Director Alisa Costa highlights some of the successes the organization had in the last three years.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Working Cities is in its final year of funding and believes it has made an impact.
The organization threw its annual barbecue on Wednesday that Initiative Director Alisa Costa said is a chance to not only share what the organization has been doing but also to get additional feedback. The organization put out sheets asking about the challenges and successes in the neighborhood.
"When we started this work, residents reported feeling isolated and not welcome in many spaces in Pittsfield. You told us where you struggle and what you need. And we've been working together for three years toward a long-term, 10-yearr goal. Building a just, thriving, and safe city for everyone," Costa told the crowd.
She asked, "what have we accomplished together?" And then she answered
"We have seven community navigators on the ground in our neighborhoods working to connect their neighbors to opportunities. Whether that is a program, a job, food, or shelter, this team is connecting people to what they need," Costa said.
The navigators completed more than 500 hours of work in the community, helping connect people with the resources they need. The organization has provided 250 people with Bridges Out of Poverty training. It graduated 90 people from the Getting Ahead program. And it has hosted 20 community meetings reaching some 317 residents and where ideas on to how to help the community were pitched.
Of those, a bus program from Pittsfield to Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival was created to help low-income residents enjoy the arts and culture. A police outreach post opened in the same building as Working Cities and Habitat for Humanity on Columbus Avenue. Rose and Cole Co-op Transport was created to provide low-cost transportation options. And the Tyler Street Lab opened. Costa said the organization got involved in all of those partnerships because of the responses from the community.
The initiative began three years ago with funding through the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Berkshire United Way, Berkshire Bank, Greylock Federal Credit Union, and 1Berkshire. The focus of the group is to help low-income residents overcome "structural barriers such as inadequate access to education, transportation, jobs, and opportunities."
The group was funded for three years but Costa said the work is not done. She will be looking for funding to continue on into the future.
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Bekshire Workforce Boar honored four are leaders at their quarterly meeting.
The MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board (BWB) held its quarterly meeting on Sept. 10, 2020 via zoom and honred Mayor Linda Tyer, Melanie Herzig of the MassHire Berkshire Career Center, BWB Board member Brian Morrison and the 1Berkshire Team.
At their meeting BWB highlighted several accomplishments including pandemic response efforts, career readiness programming, training in healthcare & manufacturing, employer engagement and reemployment activities.
School officials voted in August to eliminate the name, but the item was placed on the agenda again in September after a group of alumni and residents communicated that they were unclear that a vote would take place. They wanted a chance to speak to the matter.
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McCandless said he took issue with some of the comments made and noted the administration made sure cafeteria employees were kept working through the outset of the pandemic and the summer.
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A collaboration of the Berkshire District attorney's office and the Pittsfield Public Schools is using $25,000 in seed money in hopes of growing a sustainable program for social emotional learning in the schools. click for more
The council accepted an order from the mayor Tuesday to borrow an aggregate a sum not exceeding $8,470,000 for General Fund Capital Expenditures for Fiscal Year 2021 to address various city projects.
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The city announced Tuesday that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, or MassDOT, approved and funded the City of Pittsfield's grant application for the Shared Streets and Spaces Program in the amount of $238,826. click for more
Berkshire United Way and Miraval Berkshires have teamed up to honor an essential worker or first responder on the front lines of relief efforts in Berkshire County during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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