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The annual Berkshire Works job fair had 66 employers, all with open positions.

Berkshire Works Job Fair Connects Job Seekers With Open Positions

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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A steady flow of people looking for work or looking for a new opportunity browsed the positions available from an array of industries and educational organizations.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Hundreds of people looking to advance their careers or get into the workforce browsed through an array of available jobs at the Berkshire Works annual job fair Wednesday.
The annual event had such a demand for employers to showcase their opportunities that Stephanie Hambelton, business service representative for Berkshire Works, said there was a wait list. The Crowne Plaza's space restricted the number of vendors to 66 and there were still employers looking to participate.
"Clearly there are jobs and clearly there are job seekers. There are people who need work and there are also people  who are already working and looking for something better or a second position. It is important for an event like this to make that connection," Hambelton said. 
"There is work and there are people looking for work so we are giving the opportunity to put the two together."
A steady flow of job seekers meandered in and out of the tables feature all employers with at least one available job. 
"Every employer here today actually has jobs posted with us currently. They all have open positions and that was a point I made important. Their ticket into the fair was that they have open positions," Hambelton said.
The number of employers is on par with other years and job seekers ranged from those who are unemployed to those who are looking for a change.
"I've gotten some great feedback from the employers already, some great compliments. They are telling me the flow is great. They are telling me the job seekers are the best dressed that they've seen in a while. I emphasized that to job seekers as well," Hambelton said.
As of 10 a.m., just an hour after it began, the fair was looking to be one of the best the organization has put on with a goal of breaking last year's number of job seekers attending. Hambelton said they included not only those who participated in programs offered by the Berkshire Works Career Center but also an array of people who had heard about the job fair. 
"There are people here, and I've been with the Career Center for three years, that I don't see on a daily basis, that I've never seen," Hambelton said.
The Career Center, she said, was packed on Tuesday with job seekers printing out resumes to bring to the fair. The jobs spanned industries and included youth services and educational institutions.
The job market has been showing an increase in local months, according to the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. In August, the unemployment rate for the Pittsfield metropolitan region dropped to 3.9 percent, according to August reports, dropping from 4.2 percent last month and down from 5 percent this time last year. The North Adams region also showed decreased unemployment from 6.2 percent last year to 5 percent this year. The Great Barrington region dropped to 2.9 percent from 3.5 percent last August.
BerkshireJobs, iBerkshires' job search site, has more than 300 jobs posted for the Berkshire County region.
Adjusted for seasonal employment, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reports a statewide nemployment rate of 3.9 percent with unemployment rates dropping in 22 labor markets. In the last year, it is estimated that the state added 68,100 new jobs.
The goal of the job fair is to continue that progress by connecting those unemployed with work and giving opportunities for those in the workforce to find better jobs.

Tags: employment,   job fair,   jobs,   unemployment,   

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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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