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Program graduates include: Erika T. Casas, David DeForest, Randi Disprow, Nicole Giardina, Alexander Giesser, Shawn Gingras, Curt Hill, Roy W. Hoyt, Jr., Killian Leese, Omar Pascual Polanca, Shaun Smith, Marko Toro, Melinda Williamson and James Zigmand.

Biz Briefs: Technical Training Program Students Receive Certificate of Completion

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Congratulations: Fourteen students recently received a certificate for completing the Berkshire Advanced Manufacturing Technical Training Program. The entry level training program, which ran from February to June, provides students with basic manufacturing and workforce readiness skills.

Each student received a Certificate of Completion from Berkshire Community College as well as a MACWIC Level 1 credential that verifies mastery of basic manufacturing skills such as math, blueprint reading, metrology, safety and work readiness. The work readiness component was facilitated by Goodwill Industries.  

The program was offered through a grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and administered by the Berkshire County Regional Employment Board. Partners included: BCC, BerkshireWorks Career Center, Pittsfield Public Schools, McCann Technical School, Goodwill Industries and local manufacturing companies. Sessions were held in both Pittsfield and North Adams. Other components of the training included hoisting licensing, shift work training and welding.

A celebration for students and instructors was held June 1 at BCC’s Education Center at the Silvio O. Conte Federal Building in downtown Pittsfield.

Sara Milano, program coordinator with the Berkshire County Regional Employment Board and William Mulholland, vice president of community education and workforce development for BCC spoke at the celebration. Both speakers emphasized that this entry level training program in advanced manufacturing is a starting point for what will be a pathway of life-long learning.

Program graduates include: Erika T. Casas, David DeForest, Randi Disprow, Nicole Giardina, Alexander Giesser, Shawn Gingras, Curt Hill, Roy W. Hoyt, Jr., Killian Leese, Omar Pascual Polanca, Shaun Smith, Marko Toro, Melinda Williamson and James Zigmand.

Good news: The 3,000 owners of the Berkshire Co-op Market in Great Barrington will be able to support local charities at the same time as saving on auto and home insurance under a new agreement

Whenever a Co-op owner buys a home or auto insurance policy through GoodWorks Insurance, the insurance agency will deposit 20 percent of its commissions to the Berkshire Market Co-op Community Fund. Also, every time an owner refers a business to GoodWorks, all insurance policies written for the business will yield a deposit to the Fund.

The Fund will support local charities in healthcare, education and public safety. Recipients will be selected by Berkshire Co-op and GoodWorks Insurance, according to Matt Novik, Berkshire Co-op Market communications manager.

An independent insurance agency with a Great Barrington office, GoodWorks offers a 6 percent discount on auto insurance to co-op owners. Owners can save 20 percent or more with an account discount by also buying their homeowners insurance from GoodWorks. The carrier is Main Street America Group.

Berkshire Co-op Market owners can get more information by contacting Deborah Wright at GoodWorks Insurance, 343 Main Street, at 413-528-5509 ext. 302 or Co-op ownership is open to all.

Volunteer of the Year: Kathryn Dube, first vice president, wealth business development leader, at Berkshire Bank has been honored by the United Way of Pioneer Valley as Volunteer of the Year for the 2015-2016 season.

Dube joined the United Way of Pioneer Valley Board of Directors in 2007 and committed to this position until 2017. As an affiliate of the United Way, she has also held other reputable titles, such as Chairperson of the Allocations and Impact Committee, Chairman of the Board and Founding Member of the Women’s Leadership Council in Western MA in 2013.

The award is based upon leadership, community engagement and core values, among other essential qualities. The United Way of Pioneer Valley granted the award to Dube on Wednesday, June 22  at the Log Cabin in Holyoke.

Homes for all: Berkshire County Arc will open Edgewood, its 10th residence serving individuals with brain injuries (and the fifth residence that is funded through an Acquired Brain Injury Waiver through the Department of Developmental Services), in Southwick, Mass., in July.

The residence will provide four individuals who have had brain injuries with a supportive alternative to nursing home placement, which is often common for brain injury survivors. In total, the 10 programs serve 41 individuals.

Berkshire County Arc opened its first residential program for individuals with developmental disabilities in 1971, and, in 2002, the agency opened its first residential program for individuals with brain injuries. The agency’s residential programs create environments for residents to live as independently as possible and incorporate training in a variety of areas, including communication, domestic skills, money management and community participation.

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Letter: Playing Ukraine National Anthem at Tanglewood on Parade Was Bad Idea

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

As recently reported by The Eagle in a piece by Clarence Fanto, at Tanglewood on Parade, the Ukrainian national anthem was played. Many in the shed and the lawn stood up in support. While I would certainly concede that Russia is the worst of the two countries in terms of human rights abuses, Ukraine has many despicable aspects to it of which I am highly confident almost all the people standing were ignorant.

Boston Pops conductor Thomas Wilkins said, "The Boston Pops and the Boston Symphony stands with the people of Ukraine, and salutes all who stand for democracy and against injustice, and are willing to sacrifice everything for their freedom." Ironically, Mr. Wilkins also made reference to the rights of the Ukrainian people to have self-determination.

Let me explain why I used the word "ironic." While most Americans do not know it, the present government of Ukraine obtained power by a violent coup in 2014. The Revolution of Dignity, also known as the Maidan Revolution, took place in Ukraine in February 2014 at the end of the Euromaidan protests, when a series of violent events involving protesters, riot police, and unknown shooters in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv culminated in the ousting of elected President Viktor Yanukovych and the overthrow of the Ukrainian government. In a Cato piece titled, "America's Ukraine Hypocrisy," Ted Galen Carpenter writes: "Despite his leadership defects and character flaws, Yanukovych had been duly elected in balloting that international observers considered reasonably free and fair — about the best standard one can hope for outside the mature Western democracies."

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