Letter: Barrett Has the Knowledge, Experience to Serve 1st Berkshire

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To the Editor:

I am pleased to write this letter in support of John Barrett III for state representative. As a longtime professional in workforce development, I can attest to John's personal knowledge and experience on this issue in Berkshire County.

John and I worked together when he was executive director of BerkshireWorks career center. Much of our work at the career center included training our workforce through on-the-job training programs funded through state and federal initiatives. These programs saved local businesses substantial dollars and put local job seekers back to work. John’s experience makes him the most qualified in this special election as he understands the unique needs of our area businesses and believes in training our existing workforce.

Berkshireworks is also the hub for unemployment benefits. Before those services went exclusively online, John willing jeopardized his position as Executive Director in order to alert the public about the new online system and the elimination of walk-in services. He was pressured by the Secretary of Labor to keep quiet about the roll out of the new, online system. John felt the system was not ready and would cause financial hardship to the individuals filing for benefits. The Boston Globe and the Berkshire Eagle later published stories about the demands from the state placed on John. For the benefit of the public, John did not comply with those demands and his contract was not renewed.

We need experienced leaders like John Barrett in Boston to voice the unique issues and concerns of our district. He is not afraid to speak up in the best interest of his constituents. John is not a man that keeps the wolf at the door. And for that reason alone, he is the right candidate, the experienced candidate, needed at this time for the 1st Berkshire District.

Shelly Icardi
Cheshire, Mass.




Tags: election 2017,   state representative,   

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Hoosac Valley School Committee Accept District Improvement Plan

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Hoosac Valley Regional School Committee last week approved a District Improvement Plan for this school year.
The plan presented Monday by Superintendent Aaron Dean that was lauded before the committee's formal approval.
"This is a tremendous amount of information," School Committee member Mike Mucci said.
The plan is split into four objectives: curriculum and instruction, teaching all students, family and community engagement, and professional culture. Dean said these objectives were informed by district administrators.  
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