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From left: Chris Haley, Berkshire Site Director of the Department of Mental Health; Jennifer Daniels, Senior Employment Coordinator for Berkshire Pathways; David Brien, Program Director for Berkshire Pathways; Matt Sykes, an employee at Otto's; and state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier.

Biz Briefs: Otto's Breakfast and Deli Honored for Diverse Workforce

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Proud honor: Otto's Breakfast and Deli on East Street in Pittsfield was recognized and honored for their excellence in their diversity practices for providing gainful employment to individuals with mental illness with the support of the Department of Mental Health-funded Clubhouse rehabilitation and recovery centers. Massachusetts Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier presented an award to Luke Marion, owner, on March 28.

The event, organized by the Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition and held at the Statehouse in Boston, recognized 27 companies who have created a diverse and welcoming workforce while also striving to lessen the stigma of mental illness often experienced by those seeking employment. Those employed by the companies honored at the Statehouse are among 4,000 Massachusetts Clubhouse members who gained employment with support during this past year.

Massachusetts Clubhouse centers serve over 7,000 Massachusetts residents, as they work to increase marketable skills and independence, gain employment, complete their education, build relationships, and develop leadership skills. Clubhouses across the state that have achieved quality accreditation honored the companies during the Celebration Event. Legislators presented awards to the local companies with the help of the DMH Commissioner, Joan Mikula. Each honoree had been identified by their local Clubhouse as a company that has built a welcoming and inclusive workforce.


The winner is ...: Berkshire Bank has announced the winner of the "Exciting Rewind Mortgage Giveaway." As the official bank of NESN's Boston Bruins coverage, Berkshire Bank partnered with NESN for this promotion.

The winner was David Hiltz of Bedford, Mass. Hiltz spent much of his Air Force career testing new aircraft and weapons as a flight test engineer. As the winner, Hitz will be awarded with $12,000 to assist in paying his mortgage for the year. The giveaway was only extended to active military members and eligible veterans, serving as an extension of the dedication of Berkshire Bank to the servicemen and servicewomen of our country.
When asked of how he felt about winning the Exciting Rewind giveaway, Hiltz passionately spoke of his relationship with the Bank, which began when he purchased a home in the area. "My wife, Barb, and I thankfully relied on Berkshire mortgage consultants, Bill Poirier, Kari Lane and their team, to stay on top of all the details in our home buying process," he said. "We feel honored and blessed for all Berkshire Bank and NESN does for military families like ours!"
The Exciting Rewind Mortgage Sweepstakes consisted of a breakdown of the top plays throughout the season and was featured during every Bruin's game on NESN. Viewers were encouraged to watch and vote online for their favorite Berkshire Bank Exciting Rewind segment online to be entered for a chance to win.


A growing workforce: Hamilton Relay, a national leader in the telecommunications relay and captioned telephone services industry, is expanding its workforce at its Pittsfield center. The relay center in Pittsfield was established in 2008 and today, is one of six Hamilton Relay centers across the nation that process relay calls for individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or have difficulty speaking. Due to the growing demand of the nationwide offerings, Hamilton Relay is expanding the Pittsfield center to now process calls for its captioning services.

Hamilton Relay is a top provider of captioned telephone services and began processing this specific call type from a few of its own relay centers in 2011. The latest addition of Pittsfield has now brought all the relay call centers on board for processing captioned calls. Between 30 and 50 Captioning Assistant positions will be created within the next year.

Captioned Telephone Relay Service is designed for individuals who have difficulty hearing on the telephone. Captioned Telephone technology, developed by Ultratec of Madison, Wis., allows individuals to view word-for-word captions of what is being said to them on a display screen of a CapTel phone - similar to captions on television. Using a CapTel phone, consumers can see what is said and not miss a word of their telephone conversations. Behind the scenes, a specially trained Captioning Assistant repeats everything said by the standard phone user into state-of-the-art voice recognition software. The speech is then converted almost simultaneously into text on the CapTel phone. The captions are available in English or Spanish.

Hamilton Relay is a division of Nedelco, Inc. dba Hamilton Telecommunications, a diversified communications and technology service provider based in Aurora, Nebraska. Founded in 1901, Hamilton Telecommunications encompasses eight primary company divisions that allow Hamilton to operate on a local, regional and national basis.

Top ranking: Financial services firm Edward Jones ranks No. 5 on the 2017 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list in its 18th appearance on the prestigious list, according to global research and consulting firm Great Place to Work and Fortune magazine. Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company, provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm's business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work.

The North Adams office is located at 71 Main St.


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