Massachusetts Ranks Fourth in Protecting Animals

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — We know Berkshirites love their dogs so it's not surprising Massachusetts does right by animals.

The Humane Society of the United States has ranked Massachusetts No. 4, tied with Illinios, on how it treats animals.

"Massachusetts has a proud history of animal protection. The commonwealth was the first state in America to pass animal cruelty legislation. We hope that the current state legislature will continue to lead the nation when it comes to animal protection by joining the eight other states that passed farm animal welfare reforms in recent years," said Alexis Fox, Massachusetts state director for the Humane Society of the United States.

The MSPCA, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, was founded in 1868.

The third annual Humane State Rankings rated all 50 states and Washington, D.C., on a wide range of animal protection laws, including animal cruelty codes, equine protection standards, wildlife issues, animals in research and farm animal policy.

Earning the highest scores were California in first and New Jersey and Oregon tied for second place. South Dakota was last with score of 8 out of a possible 66 with Idaho in 50th. Idaho, North Dakota and South Dakota received especially low marks in part because they are the only three states in the country with no felony penalty for egregious acts of animal cruelty.

To see the complete 2011 Humane State Rankings, click here.

Tags: domestic animals,   pets,   

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Berkshire County Regional Employment Board Awarded State Grant

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Healey-Driscoll Administration announced $16.3 million in Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (WCTF) grants awarded to nine organizations to upskill 1,860 individuals for careers in high-demand occupations in healthcare and behavioral health sectors across Massachusetts. 
 
The funding will support initiatives to train and hire unemployed and underemployed individuals while providing current employees with the skills to meet the needs of Massachusetts employers for roles such as Emergency Medical Technician, Certified Nurse Assistant, and Mental Health Peer Support Specialist.
 
"Industries across the state are experiencing workforce challenges, but the need is particularly great in behavioral health care, as we need enough trained workers to provide the care that our residents need and deserve," said Governor Maura Healey. "These grants will help address these challenges by hiring and training new talent and upskilling existing talent."  
 
In Berkshire County, the Berkshire County Regional Employment Board, Inc. was awarded $2,227,173.
 
Berkshire County Regional Employment Board will provide training and placement services to prepare 510 unemployed and underemployed participants for Medical Assistant, Certified Nurse Assistant, Acute Care Nurse Assistant, and Registered Behavioral Technician positions. They will partner with Community Health Programs, The Brien Center, Berkshire Health Systems, and Integritus Healthcare. 
 
This partnership also aims to assess the demand and develop programming opportunities for Licensed Practical Nurses, career pathways for Licensed Practical Nurses to Registered Nurses, and provide career advancement training for incumbent Behavioral Health workers.
 
The Workforce Competitive Trust Fund Program grants, administered by Commonwealth Corporation on behalf of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, are part of the Healey-Driscoll Administration's strategic investment to retain and upskill existing talent in Massachusetts' current workforce. The Healthcare/Behavioral Health Hub Grants announced today support investments in collaborative efforts focused on addressing healthcare and behavioral health workforce needs in regions across the Commonwealth. 
 
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