PITTSFIELD, Mass. — BerkshireWorks will have a new leader.
Mayor Daniel Bianchi is appointing William Monterosso as its new executive director.
"I was really looking for someone who is living and breathing workforce development," Bianchi said on Tuesday. "Any one of our three finalists could do the job but what stood out was his experience running statewide agencies."
Monterosso is a Pittsfield native who graduated from Taconic High School. He then went on to earn his bachelors' degree in business administration from Greenville State College in West Virginia and enlisted in the Marine Corps.
He was certified as a workforce development professional in 2003 and has more than 15 years experience in the workforce development field. Most recently, he was the executive director of the West Virginia Association of Rehabilitation Facilities.
His responsibilities have included leading and managing approximately 700 employees, leveraging millions of dollars in grant funding, developing and managing budgets, and cultivating relationships between the organizations and communities in which he served in West Virginia.
Bianchi says he sees Monterosso leading BerkshireWorks to become much more of a resource for businesses and nonprofits through partnerships. BerkshireWorks is a partnership between the Berkshire Training and Employment Program and the state's Division of Career Services.
"You are going to see them cultivating a culture of success," Bianchi said. "I think it can be a critical role."
Former North Adams Mayor John Barrett III was serving in that position for the last two years. Bianchi said Barrett was considered in the first round of resumes but ultimately, Bianchi wanted someone with more experience in the workforce development field rather than administrative.
Barrett was appointed to the position by former Mayor James Ruberto at a time when the agency was facing questions from the state about its operations and reporting practices. A call placed to Barrett's office was not immediately returned.
"John did a wonderful job righting things," Bianchi. "We are thankful of that."
Barrett has continued to stay on as the director and will until Tuesday, Jan. 21, when Monterosso takes over.
Monterosso was considered the best candidate to fill the position after Barrett's contract expired in September. The city posted the job in the summer but only received a few resumes. The city sent out another request and a committee consisting of the personnel department, director of finance and another department head interviewed eight candidates and narrowed it down to three finalists.
"It was a very involved process," Bianchi said.
From there, a team of county officials was invited by Bianchi to aid in interviewing final candidates: current North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright, a volunteer from the Berkshire Town Managers Associations, and Richmond Town Administrator Matthew Kerwood. They unanimously picked Monterosso.
While the appointment could have been done administratively, Bianchi said the job is important for the entire county and that is why he asked Alcombright and Kerwood to help.
"This is an important function for such a critical agency for all of Berkshire County and not just the city of Pittsfield," Bianchi said. "I think it is really important to recognize our strengths in operation as a larger community."
Bianchi said Montrosso won't be under a two-year contract but rather operate and be reviewed the same as other department heads.
"I am looking forward to his tenure," the mayor said.
Updated at 11:30 a.m. with comments from Mayor Bianchi.