looking for somebody with executive experience," Farley-Bouvier said.

Barrett was "out of the office" Thursday and unable to comment when a call was placed to the Berkshire Works office.
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